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Georgia to ensure judiciary transparency

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 20
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks report, which refers to human rights situation in 2015, describes the situation in Georgia as well.

"The Commissioner welcomes the achievements and positive trends in Georgia in terms of judicial reform, including in juvenile justice. However, the Commissioner was informed about the functioning of the judicial system and a number of disturbing factors in terms of its independence. He called on the government to ensure transparency of selection and appointment of judges, the report says.

The document also states that the Commissioner is concerned about alleged politically motivated and biased approaches towards parliamentary opposition members. In addition, the Commissioner calls on the government to create necessary conditions to ensure that anti-discrimination laws are effectively implemented.

A fair and competent justice system is a fundament for any democratic country.

Unfortunately, Georgia has no tradition of having a transparent court system. After emerging from the Soviet Union, of the Soviet Union, successive Georgian governments tried to use the court system for their own interests.

The current government refused to dismiss judges who were allegedly involved in criminal activity under the previous state leadership.

Apparently, the number of such judges was high, but they refrained from removing them so as not to damage relations with Georgia's international partners.

Herewith, it is likely there are still many former officials in a number of state institutions who hinder the process of systemic changes in the court system.

It is hard to believe that a judge who once consistently made partial verdicts to be absolutely impartial in the future; he at least might become a subject of blackmail.

Georgia needs very clear criteria on how to select judges and then further reforms in the court system, otherwise it will be hard for the country to dismiss speculation over the impartiality of the judiciary.