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An Interview with Irma Gabriadze, Professional Fellow

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Today’s interview is with Irma Gabriadze, a professional fellow working with Ruth on research related to the laws of the Republic of Georgia and other jurisdictions.

Describe your background

I am a lawyer currently employed by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia (MoJ). I have been serving as the MoJ head of the Legal Research and Analysis Unit for almost 3 years. Prior to assuming this position I attended The Hague Academy of International Law, interned at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.Irma Gabriadze standing outdoors on a sidewalk next to a street with cars.

I was born in Kutaisi, Georgia. At the age of sixteen I moved to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia and its biggest city. After graduating from Tbilisi State University (TSU) with a bachelor’s degree in law and acquiring membership at the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, I worked as an intern at the MoJ office of state representation to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). As part of my professional development I practiced law in two local law firms in different cities of Georgia and worked as a legal adviser for an information technology company.

I completed the LLM program at Leiden University in the Netherlands, specializing in international humanitarian law.

Upon my return to Georgia, I started working at the MoJ as the head of the Legal Research and Analysis Unit.

How would you describe your job to other people?

My work at the Law Library of Congress includes legal research on different legal issues under the laws of Georgia and other jurisdictions. I research ongoing developments in the Georgian legal system, including legislative amendments related to Georgia’s laws on citizenship, juvenile justice, integration into the EU, and its election process. In addition to conducting research on these topics, I update the Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online section for the Republic of Georgia.

 Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

As was originally planned and agreed with the Professional Fellow’s Program (PFP), my project concerns strengthening of the capacities and refining the legal research and analysis methodology of the Legal Research and Analysis Unit of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

To this end, I look forward to learning about:

  • the working methodology of the Law Library of Congress and its Global Legal Research Directorate;
  • how different legal issues are addressed/researched/analyzed; and
  • the stages of producing final legal products, which are later used by the Congress, Senate or the Supreme Court.

My professional aim is to figure out how to fix the existing gaps in the Ministry of Justice of Georgia in terms of legal research and analysis and to put the lessons learned in practice upon my arrival back to my home country. Overall, I was and still am fascinated by the American culture of legal research.

As a Law Library of Congress professional fellow, I get unlimited access to library materials – a dream place for any researcher.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

The very first impression that literally touched me was the building itself and its interior design. Learning about the amount of material being preserved at the Library was another reason for my excitement and inspiration.

Did you know that the smallest book in the Library of Congress is Old King Cole? It’s indeed tiny. Moreover, one of the oldest printed books in the world –from a Buddhist sutra, printed in 770 A.D., is also in the Library’s Asian Division, while the oldest written material in the Library is from 2040 B.C.

Finally, beyond legal materials, as I was told while attending one of the public tours of the Library, the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division (P&P) is composed of almost 15 million visual images. The P&P Division’s Japanese Fine prints collection is my favorite.

What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

In April-June 2012 I worked as a volunteer for the orphanage in small city close to Arusha, Tanzania, on weekends, taking care of lovely orphan kids, entertaining them and assisting other caretakers to look after them.

I also used to play tennis before I turned 16. My biggest accomplishment was placing third among female teenagers in Georgia.

Finally, my hobby is taking photos with my DSLR camera. My photos from the Netherlands were published in a Leiden local newspaper. But what I love and keep telling everyone is that I particularly love my photos from Tanzania.

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