The Chairs of the Legal Issues, Human Rights and Civil Integration, and Foreign Relations Committees met with the US Ambassador to Georgia, H.E. Kelly Degnan.
According to the Chairman of the Legal Issues Committee, Anri Okhanashvili, the meeting with the diplomat was fruitful, where the sides exchanged views on the draft laws related to the services of the common courts and the State Inspector.
As he told reporters after the meeting, the ruling team always listens to the position of the strategic partner.
“We had a very productive meeting and discussion. We always pay attention to our strategic partner’s point of view. The fact that we met with the Ambassador today, before the committee meeting, and exchanged positions, is proof of this. We had an in-depth and fruitful talk. Legislative sovereignty will guide the Parliament’s actions. The Parliament is continuing to work on draft laws, and we are continuing to discuss the papers in committee hearings. The team will address the reasoning and conversation we had during our meeting with our partner, as well as the viewpoints that will be stated during the committee meeting. As a result, if the legislative apparatus gives us with the resources, we may be able to make some reforms gradually; nonetheless, the Parliament will continue to debate proposals in accordance with parliamentary sovereignty,” Anri Okhanashvili remarked.
As he said, the process will be inclusive and all stakeholders will have the opportunity to get involved in it.
According to Nikoloz Samkharadze, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Ambassador had specific questions regarding the draft law on State Inspector Service.
K. Degnan wondered why the bill was being considered in an expedited manner.
“We explained what this expedited decision entailed and why it was made in this manner. We also informed her that the service was not being shut down, but rather that it was allowing for the development of two new services, as there is a distinct data protection and investigative service in each European country. Additional functions and responsibilities will be added to the Investigative Service. We looked over the bill in great depth, and I believe it was a really constructive discussion. We’ve heard her thoughts on the subject. I am delighted that the Ambassador came to speak with us about the bill’s specifics,” Nikoloz Samkharadze said.
The US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, recommends that any legislative initiatives not be considered expeditiously.
“We have expressed our concern about the new legislation for the State Inspector’s Office, especially the article that stipulates the dismissal of its employees. They gave us answers and noted our recommendations. In addition, we had the opportunity to talk about the changes that are included in the legislation on common courts. This applies to disciplinary proceedings against judges. This process is accelerated; therefore, we have expressed our concern that this should be a broader, inclusive process involving a variety of experts and stakeholders, and that more thoughts and consultations will address what is in Georgia’s best interest. Basically, our recommendation is to slow down the law-making process to some extent or to pause it a bit and continue working after a wider and more thorough discussion and consultation on these issues,” the Ambassador said after the meeting.