4. Law and legislation
Last update: February, 2022
Following independence, Georgia adopted the country’s basic law, a constitution in 1995, which was drafted by a multi-party parliament in accordance with the fundamental principles and norms of international law defining Georgia as a presidential republic.
On October 15, 2010, the new Constitution of Georgia was adopted, which changes the system from a presidential state model to a mixed parliamentary-presidential model.
Georgia is a democratic republic where the rights and freedoms of individuals are of the highest value.
The Constitution of Georgia is a superior law and all other laws and acts of legislation shall comply with it. The following Articles of the Constitution refer to cultural issues:
Article 23: “The Constitution of Georgia shall ensure the inviolability of intellectual property and creative freedom. Interference in creative activity or censorship in the creative sphere is not permissible. Placing a prohibition on the product of a creative work or on its distribution shall not be permissible, unless it violates the legal rights of others”.
Article 34: "The state shall maintain the development of culture, unrestricted participation of citizens in cultural life, expression and enrichment of cultural origins, recognition of national and generic values and a deepening of international cultural relations. Each citizen of Georgia shall be obliged to protect and preserve the cultural heritage. The state shall protect cultural heritage by law."
Article 38: “ Citizens of Georgia are equal in social, economic, cultural and political life regardless of national, ethnic, religious or linguistic origin. The freedom of citizens to use freely their native language and to develop their culture is safeguarded.
Last update: February, 2022
The procedures for allocation of state funds for culture in Georgia are determined by the Constitution, Law on the State Budget of Georgia, and the annual state budget laws.
The Cabinet of Ministers develops and submits to the Parliament the draft State Budget. It is the role of the Parliament to approve the State Budget on the proposal of the Prime Minister and supervise its implementation. The annual state budget law approves the amount of revenues and expenditures for the following year, including centralized and local ones.
All proposals for the allocation of state funds for culture are based on the country development estimates and forecasts for the next year.
Culture action plans are prepared and aggregated in the preparation of the draft state budget, which is initiated several months prior to the next budget year.
All budget institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs submit, in accordance with the administrative hierarchy, their budget requests and forecasts to the Ministry which integrates them into a single application.
Under Georgian legislation (The Law on Culture, Article 29) financing of the cultural sector shall be determined by the state budget:
- The state safeguards the protection and development of culture by allocating finance under the state programme; and
- Cultural activity determined by the state programme is financed from the state budget in compliance with the Constitution and the Law on the Budgetary System and other acts of legislation.
In accordance with the Law on the State Budget of Georgia, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs is allocated a total amount for culture, sports and youth affairs. These funds are dispensed among the subordinate organizations, legal entities under public law and specific state programmes for culture, cultural heritage, sports and youth affairs. Specific programmes are designed for the various spheres of culture.
Local authorities allocate approximately 30% of all state expenditure on culture (in the 1990s the share of municipal (the Tbilisi city hall) and regional (the Autonomous Republic of Adjara) expenditures was higher). Some spheres of culture are financed from various state institutions, namely: archives are funded from the budget of the Ministry of Justice; the national library from the budget of the Georgian Parliament; while public TV and radio broadcasting has direct funding from the state budget.
In addition to these programmes, the state budget contains reserve funds for the Georgian Government and Parliament. The funds from these reserves are held for emergencies, such as disasters or for payment of unforeseen state liabilities. The reserve funds are dispensed via the relevant ministries. In rare cases, funds from the reserves are allocated to culture.
In compliance with Article 14 of the Tax Code, similar reserve funds are created in the local budgets of the autonomous republics.
Under the Law on Culture the state supports donations and sponsorship of private individuals and legal entities in the sphere of culture using tax incentives and other privileges established by Georgian legislation. However, Article 14 is not supported by adequate definitions in the Tax Code or other acts of legislation.
Last update: February, 2022
In Georgia, there is no definite legislation to regulate social security provision for the cultural sector, although various kinds of security are provided under other legislation. In particular:
- Law of Georgia on State Pension (December 23, 2005. №2442-rs)
- Law of Georgia on Social Assistance (LHG, 51, 31/12/2006)
- Law of Georgia on State Compensation and State Academic Scholarships (December 27, 2005. №2549-rs) (applies to scientists and not artists).
State programmes for social and health care are administered by the LEPL Social Service Agency under the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. The function of the Agency is to provide maximum assistance to the contingent in need of various services or assistance, through social benefits as well as state health and social programmes. The Agency serves 2.5 million Georgian citizens (about 60 percent of the Georgian population).
Under the Law on Art Workers and Art Unions, Article 8, paragraph 2, social security and pension provision for artists shall be implemented under the relevant acts of legislation.
The Law on Social Security for Researchers / Scientists regulates the creation of safeguards and conditions for the work of scientists. While culture is not mentioned specifically in the legislation, it is applicable to some cultural workers.
General unemployment in Georgia is a major issue for the government to tackle and therefore the cultural sector has not yet been singled out for specific development.
According to the 2021 data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat), the official employment rate in the population is 22%. Unofficially it reaches 50%. Presumably in the field of culture this number is much higher.
To alleviate the grave social situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the government, which did not have an unemployment benefit scheme before the crisis, has introduced two new temporary measures: unemployment benefits for previously officially employed and assistance for the self-employed.
1. Unemployment benefits for previously officially employed persons
Beneficiaries in this category were selected through the National Tax Registry, which contains data on the payment of income tax by all individuals.
The government estimates that about 350 000 people met the requirements for receiving this transfer, which is a very high figure in relation to the number of officially employed persons.
The transfer amount was 200 GEL (62 USD) per month/person and benefits were provided for 6 months. The total budget of the transfer is 460 million GEL (143 million USD).
Payment of benefits terminated as soon as the beneficiary got a new official job and was re-registered in the taxpayer register.
2. Assistance for the self-employed
Self-employment is very common in Georgia, accounting for 45% of all employment and 36% of non-agricultural employment. Under the resolution of the Government, assistance was provided to the self-employed in the form of a one-time payment of 300 GEL (93 USD).
The total budget for the transfer is estimated at 75 million GEL (23 million USD), providing assistance to 250 000 self-employed.
The selection of beneficiaries in this category is complicated because most of the self-employed are not registered in any public database. To solve this problem, the government decided that the self-employed should submit any proof of income.
These two categories of benefits cover part of the employment in the field of culture, but do not include those who do not have a stable and registered income.
Last update: February, 2022
There are few legal incentives for investment in culture in Georgia. This sphere is regulated by general legislation. The Tax Code determines some tax privileges, such as exempting the following areas from tax payments: the sale and printing of tickets for theatre and circus performances, classical music concerts and museums; the import of scientific and creative books and fiction, books and magazines written by citizens of Georgia, as well as the importation of Georgian classics published abroad; and services relating to the sale of, import, distribution, delivery and printing of periodicals and fiction.
There are no special tax rules or exemptions for creative individuals.
Construction of temples and churches as charities are tax exempt in compliance with Article 172 of the Tax Code. This category of buildings benefits more from the legislation than the restoration of cultural heritage for which the law was intended.
Under the Tax Code of Georgia, restoration and reconstruction work on monuments included in the UNESCO world heritage list is exempted from VAT (18%).
In spite of long debates and drafted bills, the Law on Donations and Sponsorship has not been adopted.
To promote the film industry, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia initiated an amendment to the Tax Code of Georgia which will mean that producers that obtain funding from the National Film Centre will be charged income tax only after the release of a film. Under the previous regulation, the funds allocated from the state budget were charged tax before the release of a film, which hindered film producers in their use of the funds. Film producers have been also authorised to charge the 100% depreciation on the released film as an intangible asset. Amendments to the Tax Code came into effect on 1 January 2015 in the form of additions to paragraphs 65, 66, 67 of Article 309. From July 1, 2018, the income of a person with the status of a small business has been taxed at a rate of 1%, which promotes the activities of small entrepreneurs employed in cultural industries.
Last update: February, 2022
Article 14 of the Constitution of Georgia deals with two fundamental rights – “freedom" and "equality". This norm applies to all areas protected by human rights and legitimate interests, including labor relations. In addition, Article 26 of the Constitution guarantees the right to form and join trade unions. Article 33 of the Constitution also recognizes the right to strike.
The Labour Code of Georgia was adopted on 25 May 2006. It abolished the Law on Collective Agreements and Engagements, which was used sometimes in labor relations with creative workers.
The 2006 Labour Code rejected the concept that the labour law is a law of protective nature and was assessed as a law customized to the interests of the employer. In this context, significant problems of non-compliance with international labour standards were identified.
At the end of 2010, as a result of the constitutional reform in the country, the status of the Labour Code was changed and it became an organic law (Organic Law of Georgia "Labour Code of Georgia" (4113-rs 17/12/2010)).
The Labour Code of Georgia was significantly amended in July 2013. Many aspects of labour relations have been regulated in a new way.
According to Article 1 (2) of the Labour Code, "issues related to labour relations, which are not regulated by this law or other special law, shall be regulated by the norms of the Civil Code of Georgia".
The Labour Code of Georgia recognizes a collective agreement as a source of regulation of labour relations. The Labour Code emphasizes the principle of autonomy of will of the subjects of collective labour relations and therefore, according to Article 41 (3) of the Labor Code, "the parties themselves determine the terms of the collective agreement".
The Labour Code of Georgia (4113-rs 17/12/2010) supports the protection of fundamental human rights, fair remuneration, and labour safety standards.
In addition to this Code, labour issues are regulated by the Law on Public Service, which regulates the labour relations of public servants (including in the sphere of culture).
Under the Law on Art Workers and Art Unions, Article 8, paragraph 1, an art worker may work in a freelance capacity, be directly employed or work under another type of contract. However, today this law is idle.
In Georgia, there is a trade union for workers in the cultural sector but there is no trend of negotiations on agreements and contracts between employers and trade unions on working conditions.
There is no definite legislation to regulate labour relations in the sphere of culture.
Last update: February, 2022
The main legislative act regulating copyright and related rights in Georgia is the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (1999). In addition, Georgia is a member of:
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (since May 16, 1995);
- The Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (since 14 August 2004);
- The World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WCT) and World Intellectual Property Organization Performance and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) since May 20, 2002:
- The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 14 June 2000.
As for the issues related to the infringements of copyright and related rights, they are regulated by the following legislative acts:
- Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia (Articles: 1571, 1572, 1573 and 239);
- Criminal Code (Article 189);
- Law of Georgia on Border Measures Related to Intellectual Property, which defines special mechanisms to prevent the import and export of counterfeit goods
In Georgian legislation, relations on copyright in the sphere of intellectual property and moral rights relating to the creation of a scientific, literary and art work are regulated by the Law on Copyright and Related Rights (1999). Copyright – the integral / essential right of work / art is the homogenous right - which includes the moral rights, economic rights and related rights - of the author. This Law regulates the relations allied to the copyright of performers, phonogram and videogram makers, broadcasting and database makers. State policy in the protection of copyright and related rights is implemented and safeguarded by the National Centre for Intellectual Property, SAKPATENTI.
Copyright accrued within the creation of scientific, literary and art works is safeguarded under the Law. In relation to royalties, the state has established the following guidelines: reproduction of creative products is allowed where they have been legally published or are regarded as common property due to public distribution / awareness; the sum of royalties and terms of payment shall be established under the law, on the one side, and under the contract between the parties, on the other side. In circumstances where the royalty rights are unclear, either party can request a decision from SAKPATENTI.
The legislation determines copyright relating to on-air broadcasting.
The Law on Copyright and Related Rights (1999) separately defines the so-called Artist's Resale Right “Droit de suit” of the author of fine arts and photographic works, that means a right granted to artists or their heirs to receive a fee on the resale of their works of art.
Authors can exercise their rights both individually and collectively through a property rights management organization.
Georgian Copyright Association (GCA) - This collective management organization was created by authors and neighboring rights' holders and has been functioning since 1999. GCA has more than 2000 local members.
Association is granted the authority to represent not only local authors and neighboring rights holders but also foreign authors and neighboring rights holders through the reciprocal representation agreements with foreign sister societies. GCA has established more than 200 agreements with foreign sister societies and represents more than 5 million authors and neighboring rights' holders in Georgia.
Last update: February, 2022
The provisions on data protection in Georgia are available within the Law on Copyright and Related Rights. The Law establishes the rights of authors and owners of software and databases, and enables the authorised users of original databases or their copies to make necessary changes for the normal operation of the customers' hardware without the consent of the author or a person who owns the copyright on the software and databases.
The Law on Telecommunications (2005) establishes the legal and economic principles for the operation of the electronic communication networks and resources all over Georgia. The Law establishes the principles of creation and regulation of a competitive environment in this sphere. The National Communications Commission of Georgia is the regulatory authority in relation to the Law on Telecommunications (2005), Law on Broadcasting (2004), and Law on Independent National Regulatory Authorities (09.13.2002). The terms of reference of the Commission covers the drafting and adoption of relevant statutory acts.
However, data protection is recognized as a major issue in Georgia. Some efforts to resolve problems in this area were made by the State Department on Information Provision which has drafted the Bill on E-documents, E-signatures, E-agreements and E-commerce.
Consequently, in 2017, the Law on Electronic Document and Electronic Trusted Services was adopted. (639-IIs 21/04/2017)
Last update: February, 2022
The official language of Georgia is Georgian. In the territory of Abkhazia there are two official languages – Georgian and Abkhazian.
- Law on Official Language - 22/07/2015 / N 4084-RS /. The law enforces the constitutional status of the state language, establishes the legal basis for its use and protection, and regulates legal relations of the functioning of state and non-state languages.
The Constitution of Georgia obliges all departments, municipal services and users to use the Georgian language and all official versions of legislative texts must be published in Georgian. In order to promote integration of minorities and their participation in the state administration, the Ministry of Education and Science arranges intensive teaching of the official language.
The Constitution of Georgia provides for the equality of all citizens regardless of their national, ethnic, religious or language background. Freedom for citizens to use their native language and to practice their culture is safeguarded. In addition to the Constitution, the rights of minorities are specified in the Laws on General Education, on Culture, and on Broadcasting.
Under the Law on Broadcasting (Article 16, paragraph l), public broadcasting shall "place programmes in the languages of minorities, about minorities and prepared by minorities in accordance with their share in the total population". Accordingly, Georgian radio and TV have special news programmes in some languages (Abkhaz, Azeri, Armenian, Russian and Ossetian). In addition, there is special public broadcasting in the Abkhaz and Ossetian languages, which covers a part of Abkhazia and the total region of "South Ossetia". While Georgia has public schools in Azeri, Armenian and Russian, in Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia the right of Georgians to study their native language is completely restricted.
Last update: February, 2022
|Laws providing financing|
|Law on the Budgetary System||29.12.2004|
|Law on the State Budget of Georgia||2005|
|The Tax Code||17.09.2010 /N3591-IIს/|
|The public laws that determine the legal status, rules of activity and terms of reference of the state institutions of various levels|
|Law on Structure, Authority and Procedures of the Government of Georgia||11.02.2004./N3277-IIს/|
|Law on Public Service||31.10. 1997/ N 1022 – Is /|
|Law on Legal Entities under Public Law||28.05.1999./N 2052 - Ibis/|
|The Organic Law on Self Government||16.12.2005/2304-rs/|
|Law on Independent National Regulatory Authorities||13.09. 2002 /N1666-Is|
|Concordat- Constitutional Agreement between the State and the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Georgia||2002|
|Law of Georgia on Innovations||22 .06.2016, N5501-IIs|
|Law on Electronic Communications||02.06.2005/1514-Iს/|
|Law on Art Workers and Art Unions||26.07.1999 /LHG, 24(31)|
|Competition Law||25/05/2012 /6148-Iს /|
|Gender Equality Law||12/04/2010 (LHG, 18,)|
|General Administrative Code of Georgia||15/07/1999 / LHG, 32(39),|
|Criminal Code of Georgia||13/08/1999 / LHG, 41(48),|
Last update: February, 2022
The legislative structure of the cultural sector in Georgia includes the following:
- Many laws and acts of legislation passed by the Parliament;
- Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Georgia;
- President's decrees, edicts, decisions and instructions of respective ministries and governmental agencies; and
- Decisions of local authorities.
The legislation on culture is continually reorganized, revised and refreshed, which requires a great number of new changes to the laws and instructions.
The laws determining the structures of cultural policy or declaration of principles
In order to guarantee the constitutional principles, the following laws in the cultural sector have been adopted:
The Law on Culture (1997) is guided by the Constitution and considers the centuries-old cultural tradition and world experience in the cultural sphere. The law is the legislative base for development of culture and protection and maintenance of cultural values in Georgia. Cultural heritage is defined as the main state priority in the Law on Culture.
The aim of the Law on Culture is to protect the rights of citizens in the sphere of culture; to determine legislative norms and principles for the use of cultural values and results of creative work; to determine the responsibility of individuals and legal entities for the maintenance and protection of cultural values; to ensure non-interference of the state in the creative process and free cultural activity of Georgian citizens; to promote the involvement of Georgian culture in the universal system of cultural processes and to carry out international obligations undertaken by the state.
According to the Constitution, this Law reinforces the right of an individual to carry out cultural activities and this is the integral and inviolable right of all citizens. All citizens of Georgia are entitled to carry out free creative and cultural work according to his / her interests and abilities.
The legislation determines a creative worker as an author, reproducer or interpreter of cultural values in the development of the intellectual and creative process.
The re-established Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth plans to create the Code of Culture in 2021.
Table 3a: List of existing cultural legislation
|Title of the act||Year of adoption|
|Laws setting out cultural policy frameworks or declarations of principle|
|Law on Culture||12.06.1997.N 751 - Is|
|Laws establishing the scope, operation(s), governing structure(s) and procedures for funding cultural institutions|
|Law on Cultural Heritage||08.05.2007./N 4708 – Is /|
|Law on Architectural Activity||14.04.1998. /1335–IIs/|
|Law on State Supervision of Architectural and Construction Activity (last amended in 2009)||14.11.1997. /N1105-Is /|
|Concerning Spatial Organization and City Construction Basis (last amendment 2011)||02.06.2005. /1506-Is/|
|Law on Design||04.05.2010. /3030-Is/.|
|Law on Museums (last amendment 2007)||22.06.2001. /990 – IIs/(|
|Law on Professional Theatres||24.04.2013. / 530-IIs/|
|Law on State Support to National Cinematography||05.12.2000. /N655- Is/|
|Law on Creative Workers and Creative Unions (last amendment 2011)||08.06.1999./2059–IIs/|
|Law on Library Management||11.06.1996./N 267 - IIs/|
|Law on the Import and Export of Cultural Goods||22.06.2001./N 985 - IIs/|
|Law on Copyright and Related Rights||22.06.1999. /2112–IIs/|
|Law on Limitary Measures in Connection with Intellectual Property||22.06.1999. /2159–IIს/|
|Law on Broadcasting||23.12.2004. /780–rs/|
|Law On National Archive Fund and National Archive||29.12.2006. /4205-rs/|
|Law on Official Language||22.07.2015. /N 4084-rs /|
Table 3b: International legal instruments implemented by Georgia in the cultural field
|Title of the act||Year of adoption|
|The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948||20.05.1999|
|European Cultural Convention, 19|
|International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966||03 .08. 1994|
|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Charter.||7 .10.1992|
|Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, 14 November 1970; UNESCO||04.02.1993|
|Convention concerning the International Exchange of Publications (Paris, 3 December 1958); UNESCO||04.11.1993|
|Convention concerning the Exchange of Official Publications and Government Documents between States (Paris, 3 December 1958); UNESCO||04.11.1993|
|Convention against Discrimination in Education (Paris, 14 December 1960); UNESCO||04.02.1993|
|Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Paris, 16 November 1972); UNESCO||04.02.1993|
|Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon, 11 April 1997)||01.12.1999|
|Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the European Region (Paris, 21 December 1979); UNESCO||04.12.1992|
|International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome, 26 October 1961)||14/08/2004|
|Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict; The Hague, 14 May 1954 ,UNESCO||04.12.1992|
|Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict; the 1999 Second protocol ; UNESCO||2009|
|Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage; (Paris, 3 November, 2003), UNESCO||18.06.2008|
|Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions; (Paris, 20 October, 2005); UNESCO||01.10.2008|
|Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage; Revised:||01 .08.2000; 14.10. 2000|
|The Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (updated) Rotterdam January 30, 2017.||01.07.2019|
|Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works WIPO, 1986; Revised by the 1971 Paris Act||16/05/1995|
|The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty of December 20, 1996 ( WCT WIPO, 1996);||23/05/2001|
|Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms (1971) .WIPO||20.05.2002|
|The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty of December 20, 1996 (WPPT);||23.05.2001|
|The Brussels Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement); TRIPS , WTO, 1995;||14.06.2000|
|The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society,||08.10.2010|
|Black Sea Convention on Cooperation in the Fields of Culture, Education,|
Science and Information, 6 March 1993;
|UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, 27 June, 1995||27.06.1995|
|Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883, as Revised at Stockholm in 1967||14.06.1993|
|Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), as modified in Washington in 2001||14.06.1993|
|Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks of June 15, 1957, as revised in Geneva in 1979||28.02.2003|
|The Madrid System (or Madrid protocol) for the International Registration of Marks, June 27, 1989||20.08.1998|
|The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs 31/12/1967 (1999)||23.12.2003|
|Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, 31/12/1961||01.08.2003|
|Locarno Agreement. Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs (1968)|
Last update: February, 2022
Cultural heritage in Georgia is regulated by the Cultural Heritage Law which was adopted on 27 June 2007.
The purpose of this Law is to protect the cultural heritage of Georgia and to provide regulations in this sphere. Georgia is also keen to protect Georgian cultural heritage abroad. It transfers some powers of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth to municipal authorities. Questions concerning the status of immovable monuments of culture of Tbilisi are to be addressed by municipal authorities.
The Cultural Heritage Law (2007) defines the terms and general mechanisms that will protect the cultural heritage against any encroachment. Protection is provided to all immovable monuments, movable parts of immovable monuments, movable monuments as well as to the objects with monument signs and immovable monument protection zones in the whole territory of Georgia, irrespective of the form of ownership.
As compared with the old Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage (1999), the 2007 Cultural Heritage Law covers a wider range of activities, is more specific in determining the rights and obligations related to cultural heritage, and is more rigorous in the formulation of principles for establishment of monument status.
On 2 September 2005, the government of Georgia passed the Resolution on the Rules of the Issue of Permits for Execution of Works on Monuments of History and Culture and Archaeological Digs. Work carried out on monuments of history and culture is regulated at state level. The new revision of this Law is aimed at improving the application of this legislation.
The control of permits / requirements is provided through the Law on State Control of Architecture and Construction Activity. State supervision of compliance with the terms of permits / requirements in the heritage field is undertaken by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection.
New statutory acts reinforced and strengthened delimitation of responsibilities regarding protection and control of the monuments of history and culture.
The Law on Museums was passed on 22 June 2001 and takes guidance from the Law on Culture and the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage (25.06.1999); the aims and purposes of the Law are to determine the basic principles of museum activity and use of museums; to provide state guarantees for museum activity; and to develop administration and financing principles for the system of museums. The Law determines categories of museums, regulates non-state involvement in museum activity and determines the rights and obligations of legal and natural persons in the sphere of museum activities.
The Law on Import-export of Cultural Objects was adopted on 22 June 2001, to determine the universal rules for importing and exporting cultural objects.
After the adoption of the Concordat (signed in 2000 with the church), the legislation regulating the heritage sector has suffered a legal vacuum as no laws and acts of legislation interpreting the principles determined in the Concordat and delimiting the rights on the property of the state and the church have been passed.
The Law On National Archive Fund and National Archive regulates the activity of the National Archives.
Drafting of the Cultural Heritage Code is underway.
Last update: February, 2022
The Law on Professional Theatres was passed in 2013, which appears to be a hasty response to the Law on State Theatres of 2006.
TheLaw of Professional Theatres aims to:
- Providing legal safeguards for the creative freedom of theatrical activity;
- Preserving the identity of the national theatrical culture;
- Promoting the development of national theatrical art;
- Ensuring access to theatrical art.
The objectives of this Law are:
- To protect the legal safeguards of the activities of professional state, municipal, mixed and private theatres;
- To ensure the free creative activity of theatres;
- To promote the implementation of innovative projects;
- To pursue a consistent policy of state support for the theatrical arts;
- To ensure the professional development of theatre artists;
- To improve the material and technical basis of theatres and ensure social security guarantees for theatre artists;
- To contribute to the creation of audio, video and electronic versions of performances
- To ensure access for spectators to theatre performances;
- To develop international contacts.
The state is not permitted to interfere in or control the creative process in theatres.
The former Law on Public Theatres (2006)provided for the centralization of the management of theatre structures through concentration of responsibilities in a theatre director (supervisor / administrator). The theatre directors were solely accountable to the state authority for the general control of theatres, including administrative, economic, routine and financial control. The position of "art director" has lost its responsibilities as the legislation lacks the levers supporting and ensuring decision-making in the creative sphere. This provision has produced a discrepancy in the distribution of responsibilities between the director and art director and violated the rights of the latter.
In contrast, the Law on Professional Theatres (2013) excessively strengthens the powers of the art director, who will undertake both the creative duties and unreasonably extensive administrative, business, economic, and financial obligations that will result in irreversible management and staff problems in the future.
Last update: February, 2022
There are no separate laws on the visual arts and crafts in Georgian legislation. The regulation of these fields of art is subject to the general law “On Culture”.
Last update: February, 2022
Publishing activities in Georgia are regulated by the Law on Entrepreneurs (02/08/2021 875-Vrs-Xmp). This law regulates the legal forms of an entrepreneur, the procedures for their establishment and registration, and issues related to their activities. The control over entrepreneurial, and hence, publishing activities, is exercised by the Law of Georgia on Control of Entrepreneurial Activity (29/12/2006)
There are small benefits in the Tax Code to promote Georgian literature. These apply in particular to the import of scientific and creative books and fiction, books and magazines written by citizens of Georgia, as well as the import of Georgian classics published abroad; and services relating to the sale of, import, distribution, delivery and printing of periodicals and fiction.
The mandatory library copies (legal deposits) in Georgia are regulated by the Law of Georgia on Legal Deposit(01.08.2014 N2645-rs). This law defines state policy in the field of legal deposits and along with other laws of Georgia, creates the legal grounds for establishing a national bibliographic data bank; it also ensures the production and development of a Georgian national bibliography and the protection, preservation and availability of tangible documentary heritage.
Article 5 of this Law defines the types of legal deposits:
- Printed documents (any publication that contains textual information - books, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, music scores, geographical maps, atlases, etc.; periodical publications, almanacs, annuals; fact sheet publications - bills, booklets, programmes, etc; visual publications - posters, prints - plates, reproductions of works of art, calendars, labels, postcards, philatelic catalogues, etc.), that have undergone editorial and publishing review, and have authentic print design and are accompanied by notices of intended publication;
- Publications for partially or completely blind persons - publications produced by relief - dotted print or the Braille system, relief-graphic publications, audio books, large-print publications for persons with low vision, electronic publications for blind persons (adapted editions with the use of Braille displays and speech synthesizers);
- Audiovisual production - film, video, phonographic, photo productions and their combinations, produced and reproduced on any recording medium;
- Electronic documents - documents containing information stored in electronic - digital format which have undergone editorial and publishing review, and are accompanied by notices of intended publication and are circulated and distributed by means of an electronic medium;
- Unpublished documents - documents containing scientific research, research and development and technological studies (dissertations, abstracts, deposited scientific works);
- Combined documents - collections of multimedia documents produced on any recording medium (printed, audiovisual, electronic);
- Postage stamps.
The ISBN, ISMN and ISSN Department exists at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, which, in agreement with the ISBN and ISMN International Agency and the ISSN International Centre, issues international standard numbers to publishers and authors, renders control over assignment and maintenance of the numbers, actively participates in the organization and further development of the international network, and raises awareness of the standards of international agencies.
In case of ISBN assignment, printed products are exempt from VAT.
The Law on Library Management (11/06/1996) regulates the general issues of library organizations. It defines libraries as cultural-educational, scientific-informational institutions, whose main social function is to effectively and fully apply its funds and other library resources to benefit the users.
The universal library network includes public and non-public, local and departmental library networks. The library system covers the National Library, training libraries, public libraries, children's libraries, school libraries and special library networks.
The main library of the public network is the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia, and special libraries also operate in the republics of Abkhazia and Ajaria.
The public library network is established according to the territorial and departmental principles.
The lack of tax exemptions in the law prevents the development of private libraries. Instead, there are efforts to own the premises where the libraries are placed and thereby to stop their operation.
Last update: February, 2022
The Law on State Support for National Cinematography was passed on 5 December 2000. As well as determining the legal mechanisms for state support to national cinematography, the Law establishes the status of a national film, the legislative base for financing its production and distribution, the legal status of a respective organization operating in the film sphere and outlines the basic principles of state support for film-making. These basic principles are expressed in creation of guarantees for creative activity and creative freedom, in protection of copyright and concerning integration of Georgian cinematography in the world film process etc. The Law takes into consideration the Laws on Culture and on Protection of Copyright and Related Rights.
The Law on Press and Other Mass Media was passed on 10 August 1991 which declared freedom for the mass media (was valid until 2004).
The Law of Georgia on Broadcasting was passed on 23 December 2004, which was drafted with the expert support of the EU. The law defines the rules of broadcasting, rules and functions of an independent regulatory body in the field of broadcasting, terms of regulation of activity in this field, licensing rules and procedures in accordance with the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression and free entrepreneurship. The purpose of this Law is to formulate public broadcasting that is independent from state interference; to regulate the broadcasting activities in accordance with the principles of transparency, fairness and impartiality; to ensure the effective use of freedom of speech and opinion, stimulating a competitive environment among broadcasters, equality and independence of license holders, and effective use of frequencies.
This Law determines the obligations of public broadcasting to protect the public interest in the sphere of news, public and political, educational, cultural and sport programmes. Public broadcasters are also obliged by the Law to create some programmes that reflect the ethnic, cultural, language, religious, age and gender diversity of the population.
Provisions on protection of data are also available within the applicable Law on Copyright and Related Rights (22/06/1999/2112-IIs), and the Law on Limiting Measures in Connection with Intellectual Property (23/06/1999/N2159-IIs).
By the Law of Georgia on Freedom of Speech and Expression, (24/06/2004 / # 220), the state recognizes and protects freedom of speech and expression as invincible and supreme human values.
The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) operates under the Law on Electronic Communications) (2005) (amendment -20.11.2013 # 1591), Broadcasting (2004), Independent National Regulatory Authorities (2002), and on the Independent Regulatory Commission (2005).
Law on Independent National Regulatory Authorities -13.09. 2002 /N1666-Is. The purpose of this law is to create the stable legal basis and perfect institutional environment for the sustainable operation of the national regulatory authorities in order to provide, in the various spheres of the economy, the balancing of interests of license holders and consumers, effective pricing and providing services and goods.
Law on Electronic Communications, 02.06.2005/1514-Iს/. This law establishes the legal and economic basis of activity for electronic communication networks and facilities on the territory of Georgia, the principles of formation and regulation of the competitive environment in this sphere, the functions of the independent national regulatory authority (Georgian National Communication Commission), the rights and duties of natural persons and legal entities during ownership of electronic communication networks and facilities, their operation and service provision.
When the Laws onElectronic Communications and on Broadcasting came into effect, the legal status of broadcasting companies radically changed.
Under the Law on Broadcasting three types of companies were recognized – public, community and private. The State Broadcasting Company was reorganized into a public television company and its status, content obligations, programme priorities and other issues were to be regulated by the Law on Broadcasting. The GNCC performs the function of monitoring the execution of the Law on Protection of Minors from Detrimental Effect. The Commission also monitors compliance with the Law on Protection of Copyright and Related Rights in the broadcasting sector.
Last update: February, 2022
The responsibilities of the state in the field of culture and creative services are declared in the Law on Culture.
Architecture, as one of the most important arts that combines cultural heritage, the creative industries and the construction business, requires a balanced and stable legal framework for support and development and is governed by the following package of laws:
- Law on Architectural Activity (1998);
- Law on Cultural Heritage (2007);
- Law on State Supervision of Architectural and Construction Activity (1997);
- Law on Spatial Management and Urban Planning Principles (2005);
- Law on Environmental Protection (1996);
- Law on State Control of Environmental Protection (2005); and
- Law on State Ecological Assessment (1996).
The Law on Architectural Activity was passed on 14 April 1998 to create and develop an adequate, eco-friendly, aesthetic environment and to promote architectural art in Georgia.
The environmental assessment of architectural design is carried out in compliance with the Law on State Environmental Assessment.
Together with the Architecture and Construction Inspection Agency, state supervision of the monuments of culture is undertaken by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection.
The significant Law on Spatial Management and Urban Planning Principles, passed on 2 June 2005, regulates the process of spatial management and urban planning in Georgia.
In the cultural sector, environmental protection is regulated by the general legislation regardless of the field – by the Law on Environment Protection and the Law on State Control of Environmental Protection.
The Law of Design (04.05. 2010 /3030-Is/) recognizes the inviolability of the right of ownership of intellectual property; it regulates the relations connected with creation, registration, use, legal protection of design and the rights thereof. The law is extended to the design which is registered under the procedure established by the law in the industrial property register by the National Centre for Intellectual Property - SAKPATENTI - or to which the international registration is extended.The Law on Advertising (18/02/1998) regulates the legal relations arising during the production, placement and distribution of advertisements in the commodity (works, services) and financial markets of Georgia.