With 83 votes, the Parliament of Georgia, in the third reading, unanimously approved the draft of the planned amendments to the regulations, on the basis of which the nomination and election of the candidate for the future Public Defender will be made according to a new rule and procedure.
In the third reading, National Movement, Lelo and Strategy Builder again did not support the bill.
With the draft of the regulation supported by the Parliament, the changes were reflected in the transitional provisions, which means that the future Public Defender will be elected in accordance with a temporary rule. At the end of 2022, candidates for the position of Public Defender will be submitted to the Parliament in accordance with the order of the Speaker of the Parliament.
More specifically, by the order of the Speaker of the Parliament, an evaluation 9-member working group will be created, the composition of which will be formed by 9 members – representatives of the civil society, including professional and academic circles. Before the creation of the evaluation working group, the Speaker of the Parliament will hold consultations with the subjects with the right to submit the candidacy of the Public Defender – parliamentary factions and political groups.
Based on the regulations, the purpose of the evaluation working group is to evaluate the candidates for Public Defender. The evaluation working group will not consider only the person who is not a citizen of Georgia or who was already in the position of Public Defender.
The evaluation working group will evaluate the persons who want to be nominated as a candidate for Public Defender, taking into account the following criteria: – good faith, impartiality, independence, high reputation, proper professional knowledge and practical experience in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Parliament will start considering the candidates for Public Defender if the number of nominated candidates is not less than 7. Otherwise, the relevant procedures will start again.
For the record, the current Public Defender Nino Lomjaria completes her term in December.