Supreme Court Candidate Judges Release Statement

10 candidate judges of the Supreme Court of Georgia, selected by the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) on December 24, released a statement about the recent developments, calling on the parliament not to consider their candidacies.

“On December 24, 2018, upon the decision of the Supreme Council of Justice of Georgia, our candidatures were submitted to the Parliament for electing as the Supreme Court judges. The decision was followed by an unhealthy stir, including in the Parliament of Georgia, and it was declared that procedures and criteria should be developed for the selection of the Supreme Court judges and the candidates should be re-nominated through new rules,” the statement reads.

The judges say that some “unethical and insulting” statements were made towards the nominated candidates and these statements “artificially turned into the unprecedented pressure campaign” against judicial power, where direct appeals were made regarding the dismissal of the Supreme Council of Justice and expel of the judges, including ones into the presented list.

“All this damages judicial independence and violates the principle of the legal state, while the Supreme Council of Justice has acted within its mandate thoroughly. Georgian legislation does not envisage the possibility of recalling the candidates nominated by the HCOJ and due to all above mentioned and in order to avoid unhealthy speculations, we address the Parliament not to resume the discussions over our candidacies,” the statement reads.

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

The NGOs 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 would create some criteria for the selection process of the judges.

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated the society should have a feeling that there are objective criteria and procedures for the selection of judges.

“The time when the government, prime minister, or senior officials were selecting judges in court or were settling cases is over in Georgia. Such a thing will not happen in Georgia,” he said, adding that everyone should be involved in the determination of criteria and procedures for the selection of judges.

By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

Ombudsman Criticizes Process of Selecting Judges

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



22 January 2019 11:09
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