Georgia is a largely mountainous country in which the rural population, 47% of the total, has not benefited from the country’s economic growth. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Georgia’s agricultural productivity has declined, shifting the GDP to a largely service-based economy.
The Constitution of 1995 recognizes the right to property and prohibits restrictions on the right to acquire, alienate and inherit property. The Law on State Registry of 2004 and the Law on Public Registry govern land registration. The Law on Local Self Government of 2002 established that municipalities were allowed to lease pastures not intended for privatization; this initiative failed, however, and municipal pastures were transferred back to state ownership.
Common reasons for land disputes in Georgia are related to territories considered illegally occupied by the Russian Federation, land occupied by internally displaced people and pasture access and use. Formal courts are entitled to resolve land disputes; however there are many issues related to their competence, independence and impartiality.