Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (Georgia)

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association has been conducting human rights protection activities since 1994. Their activities are focused on the the following strategic fields:

Legal aid – Legal aid center of GYLA in Tbilisi and seven regions of Georgia provide legal assistance to tenth of thousands of citizens (consultation, preparation of legal documents and court representation in case of need). Special attention is paid to the facts, where human rights are violated by government, or administrative body. Vulnerable groups – GYLA pays special attention to protection of rights of religious, ethnic, sexual minorities, people with limited abilities, those, who live beyond the poverty line. Prisoners’ rights – GYLA is actively involved in monitoring of penitentiary systems. Special attention is paid to facts of torture and mistreatment. Participation in legal drafting – GYLA conducts constant monitoring of legislative process and prepares its own legal opinions on every draft, which is important for human rights. Raising awareness – There are many people in Georgia, who have no information about their rights – GYLA’s offices in the regions have been implementing campaigns for raising awareness throughout Georgia (trainings, seminars and field meetings to ensure awareness of local groups and support democratic involvement of them in the country’s political and social life). Strategic litigation – first, denunciation of discriminative legal acts, or acts, which violate human rights through trial at constitutional court of Georgia, and the second, representation of Georgian citizens at European Court of Human Rights. Protection of Media Interests – on the base of GYLA has been established Media Legal Defense Center, which ensures protection of rights and interests of different media sources and journalists.

Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„Once you’re here, however, whether you want to or not, you have to ask the question: does all of this have a meaning, and if so, what?… Ultimately, I can only find an answer – a positive answer – within myself, in my general faith in the meaning of things, in my hope. What, in fact, is man responsible to? What does he relate to? What is the final horizon of his actions, the absolute vanishing point of everything he does, the undeceivable “memory of Being”, the conscience of the world and the final “court of appeal”? What is the decisive standard of measurement, the background or the field of each of his existential experiences? And likewise, what is the most important witness or the secret sharer in his daily conversations with himself, the thing that – regardless of what situation he has been thrown into – he incessantly inquires after, depends upon, and toward which his actions are directed, the thing that, in its omniscience and incorruptibility, both haunts and saves him, the only thing he can trust in and strive for? “

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

Ivan Krastev: Europe's FutureVáclav Havel’s Prague