Resume:
In accordance with the statement of the Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Sopo Kiladze, the number of preventive detentions has decreased drastically as a result of reforms implemented by the Government of Georgia.
Apart from the fact that Sopo Kiladze gives inaccurate percentage figures in her statement (she said 53% instead of 48%), she makes a comparison using nominal numbers instead of relative figures which is incorrect and disallows a look at the real situation. If we take the total number of preventive measures and calculate the part which accounts for preventive detentions, we will see that the share of preventive detentions decreased by 38 percentage points in 2016 as compared to 2000 (of the total preventive measures in 2000, 67.1% comprised preventive detentions whilst this figure was 29.1% in 2016).
In addition, the reason why the MP selected the 2000 and 2016 accounting periods for comparison is unclear. Given the fact that Sopo Kiladze aims to assess the efficiency of the judiciary reform implemented after the Georgian Dream came to power, it would have been more appropriate to look at the situation (for instance, 2012 data) as it was before the start of the reforms. In itself, an analysis of 2017’s data, which is already available, would have been of interest although Ms Kiladze ignores this information. The share of preventive detentions in the total number of preventive measures in 2017 increased by 5.1 percentage points as compared to 2016.
If the MP had compared the relative figures for 2012 and 2017, the picture would have been completely different. In particular, the share of preventive detentions as a part of the total preventive measures decreased by only 7.7 percentage points in this period.
Analysis The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Sopo Kiladze, spoke about reforms implemented in the judiciary. She stated:
“The number of preventive detentions has drastically decreased as compared to 2000. For instance, this figure decreased by 53% as of 2016.”
FactChecktook interest in the accuracy of the statement.
In accordance with the dataprovided by the Supreme Court of Georgia, First Instance Courts in 2000 applied preventive measures concerning 8,815 individuals. Of this amount, preventive detention was used for 5,194 individuals which constitutes 67.1%.
In regard to 2016, preventive detention was applied concerning 3,082 persons (29.1%) from the total of 10,598 cases. Therefore, First Instance Courts used preventive detentions concerning 2,832 less individuals in 2016 as compared to 2000 which means that this figure decreased by 48%.
However, making a comparison of nominal figures is not appropriate when speaking about the changes in the number of preventive detentions over the years. It is necessary to calculate the ratio of preventive detentions (as one of the forms of preventive measures) to preventive measures in the entire accounting period in order to see any real change over the years. For instance, as illustrated in Table 1, the highest number of preventive detentions was registered in 2006 which was 43% more as compared to the figure for 2000. On the other hand, however, the ratio of preventive detentions to preventive measures was 9.1 percentage points less in 2006 as compared to the same figure for 2000. The simple reason behind this is that the total amount of preventive measures in 2006 significantly exceeded the figures for 2000. In particular, preventive measures were applied concerning 8,815 persons in 2000 whilst this number increased by 9,057 in 2006. This example is a fine illustration as to why it is wrong to compare nominal figures.
Table 1:
Preventive Measures Used by First Instance Courts in 2000-2017 and Share of Preventive Detentions in Total Number of Preventive Measures
Year | Total Number of Preventive Measures | Preventive Detentions | |
Total | % | ||
2000 | 8,815 | 5,914 | 67.1 |
2001 | 8,696 | 4,621 | 53.1 |
2002 | 8,848 | 4,518 | 51.1 |
2003 | 9,115 | 5,051 | 55.4 |
2004 | 10,754 | 7,459 | 69.4 |
2005 | 10,964 | 7,159 | 65.3 |
2006 | 17,872 | 10,367 | 58.0 |
2007 | 20,417 | 8,929 | 43.7 |
2008 | 17,250 | 7,806 | 45.3 |
2009 | 16,043 | 8,198 | 51.1 |
2010 | 14,959 | 8,109 | 54.2 |
2011 | 13,309 | 6,558 | 49.3 |
2012 | 9,120 | 3,819 | 41.9 |
2013 | 12,756 | 3,413 | 26.8 |
2014 | 13,644 | 4,365 | 32.0 |
2015 | 12,429 | 3,678 | 29.6 |
2016 | 10,598 | 3,082 | 29.1 |
2017 | 9,501 | 3,249 | 34.2 |
Furthermore, the selection of specific periods is important when making a comparison of data. Sopo Kiladze compares the data for 2000 and 2016. Of note is that the aim of the MP’s speech was to assess the efficiency of judiciary reforms (referring to the “three waves” of judiciary which started in May 2013) implemented under the Georgian Dream. Therefore, it interesting that she took 2000 as the point of departure. In addition, certain questions are raised by using the data for 2016 because the MP was discussing the 2017 report when making her statement. Of note is that the ratio of preventive detentions to preventive measures increased by 5.1 percentage points in 2017 as compared to 2016.
If we compare the data for 2012 and 2017, we will find that the share of preventive detentions as a part of the total amount of preventive measures decreased by only 7.7 percentage points.