Re-Doing Justice


If Georgia is a democracy, whether full-grown or still maturing, then we will have to live with the unending wrestle between the ruling side of the political process and its opposition. Both of them will be in action and in the limelight for as long as they are politically adequate and professionally reasonable. And the voting electorate will always figure as a helpful tool in their adroit hands for confirming periodically the public consent, allowing the rulers to rule and the opposition to oppose. This is just the nature of a democratically organized society, and we all know that.

What we might not be aware of is whether it is all working as it should at this stage of national development. The impression from a foreign perspective like mine, is that all the ingredients of democracy are present. Some elements have gone a little awry, and certain components are being slightly crippled, but this is OK: we are, after all, not yet completely there; we are still crawling towards a better political end.

The weirdest physical part of Georgian politics is that we have been trying in the last 30 years to squeeze the course of democratic maturation indoors, but it persists, inexplicably, to stay under open skies. The people’s will in this country is being expressed not within the walls of governmental premises, built and exploited for this particular purpose, but somewhere beyond the structures of all the branches of the system. Why? This question will not take for answer a simplistic grassroots deliberation. And a solid response will likely need the serious involvement of political science. Nor is a random journalistic effort like this is going to untie the Gordian Knot. The plainest explanation I might suggest is that society’s attitude towards the law enforcement mechanism, which has been ridden by public distrust for a very long time now, particularly in the soviet era whence generic misconceptions and overall public fear towards those who wrote and enforced law was overwhelming. The soviet-time injustices have been explained and were understood as the cruel vicissitudes of life. What is happening now is more problematic to conceive, because the long-and-hard-fought-for freedom of speech and all those democratically-based values were won to be enjoyed by the generations to come.

Why, then, are we still under the spell of disbelief towards those who put law to life? Is it the lamely enforced law that keeps us from locking justice within the confines of the court room? The last 30 years of Georgia’s political life is deeply and painfully marked with crowds in the streets and tents in front of the government house. The necessity for textile bedrooms in the cold and rain, as a token of the discontent of a certain portion of our society, speaks volumes about our style and ability to take care of our everyday dilemmas by the powers that be only where they are assigned to deliberate and make rulings.

I sense the arrival of democracy on this ancient land with all my wits and body, but I also know that there is something wrong with it. Can we right this wrong to the benefit of the entire nation so that suffering recedes and the justice triumphs without unwanted sacrifice? Perhaps, but, again, who is qualified enough to tell us how to kill the pitch-dark gap between the twisted image of law enforcement and the latent public distrust in it? The same question was once asked in the western world, and the answer was that everything is in the people’s hands, without the willpower and determination of whom, nothing can be changed. And the alteration in the content of law enforcement and the public attitude to it is simply inevitable. If the change happens, we will never again see our people so terribly tired and disillusioned by politics, our avenues blocked, the crowds raging, police disbanding the incensed throngs and the tents obtrusively sitting in front of the main administrative building of the country, where our happiness should be carved and our prosperity hammered out of the good decisions that are being made by those who are residing in it, having been put there by our electoral power. Justice done will correct every wrong that has been stuck as a sore in our eyes for too long.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

Image source: 1TV

15 November 2018 17:04