Ombudsman Criticizes Process of Selecting Judges

Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria says that the process of selecting lifetime judges of the Supreme Court was incompatible with the Georgian Constitution.

She stated that the controversial list of 10 judges for the Supreme Court of Georgia, approved by the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) on December 24 and sent to Parliament, should not be considered by MPs.

“The list of judges submitted to Parliament should not be considered. We see a few problems, including transparency of the process, which is problematic. Every person with relevant experience and qualifications should be able to be involved in the process,” Lomjaria told journalists.

She stressed there is a concentration of too much power in the High Council of Justice.

NGOs and two non-judge members of the HCOJ claim the submitted judges were “linked with politically motivated cases and biased judiciary.”

The NGOs have asked Parliament to withdraw the list and refine the procedures for the selection of judges.

The majority said that accelerated discussions of the issue are not on the agenda, adding Parliament will discuss the issue during the spring session.

Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakbhidze stated that the legislative body will create some criteria for the selection process of the judges.

“The procedure and criteria will be set within two formats – one of them is the working group format and another the parliamentary format. We will discuss the issue with interested parties within these two formats,” he said.

Lomjaria stated that the working group which will develop criteria for the selection of judges should include NGOs and the Ombudsman's Office.

By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

Non-Judge Members of High Council of Justice Address Parliament

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Majority MP Withdrawn from Legal Issues Committee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





16 January 2019 17:48