Ivanishvili Releases Statement Regarding Controversial List of Judges

Ruling Georgian Dream (GD) founder and Chair, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili has released a statement regarding the controversial list of 10 Supreme Court Judges sent by the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) in late December to the parliament for approval.

Ivanishvili says that as the leader of the ruling party, he feels obliged to share his position over the case of judges and also the recent disagreement within GD regarding the issue.

“Only 10 of 28 judges are present in the Supreme Court of Georgia, which hinders the normal functioning of the court. Consequently, the desire of the HCOJ to quickly submit judicial candidates had objective grounds,” the statement reads.

The ruling party Chair believes the majority made a reasonable decision when it left more time for reviewing the judicial candidates and postponed the discussions until the spring session.

“We respect different opinions in the team and we think that reasonable decisions can only be based on free discussion. It is welcome that the decision made by the ruling team was preceded by a statement from the High Council of Justice that they would not oppose the postponement of the selection of judges till the spring session, considering the importance of the issue,” he said.

Ivanishvili also commented on the statements of GD member Eka Beselia, who stepped down from her position as chairperson of the Parliament's Legislative Affairs Committee, due to "the hasty and unjustified process of appointing Supreme Court judges for life."

“The decision on the resignation of Eka Beselia was made in the summer. It was related to the difficulties that emerged in the ruling team in 2017, which I named as one of the main reasons for my return to politics - that was the lack of teamwork,” he explained.

The GD Head says the decisions made by Beselia after resignation were even more incomprehensible.

“By not submitting an application to the Parliamentary Bureau and by electing Gedevan Popkhadze as First Deputy of the Chairman of Committee, she grossly violated the Rules of Parliament and went against the principle of the team and teamwork,” he stressed.

The GD Chair called on the ruling party members to refrain from making statements that “damage the interests of the team, as well as the healthy process of the selection of judges.”

Eight HCOJ members supported 10 judges for the Supreme Court of Georgia without notifying non-judge members of the council.

Non-judge members Anna Dolidze and Nazi Janezashvili called the list “shameful”, adding the presented candidates did not have a good reputation due to “biased judiciary” as they had been working under the previous government.

The Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary, composed of around 40 NGOs, released a statement calling on Parliament to suspend consideration of the Supreme Court candidates.


By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

GD Says Accelerated Discussion of List of Judges Not on Agenda

Majority Member Says High Council of Justice Needs to Be Dissolved

Majority MP Withdrawn from Legal Issues Committee

Eka Beselia Resigns Her Post as Chair of Legal Affairs Committee

Levan Murusidze Appointed as Lifetime Judge

Parliament Postpones Consideration of Supreme Court Candidates until Spring




10 January 2019 14:39