Georgians Have Lowest Trust in Parliament, Prosecutor’s Office & Court

The Parliament, the Prosecutor's Office and the Court are the three main institutions of the country least trusted by the people.

Within the project ‘Facilitating Implementation of Reforms in the Judiciary’ (FAIR), implemented by the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) in cooperation with the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), CRRC-Georgia, a nationwide public opinion survey was conducted in order to understand public opinion about the judicial system of Georgia, public views and attitudes towards the role of the judges, trust in courts, and knowledge about the implemented judiciary reforms and their experience with courts.

The survey results show that the highest trust of society goes to the police (42%), followed by lawyers (35%) and the Public Defender (33%).

Trust towards NGOs (27%) exceeds trust in the Prime Minister (24%), Prosecutor's Office (18%), judges (19%) and Parliament (15%).

46% of respondents think that judges in Georgia are not independent. About one third of respondents (32%) think that judges are not fair and 22% of respondents do not believe in their professionalism.

“A large part of the population does not think taking a case to court will make things worse, while half the people believe that judges in Georgia are not independent,” the findings read.

Moreover, 41% of interviewed people do not trust Georgian judges. This indicator has increased by 21% compared to 2014.

“The population of Georgia perceives an independent judiciary to be an issue of lesser importance and considers poverty and unemployment as the most important problems in the country. However, almost half the population is interested in what is happening in Georgian courts,” the report reads.

The survey also revealed that the population of Georgia is less informed about the court system and the ongoing reforms, adding the majority of the population does not understand the hierarchy of authority or the goals of the court reforms.

“The majority of Georgia’s population misunderstands or has no knowledge of who appoints judges, who is legally allowed or not allowed to dismiss the judges of the Supreme Court of Georgia, what the primary goal of the introduction of the electronic system of case distribution is and what the main function of the Independent Inspector is,” the survey reads.

Giorgi Mikautadze, Secretary of the High Council of Justice, stated the survey revealed people are not well-informed about the recent developments in the judiciary system.

“I consider this a challenge for the Judiciary and we have already identified it. Strengthening relations with the public is inevitable and the High Council of Justice will actively work in this regard,” he said.

The survey took place August 30 - September 15, 2018 and involved the adult, Georgian speaking population of Georgia, excluding people in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Overall, 2,080 people were interviewed with the CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing) method.

By Thea Morrison

Image source: Foreign Policy


06 December 2018 18:03