Practice Relating to Rule 133. Property Rights of Displaced Persons
Section C. Return of property or compensation
Georgia’s Law on Displaced Persons (1996), as amended to 2010, states:
In case IDPs return to their places of permanent residence after the reasons … [for displacement] have ceased:
a) the relevant bodies of executive authorities and local self-government, including the Ministry of Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia, shall … return to … [them] their legal heritage [and] personal assets, including house and land … , [pay] compensation [for] damage … and guarantee the return and rehabilitation of a damaged apartment to a citizen.
The Law defines an IDP as:
a citizen of Georgia or a stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residency and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to a threat to his or his relatives’ life, health and freedom, as a result of an aggression by a foreign state, an internal conflict or massive violations of human rights.
Georgia’s Law on Displaced Persons (1996), as amended in 2011, states:
Article 1 – The Term IDP and [the] Prohibition of Discrimination
1. Internally displaced person from the occupied territory – IDP is a citizen of Georgia or stateless person permanently residing in Georgia, who was forced to leave his place of permanent residency and seek asylum within the territory of Georgia due to the threat to his life, health and freedom or life, health and freedom of his family members, as a result of aggression of a foreign state, internal conflict o[r] mass violation of human rights or [a]s a result of events determined by … paragraph 11 of article 2 of this Law.
Article 7 - State guarantees [the] rehabilitation of displaced persons at places of their permanent residence
… If [an] IDP after elimination of the reasons enumerated in article 1 of this law returns to his place of permanent residence:
a) [T]he relevant bodies of executive authorities and local self-government, including the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation shall secure the exercise of [IDPs’] constitutional rights[;] shall create [the] necessary social-economic living conditions for … safety at their places of permanent residence; [shall] return to displaced persons their legal heritage, the personal assets, including house[s] and … land in the present condition; the compensation of damage, after estimation of its amount, shall be processed by the local self-government bodies according to the rules established by the government …
b) The amount of damage and the rules of payment of compensations shall be established by the relevant bodies of the executive authorities.
Georgia’s Law on Internally Displaced Persons (2014) states:
Article 6. Definition of an IDP [internationally displaced person]
1. A citizen of Georgia or a stateless person with a status residing in Georgia shall be considered as an IDP, if he/she was forced to leave his/her permanent place of residence because of threat to his/her or his/her family member[s’] life, health or freedom caused by the occupation of the territory by a foreign state, aggression, armed conflict, mass violence and/or massive human rights violations and/or he/she cannot return to his/her permanent place of residence due to the above mentioned reasons.
Article 15. Protection of IDP Property Rights in their Places of … Permanent Residence
1. The State recognizes the IDPs’ right to restitution, which is hereditary, on the real estate they left in the places of permanent residence.
3. After elimination of [the] circumstances as referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 6[,] in case[s] whe[re an] IDP returns to his/her place of permanent residence, the State shall take all possible measures to ensure that the real estate which an IDP had lawfully owned and/or possessed before displacement and w[as] forced to leave, is returned to a lawful owner and possessor.
4. The right envisaged by paragraph 1 of this Article shall be maintained in … cases whe[re] durable housing has been provided to IDPs.
Article 18. State Guarantees for Reintegration after IDPs’ Return to Their Places of Permanent Residence
1. The state shall ensure [the] development of relevant mechanisms supporting [the] reintegration of IDPs [at] places of permanent residence when they return.
2. If IDPs, after elimination of the circumstances referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 6, return to their places of permanent residence, the Ministry [of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia] and other state bodies within the competencies granted to them shall:
c) implement all the necessary activities to ensure that private property, including house[s] and attributed land plot[s], are returned to an IDP or his/her lawful heir in the condition they exist at the time of return. Also[,] when possible, rebuild the destroyed house and ensure its return to IDPs;
d) co-ordinate [the] organization of the issuance of compensation for damage after determination of its limits.
3. Authorized government bodies shall determine rules for determining the amount of damage and the granting of compensation.