Founding Council and the Drafting Process of the 1921 Constitution of Georgia

Malkhaz Matsaberidze


Drafting and Approving the Constitution of Georgia is considered to be one of the crucial events following the Act of Independence (26 May 1918). The paper shows that the Act of Independence served as a basis for the 1921 Constitution, clearly setting the primary principles of state organization: state sovereignty, democratic republic as a political form of independent Georgia; neutrality, respect towards other countries, especially with the neighbour ones; full civic and political freedom, in spite of sex, nationality, religion and social status; free development of all national minorities. The activities and deeds of the Constitutional Commission of the National Council (Parliament of Georgia) of Georgia (June 6, 1918 – March 8, 1919) and that of the Constitutional Commission of the Founding Council (March 18, 1919 – February 21, 1921) are analyzed in some details.
The both Constitutional Commissions were structured according to the party principle and considering the balance of those days political parties, Social-Democrats hold overwhelming majority in the Council. First and foremost the political conception was elaborated by the Constitutional Committee, serving as a foundation for the Constitution. Obviously, it was determined on the basis of the doctrine of the Social-Democrats. The heavy contention over various issues within the Constitutional Committee did not eliminate constructive cooperation over others among the representative of various parties.
The paper demonstrates that the authors of the 1921 Constitution referred to the: 1. Experience of the World Constitutionalism; 2. Pre-Revolutionary Traditions; 3. Doctrine of Social-Democrats; 4. Those days practice of the state-building of Georgia. Constitutions of various countries were referred as sources for the Committee, as well as different works of foreign authors in the filed of Constitutionalism were reflected through comparative perspective.
The authors of Constitution did not follow blindfold to the western models as long as it was clear for them that there was the need for something different grounded in the reality of Georgia. This was determined by the peculiar historical-geographical space, culture-economic and international circumstances. The critical approach to the various experiences was characteristic to the working process on the 1921 Constitution of Georgia, grounded on the desire of drafting proper Constitution for the existing reality of the country. The process of creation of Constitution procrastinated; although one positive aspect of the course of developments could be easily grasped: the Constitution was based on the existing practise of statehood of Georgia.
The project of constitution was published in the beginning of June, 1920, comprised of 17 Chapters and 166 Paragraphs. The discussion of the project of the constitution opened on November, 24, 1920 by the Founding Council, following to the special normative. During discussion of the draft document the different understandings and conceptual approaches to the document were staged, both from the side of various political parties, as well as within the Social-Democratic Party. The various corrections were made in the draft document, as considered by the Social-Democrats.
On February 21, 1921, the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia was adopted by the Founding Council on its special session, under extraordinary conditions, in the midst of the war with the Soviet Russia. The paper stresses that the documents significantly influenced over the future formation of the Georgian political thought and determined the way of development of the Georgian state.

Full Text:



სცსსა, ფ.1825, აღწ.1, საქ.129

სცსსა, ფ.1825, აღწ.1, საქ.130

სცსსა, ფ.1833, აღწ.1, საქ.180

სცსსა, ფ.1833, აღწ.1, საქ.181

სცსსა, ფ.1833, აღწ.1, საქ.191

სცსსა: ფ.1833, აღწ.1, საქ.736

სცსსა: ფ.1833, აღწ.1, საქ.859

სცსსა, ფ.1833, აღწ.1, საქ.863

სცსსა, ფ.1836, აღწ.1, საქ.46

გაზ. "ერთობა"

გაზ. "საქართველოს რესპუბლიკა"

გაზ. "სახალხო საქმე"

გაზ. "საქართველო"

ინასარიძე კ. პატარა „ოქროს ხანა“. საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკა 1918-1921. მიუნხენი, 1984.-693 გვ.