The messenger logo

Judge explains her Strasbourg failure

By Messenger Staff
Monday, January 30
One of the three candidates for the position of judge from Georgia in the European Court of Human Rights, Eva Gotsiridze, has stated that an alleged reason of the failure of the three Georgian candidates was the “negative role” played by the United National Movement opposition party, Georgian NGOs and Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili.

She dismissed speculations that her failure was because of any lower qualifications and stated that her misfortune could also be related to the on-going discussion of ex-Interior Minister Vano Merabsihvili’s case in the European Court.

Merabishvili, one of the key figures of the United National Movement party, is currently serving a prison sentence in Georgia.

“The incumbent Georgian Judge’s [Nona Tsotsoria] term was prolonged and Adeishvili’s deputy [wanted ex-Justice Minister from the United National Movement team Zurab Adeishvili] is examining Merabishvili’s case in Strasbourg,” Gotsiridze stated.

She said she was not informed whether any viewpoints were expressed concerning her qualification by the court committee members.

Gotsiridze says that during her interview, one of the members asked her why she was not initially put on the list due to her impressive qualifications. “It is noteworthy that none of the asked questions were of a legal character,” she says.

Interviews were held with candidates Eva Gotsiridze, Alexandre Baramidze and Giorgi Badashvili on September 29-30 2016 in Strasbourg, though voting was put off until January 2017.

The ECtHR was tasked with selecting a single candidate for the position of European Court judge.

Georgia will have to hold another competition and present new candidates for the position, as the nine-year term of Georgia’s representative to the ECtHR, Nona Tsotsoria, expires this month.

In February last year, the Governmental commission selected five candidates for the role, namely current Deputy Minister of Justice Aleksandre Baramidze; Giorgi Badashvili, a Georgian lawyer at the ECtHR; the President’s Parliamentary representative, Anna Dolidze; Georgia’s High Council of Justice member, Eva Gotsiridze; and Human Rights expert Nana Mchedlidze.

Later, the Government selected three nominees, Baramidze, Gotsiridze and Badashvili and sent their nominations to the Court.

However, the Court did not select even a single candidate for the position.

What the real grounds for their failure might be has become a matter of controversial speculation. It is very important for the country to know about this, as if it was due to the level of their qualifications the Government must take responsibility avoid such internationally embarrassing incidents in the future.

However, if their qualifications were not a problem, the true reason must be disclosed.