Georgia Invasion Of Privacy Laws – Russian soldiers take a break on their way to Tskhinvali, South Ossetia, at the beginning of the conflict in August 2008.
BRUSSELS – An international report on the causes of the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008 blames Georgia for starting the hostilities, but shares the blame for the conflict between the two sides.
Georgia Invasion Of Privacy Laws
The Swiss official, who presented the 1,200-page report to a select gathering of international diplomats, said the document was intended to show the facts of the 2008 war in a “sober and neutral way.”
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Heidi Tagliabini, who heads the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG), told representatives from Georgia, Russia, the European Union, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that the report is simply a collection of objective findings and nothing more.
However, the fact that the report leaves it to others to interpret these facts may prove to be its Achilles’ heel.
Deep divisions over Russia’s policy within the European Union — which originally commissioned the report — have left the bloc unwilling and unable to use the report and its political clout to draw a line under the conflict.
In the absence of authoritative international guidelines, Russian and Georgian officials quickly mounted a series of claims and counterclaims blaming the other side for the war.
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Moscow had a clear advantage in this, because it won what EU sources say was its crucial objective – to get the Tagliabini report to say that Georgia had begun the hostilities.
“This gives an unequivocal confirmation – an unequivocal answer to the central question: who started the war,” Chizhov said. “And he clearly says that it was the massive Georgian artillery bombardment of the town of Tskhinvali [known in Georgia as Tskhinvali] on the night of August 7-8, 2008.”
In a speech in Tbilisi, Georgia’s Reintegration Minister Tamor Yakovshvili made the opposite claim, drawing attention to parts of the report detailing Russian violations of international law that he said had escalated tensions.
“I want to emphasize that the document does not claim that Georgia started the war. Any such interpretation would be a lie. The report does not make such a claim,” Yakubashvili said. Moreover, the report says that the war did not start on August 7 or 8, but that the military provocation had been prepared for some time multi”.
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The report itself lays the blame for the start of the armed conflict at the feet of Georgia, but suggests that both sides share the blame for the protracted conflict.
The key section of the document reads: “The shelling of Tskhenbuli by the Georgian armed forces on the night of August 7-8, 2008 marked the beginning of the large-scale armed conflict in Georgia, but it was only the culmination of a long period. of growing tensions, provocations and incidents.”
More damning for Georgia, however, are the words Tagliabini said when she summarized the substance of the report to international diplomats in Brussels. According to her, in the opinion of her team, “it was Georgia that launched the war,” and “none of the explanations given by the Georgian authorities to provide any justification Legally, the attack [on Tashkinbuli] does not give a valid explanation for it.”
In her words, Tagliabini emphasized that the “core of the report” is not a political, military or legal truth – which she says will always remain controversial – but rather “the human suffering and tragedy that is always and inevitably the result of armed conflict. “
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Although the report clearly aims for a careful balance in apportioning blame, it limits its assessment of Russia’s role to the context of the tensions created by the historically, ethnically and politically complex situation in Georgia.
Tagliabini said that while “the burden of actually launching the war rests on the Georgian side, the Russian side also bears responsibility for a significant number of violations of international law.”
She said that the main ones were the “mass transfer of Russian citizenship” in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the presence of non-peacekeeping Russian troops in South Ossetia before the war, the disproportionate Russian military action on the territory of Georgia, Russia’s long-standing support. for the separatist governments in both regions, and the post-war recognition of both territories as independent states.
The report says Russian claims that Georgia committed ethnic cleansing or genocide against South Ossetians are unfounded. But he also says “there are serious question marks” about the Russian military’s inaction in allowing South Ossetian irregulars to commit atrocities against the Georgian civilian population.
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Georgia’s ambassador to the European Union, Saloma Samdashvili, focused on these violations and the many other Russian violations of international norms and standards during a press conference in Brussels.
She did not directly dispute the report’s conclusion that Georgia initiated the hostilities, but said that while interpretations differ, the government in Tbilisi has a legal right to protect its citizens in South Ossetia whose lives it believes are in danger.
“In this sense, I think the question of when the Georgian government saw the need to take measures to protect the lives of its citizens, when we thought that the threshold was crossed – we may have disagreements with the European side. This feeling, because I don’t think that Georgia has ever denied that the government took action to protect its citizens,” Samdashvili said. “Madame Tagliabini and her committee may want to consider that this was not the right time to take this step.”
Tagliabini’s report admits that it may not be the “absolute truth” because there may be other information not available to the investigative team.
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In September 2012, the Georgia Department of Labor created a spreadsheet containing the names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information of 4,757 people who applied for departmental benefits or other services. Almost a year later, a department employee accidentally sent the spreadsheet to approx. 1,000 other applicants, without obtaining permission from Thomas McConnell or any of the other individuals whose personal information is included in the spreadsheet.
McConnell filed suit in 2014, alleging that the department is subject to action under the Georgia Tort Claims Act and is therefore liable for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and invasion of privacy. After affirming the Court of Appeals’ determination that the Department was subject to action under the Georgia Tort Claims Act, the Court addressed McConnell’s negligence claim for the first time. In Georgia as in other states, a private negligence claim must allege a duty to the plaintiff; Breach of this duty; and injury to the plaintiff that was an immediate result of the violation.
McConnell argued that Georgia common law created a general duty “for everyone not to expose [others] to an unreasonable risk of harm.” He also argued that Georgia’s Identity Theft § 10-1-910 – Legislative Findings and Prohibition on Public Display or Disclosure of an Individual’s Social Security Number (OCGA § 10-1-393.8) created an implied duty of care supporting a negligence claim. The court rejected both arguments, first rejecting as precedent the previous decision and the language McConnell cited to create a legal obligation “for the whole world.”
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The court then rejected the claims based on McConnell’s law, noting that Georgia’s “legislative inferences” law “does not expressly establish any duty, nor prohibit or require any conduct whatsoever.” Also, the prohibition on displaying or publishing an ID number in public does not apply because “publishing in public” or “displaying in public” means knowingly communicating or otherwise making available to the public.” The complaint alleged only negligent disclosure, not intentionality.
The court similarly affirmed the dismissal of McConnell’s breach of fiduciary duty claim. McConnell argued that the general “fiduciary” clause of the Georgia Constitution created a general fiduciary duty to protect personal information. Alternatively, McConnell argued that the Department of Labor created a confidential relationship—and thus a specific fiduciary duty—by requiring McConnell and other evacuees to provide personal information in order to receive benefits. The court refused
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