Until the Gamsakhurdia period, regional courts were elected
by regional party soviets; since 1990 regional courts have been
appointed by regional officials. After the beginning of ethnic
struggles in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, regional military courts
also were established. The head of state appoints military
judges, and the Supreme Court reviews military court decisions.
The Tbilisi City Court has separate jurisdiction in supervising
the observance of laws in the capital city.
Under Gamsakhurdia Georgia had continued to function under
the Soviet-era constitution of 1978, which was based on the 1977
constitution of the Soviet Union. The first postcommunist
parliament amended that document extensively. In February 1992,
the Georgian National Congress (the alternate parliament elected
in 1990) formally designated the Georgian constitution of
February 21, 1921, as the effective constitution of Georgia. That
declaration received legitimacy from the signatures of Jaba
Ioseliani and Tengiz Kitovani, at that time two of the three
members of the governing Military Council.
In February 1993, Shevardnadze called for extensive revisions
of the 1921 constitution. Characterizing large sections of that
document as wholly unacceptable, Shevardnadze proposed forming a
constitutional commission to draft a new version by December
1993. According to Shevardnadze's timetable, the draft would be
refined by parliament in the spring of 1994 and then submitted
for approval by popular referendum in the fall of 1994.
Data as of March 1994