EU-supported Project to Reform Georgia’s Prosecution Services

The name is convincing: “Promoting Prosecutorial Independence through Monitoring and Engagement”, in short 'PrIME.' The European Union has launched a new project to reform the prosecution services in Georgia. The aim is clear, as Georgia’s judicial system often lags behind efficient systems in other countries. Although the usual processing time is faster than in neighboring states, the reforms build on a multiple pillar system, including factors such as media and monitoring, making an effective judicial system.

PrIME is a two-year project, running from 2018-2020. It is aimed at enhancing the accountability of the PSG and empowering information exchanges between the government, civil society, media and public on the ongoing major reforms in the system. Action assumes a comprehensive approach, as part of which IDFI, the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, and its partner organizations - Caucasus Research Resource Center in Georgia (CRRC) and the Studio Monitor, will work in four main directions: monitoring, media investigation, capacity building, and outreach and awareness.

“Georgia has made significant progress in advancing the sequence of reforms across all sectors of the prosecution service. In the upcoming years, the reform package calls for further actions to enhance the quality of institutional independence and integrity, empower lower-level prosecutors and actively engage them in decision-making processes, and raise citizen trust in and awareness about the justice system of Georgia,” Giorgi Gogadze noted, Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Georgia.

“We hope to see many new visions and initiatives. Over the last 100 years of our history, it is symbolic and essential to creating such independent monitoring tools. Yet, it won’t be enough and there are many additional things we need to do. We need to look for a direction to curb down the crime rates and the violence as well. This pillar will also be included in our project. We have been involved in the process since the beginning of the reforms and we are looking very much forward to continue our support and supervision of the reforms,” Gogadze continued to stress.

"It is our first project of such a major scale for us; we couldn’t have imagined carrying out such a project a couple of years ago. We are very proud and excited to work with the support of the EU. We also see that the Georgian government strongly supports us and this is important, to have the backing of the state, as this ensures the improvement of the dialogue between the civil sector and the government,” Giorgi Kidiashvili, Executive Director of IDFI, proudly announced.

The PrIME project assumes a comprehensive approach, as part of which IDFI and its partners will work in four main directions: First, monitoring; second, media investigation; third, capacity building and awareness raising aimed to ensure impartiality and fairness in the Georgian prosecution and investigation systems; and, fourth, increasing capacity and awareness on hate crimes and violence against women.

By Benjamin Music

01 May 2018 10:53