European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)






George Tugushi is specialised in international human rights law and holds masterís degrees in both public administration and human rights law. He is currently a Ph.D candidate at the Faculty of Law, Tbilisi State University, Georgia.

Since 1999, Mr Tugushi has been actively involved in processes related to the democratic development of Georgia. He began his professional career in the Municipality of Tbilisi and continued in the Parliament of Georgia, where he contributed to the drafting and enactment of numerous important Georgian laws. Later he served as assistant to the Vice-Speaker of the Parliament.

From 2000-2002, Mr. Tugushi worked as a legal expert for the Local Government Development Project run by the Urban Institute (funded by USAID) and later chaired the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Association of local self-government independent experts funded by the Urban Institute.

In 2003, Mr. Tugushi was selected as chief legal expert in the UNDP/IFES joint project Support to the Central Electoral Commission of Georgia. He then worked as a human rights officer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which in addition to human rights monitoring and reporting activities involved managing numerous projects funded by the OSCE and run by local NGOs.

In 2008, Mr. Tugushi started working for the EU funded project Support to the Public Defenderís Office, run by the Austrian Company Human Dynamics. As Deputy Team Leader/Key expert 2, he was responsible for overall project management and analytical and legal support to the office of the Georgian Public Defender.

In 2009, Mr. Tugushi was elected by the Parliament of Georgia to the position of Public Defender (Ombudsman). He served as Ombudsman for three years, during which he was responsible for the management of a staff of 72 persons and six offices located in different regions of Georgia. After the release of videos showing the abuse of prisoners, Mr. Tugushi was appointed as Minister of Corrections, Probation and Legal Aid, until the change of government after the elections of 1 October 2012. In December 2012, he set up an NGO Georgian Democracy Initiative - GDI, in partnership with other human rights lawyers.

Since 2005, Mr. Tugushi has been the member in respect of Georgia of the European Committee against Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). In 2011 he was elected to the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT).