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Justice Minister’s bill discussed

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, March 18
The Temporary State Commission on Studying Miscarriages of Justice was discussed on March 16 by the Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani. The meeting was attended by various representatives of the court system, including the chair of the Supreme Court Kote Kublashvili.

Ttsulukiani underscored that the wrongdoings of the justice system were the merit of “the prosecutor rather than of the judiciary, as the court was too much influenced by the Prosecutor’s office.” The draft law on Temporary State Commission on Studying Miscarriages of Justice envisages establishing a 15-member commission for a three-year term with the possibility to extend its authority for a maximum of one more year. Members of the commission will be nominated by parliamentary factions and approved by the Parliament with at least 76 votes.

Members of the commission will have immunity similar to that of parliamentarians.

The commission will be entitled to study applications filed by those who consider that they were unfairly convicted in “grave” or “especially grave” crimes; those convicted for “less grave crimes” will also have the right to demand a review of their cases only in the situation where they had been sentenced for them.

The commission will also be authorized to study cases of civil and administrative litigations worth of over 100,000GEL.

Ttsulukiani emphasized that the main aim of the new government is establishing a fair and impartial court.

“The main problem of the former government was not the president and the parliament; the main problems were the court, the prosecutor’s office and an unhealthy attitude between the bodies. A major fault is with the prosecutor’s office; however, the court is not innocent either,” Tsulukiani stated.

Tsulukiani said the judges also committed mistakes.

“There were mistakes and these were not your only mistakes,” Tsulukiani stated, adding that the commission will improve on all those mistakes made previously.

Chair of the Supreme Court, Kublashvili, welcomed the attempt at improving some of the shortcomings in the court system. However, he stressed that the new commission should not encourage other problems.

Kublashvili stressed that if the planned commission concludes that a case contained miscarriages of justice, it should not in any way serve as a reason for launching disciplinary measures against a judge who made a verdict into this case in the past.

“Over the last 8 years we have done our best to clean the court system from corruption. Now it is the government’s turn not to involve itself in the actions of the court,” Kublashvili stated.

According to the head of the Elections and Political Technologies Research Centre, Kakha Kakhishvili, the United National Movement does not want to lose control of the court system.

“The UNM recognized failure in the elections. However, it still possesses serious levers, like that one in the court system. During the last 9 years, the prosecutor’s office and the court have been fulfilling the demands of the former government,” Kakhishvili said, adding that the new government should carry our various reforms in all structures, including the court system, otherwise dissatisfaction of people towards the Georgian Dream will increase.