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GYLA names candidates for High Council of Justice

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, May 23
New members of the High Council of Justice will be revealed on June 9, 2013. The agenda, sample of the ballot paper and the sample of the final records of the election have already been approved.

All the judges have had ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with and submit their comments and suggestions to the Administrative Committee of the Judges before May 27, 2013.

Chairman of Supreme Court, Kote Kublashvili, said on May 22, that the process is well-organized so that the transparency of the conference will be ensured. “Our aim is to ensure that the election is made fully public,” Kublashvili said, stressing that all decisions will be made by judges only and no one else has the right to interfere in the process.

Kublashvili said the court system in Georgia is very close to being independent. Welcoming the fact that a few “unconstitutional” clauses were removed from the bill on Common Courts, he said the existing version of the draft law still does not fully match with the demands of the Venice Commission.

Ready to take the challenge, Kublashvili called this moment historic, because he said the judges that will be elected for the High Council of Justice will take care of the court system, its guarantees, ensure that no one interferes with the judiciary and in the case of engagement – make a strict response.

Kublashvili opened the conference on “Distribution of Power, judicial independence and Factors of Trust Towards Public Institutions” on Wednesday where judges from Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Japan, Uzbekistan and Georgia discussed practical issues in criminal law of foreign countries and shared their experience.

Kakha Kojoradze, head of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) introduced Nino Bakakuri, Zurab Dzlierishvili and Kakha Tsikarishvili as candidates for High Council membership.

Talking about the background and achievements of the three candidates, Kojoradze said they are specialists in law and principled in decision-making.

“Questions over the independence of the court still exist and if parliament supports our candidacies they will do everything to improve the quality of the court's independence,” Kojoradze said on May 22.

The changes to the Law on Common Courts and changes in the formation of the High Council of Justice, gave NGOs the opportunity to offer candidacies with relevant experience. According to the changes in the law, council members will be elected once every 4 years only.

There are 15 members in the High Council of Justice who are chaired by the Supreme Court Chairman.

All other members of the council hold their seats for a four-year term. However, according to the new rules, six members will be elected by the parliament via secret ballot from candidates nominated by NGOs, law schools and the law departments of various universities and the Georgian Bar Association.

However, no other organizations have yet introduced their candidates to Parliament.