On February 27, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia made two recommendations to Tbilisi State University regarding discrimination on the ground of different opinion.
According to factual circumstances, the applicants had been delivering lectures at the Department of Economics and Business as visiting lecturers for years. They publicly had expressed their critical views on the situation at the Department, which is why the Dean of the Department of Economics and Business refused to employ them as professors. To prove the above, the applicants submitted electronic correspondence.
As the Ombudsman said, the analysis of factual circumstances and evidence in the case made it clear that the grounds for interfering with the applicatns’ right were in fact their opinions, which the employer found unacceptable. The respondent failed to provide a proper and convincing argument that would disprove the alleged discrimination.
In view of the above, the Public Defender recommended Tbilisi State University to consider entering into employment contracts with the applicants in the 2020-2021 and subsequent academic semesters; develop internal guidelines to regulate the recruitment of lecturers in such a way that the criteria that may serve as grounds for refusal of employment be clear and foreseeable for applicants; pursue equality policy at the Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University’s Department of Economics and Business.