Georgian parliament adopts new defense code
New defense code in Georgia
On April 4, at a plenary session of the Parliament, a new defense code of Georgia was adopted. The bill was supported by eighty deputies, with two opposed.
What is written in the code:
● The duration of compulsory military service, which will be called National Conscripted Military Service, on differential terms: formerly twelve months, six months for service in a combat unit, eight months for service in security and safety units, eleven months for service in junior command positions and in predetermined specialties.
● National compulsory military service only in the system of the Ministry of Defense. Accordingly, conscripts will no longer have to serve on bases of the special service for the execution of sentences, the special state security service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. Once the bill is passed, this change will come into effect in 2025.
● Conscription through random selection through an electronic system, the management and operation of which are determined by the Government of Georgia. This detail – that the management of conscription will be in the hands of the government, not the ministry – is spelled out in the code, in which the main duties are assigned to the Ministry of Defense.
● According to the principle of “general defense”, the types of military service are divided as follows: fixed-term military service (divided into professional and national) and reserve of defense forces (divided into active and mobilization reserves).
● Changes will try to ensure that the reserve is staffed with people who have completed military service. Those aged 18 to 60 will be enrolled in the reserve. Upon reaching the age of 18, a citizen is enrolled in an unprepared mobilization reserve.
● A citizen enrolled in an unprepared mobilization reserve, unless otherwise provided by law, until he reaches the age of 27, is not removed from the register of conscripts for the national military service and is subject to conscription for the national military service.
● Regarding the deferral system, another important change is the increase in the cost of deferment. If under the current legislation citizens aged 18 to 25 (conscription up to 27 years, although persons over 25 could not defer compulsory military service for 18 months) can pay 2,000 lari [about $800] twice each, then after the adoption of the new code the amount will rise to 10,000 lari [about $4,000], and it will be possible to pay only once.
● The new defense code aims to improve conditions and benefits for conscripts and military personnel, but at the same time one of the goals is to close loopholes in the legislation.
● For example, there will be no legal loophole where bogus “religious organizations” give the opportunity to defer. Thus the religious organization Biblical Freedom, created by the Girchi party, helped avoidance of conscription.
- Military conscription in Georgia – defense of the homeland or free protection?
- Op-ed: Homeland is a sacred word, army is not. A look into some Georgian patriotism idiosyncrasies
- Photo report: Georgia’s Akhalkalaki: life after Russian troops withdrew from the base
It should be noted that after the protests related to the bill “on foreign agents”, which the government eventually withdrew, the authorities also changed the clause on conscription of students, according to which the status of a student will not help a person to delay compulsory military service, and he can be called upon on the basis of the principle of random selection.
Instead, the call for students under the age of 23 should become exclusively voluntary, and if they wish, they will be able to pay monthly fees during the holidays once a year for four years.
Changes under the new code are aimed at providing additional benefits to conscripts and soldiers so that people are not motivated to avoid military service. However, experts are wondering to what extent such well-being will be sufficient to increase the motivation of citizens to serve in the army.
As it is written in an explanatory note to the bill, the serviceman will receive the right to travel free of charge on railway and municipal transport, will have a 50% discount on payment for electricity, natural gas, drinking water and cleaning services. The remaining 50% will be reimbursed from the state budget, i.e. from the annual budget allocated to the Ministry of Defense.
Follow us – Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
It is planned to increase the salaries of conscripts. Conscripts will retain their jobs, regardless of the organizational and legal form of the institution.
The compensation paid in case of injury or death of a serviceman is also changing. Under the current law, in case of injury or injury a serviceman receives 7,000 lari [about $2,800], and under the new law, it will increase to 20,000 lari [about $8,000]. In the event of death, the amount of compensation is now 15,000 lari [about $6,000], and will increase to 30,000 [about $12,000].
The one-time allowance of 100,000 lari [about $40,000], established in 2013, in case of death as a result of martial law or death as a result of damage to health remains unchanged.