Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Georgia - COI

Bill Bowring

Email: b [dot] bowringatbbk [dot] ac [dot] uk

Professor Bowring is a Barrister and academic with research experience in Russia, Eastern and Central Europe. He is fluent in Russian and focuses on issues relating to Georgian human rights, minority rights, law reform, penitentiary reform, language policies and ethnic conflict. In 2003, he founded (and now chairs) the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, advising Russian, Southern Caucasian and Ukrainian NGOs, and has acted as an expert witness in numerous cases.

Professor George Hewitt

Email: gh2atsoas [dot] ac [dot] uk

George Hewitt has some 40 years of experience of, and in, the Caucasus. He has authored several books on Georgia, including  Discordant Neighbours: A Reassessment of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian Conflicts   (2013). He has prepared over the course of the last 20 or so years a number of COI reports relating to Georgia, Russia (Chechenia), Azerbaijan and Armenia. His statement is based largely on what he has learnt about Georgia and its people(s) from living there and the opportunities thus afforded to draw conclusions from direct observation (as well as on a lifetime of professional study). 

Erin Koch

Email: erin [dot] kochatuky [dot] edu

Erin Koch is a cultural and medical anthropologist who has been conducting research in Georgia since 2000. Her areas of research expertise include displacement, cultural and political aspects of humanitarian interventions, and state-based health care and social service reforms. She has studied relationships between health and protracted displacement among victims of the Georgian-Abkhaz civil war that took place from 1992-1993. She has also conducted research about tuberculosis control in Georgia following Soviet collapse. Koch is the author of  Free Market Tuberculosis: Managing Epidemics in post-Soviet Georgia  (2013), which has been awarded the 2014 Davis Center Book Prize for Political and Social Studies by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She has also published articles and edited book chapters on post-Soviet tuberculosis in Georgia, and is currently completing article manuscripts based on her research on protracted displacement, health, and the state in Georgia.

Lincoln Mitchell

Email: lincolnatlincolnmitchell [dot] com

Lincoln Mitchell is an international political development consultant. He has lived in Tbilisi, Georgia where he has worked as the chief of party of the National Democratic Institute from 2002-2004, overseeing civic, political party and legislative strengthening programmes. He has been a frequent visitor to Georgia since that time.  He has taught at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs and has published and spoken widely on the political situation in Georgia. Lincoln Mitchell maintains close ties with Georgia and continues to analyse the country. 

Dr Marilisa Lorusso

Email:  marilisa [dot] lorusso [dot] 2atgmail [dot] com

Marilisa Lorusso has obtained a PhD on Democracy and Human Rights, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Genoa. She has taught several courses in history, Eastern Europe, international relations, domestic and foreign politics, business, literature and culture in many universities (İstanbul Üniversitesi, Turkey; El Manar, Tunisia; American University, Armenia; Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy). She is a permanent co-operator of Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa, an Italian think tank, and writes for different centres of studies. She has published articles and various contributions for Italian and foreign publications. As an expert of the South Caucasus, she visited Georgia, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan) and networked with local think tanks, NGOs. She was deployed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the post-war European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM), where she was field office gender focal point, and she was appointed as EU Council Secretariat for the post-war diplomatic discussions held in Geneva. Her research areas are security and democracy sectors reforms, institution building and human rights. She is a Country of Origin Expert for the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, US.
Her updated list of open-source publications is available at:  http://marilisalorusso.blogspot.com

Dr Adrian Florea

Email: Adrian [dot] Floreaatglasgow [dot] ac [dot] uk

Abkhazia, South Ossetia

Dr Adrian Florea (PhD Indiana University) is a Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences and Convener of the Global Security Program at the University of Glasgow. He is currently engaged in three large research projects. The first investigates the survival and disappearance of post-WWII de facto states (breakaway entities, like Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, Somaliland, Transnistria, or Western Sahara). The second analyses the variation in governance activities conducted by insurgent organisations. The third examines the link between 'dark' networks and civil war processes. 

Dr. Gavin Slade

E-mail:  Gavin [dot] Sladeatglasgow [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr. Gavin Slade is a Lecturer in Legacies of Communism at the University of Glasgow. Dr. Slade received his PhD from Oxford University in 2012. He has worked at Ilia State University, Tbilisi and the University of Toronto.  He is a criminologist and sociologist and who specializes in studying organized crime, corruption and criminal justice reform in the former Soviet Union. Particular interests of Dr. Slade are: South Caucasus – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – as well as Central Asia and Russia. He has conducted extensive research on organized criminal networks in Georgia and Russia and connections with emigration. In addition to that, Dr. Slade has also worked extensively on the issue of prison reform with a focus on the problems of prison gangs and violence and torture by state actors in police stations, remand and dispersal prisons. He has also done ethnographic research on immigration detention in the UK and issues around deportation and asylum. In the course of his work, Dr. Slade has given expert testimony in numerous asylum cases involving Georgian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian nationals.