Leitner Human Rights Speaker Series: “Strategic Litigation as a Tool for the Protection of Human Rights- analyzing cases from the Republic of Georgia”, Mari Kapanadze, Civil and Political Rights Program Director, Georgia Democracy Initiative
Marine Kapanadze (she/her) is a human rights lawyer currently serving as the Civil and Political Rights Program Director at the Georgian Democracy Initiative, a local non-governmental organization in Georgia. She is actively engaged in the protection of different vulnerable groups including LGBTQ+ activists and journalists and has represented them before state bodies and courts. For more than nine years, she has been monitoring cases of discrimination, hate speech, and hate crimes; litigating strategic cases; and advocating for changes in legislation and practice. As a part of her job, she is also in charge of fundraising and communication with various stakeholders, including local and international organizations, state bodies, donors, etc. Moreover, she lectures at universities and conducts trainings on freedom of speech, national anti-discrimination mechanism, and the rule of law. Marine believes that establishing a peaceful and prosperous society is impossible without respecting each individual’s rights regardless of ethnicity, gender, or other backgrounds. Therefore, she actively works to promote the idea of pluralism and equality as the basis for peace, welfare, and development. Furthermore, she is passionate about transferring her knowledge and experience to the younger generation. To this end, apart from her primary work, she is actively engaged in educational activities and youth initiatives focusing on empowering and inspiring youth to transform Georgia into a modern democratic state. Marine holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Free University of Tbilisi (Bachelor) and an LLM from the University of Cologne.