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Independent and Transparent Judiciary coalition organises forum

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, December 23
An Independent and Transparent Judiciary coalition organized the forum, entitled Challenges of the Court System, on December 21, 2015.

At the forum, the non-governmental organization (NGO) presented its own views and remarks regarding the selection, appointment and decision-making of judges.

The Parliament Speaker of Georgia Davit Usupashvili stated that the country needs more independent judges in the court system.

“The juridical system cannot and must not be eligible to be a part of any political parties’ interests. The court is the place where all the decisions must be fair. We discussed the upcoming reforms in the juridical system and agreed that many things need to be changed,” stated Usupashvili.

The Head of the Supreme Court, Nino Gvenetadze, also shared the opinion of the NGOs. She stated that the existing selection criteria is not good enough.

“The existing procedures are not enough and need to be changed as soon as possible. All the procedures must be transparent. We need a system which will assess any judge’s past activities. At the same time, during the interview stage, the Council should ask questions which will define a judge’s independence and level of qualification,” stated Gvenetadze.

The Head of the Georgian Young Lawyer Association (GYLA), Ana Natsvlishvil,i said that changes are needed since society does not trust the existing system.

“We have no kind of records in the law which dictate how interviews should be conducted. There are no kind of principles or criteria established yet. This fact gave the High Juridical Council unlimited possibility of discretion and the processes are uncontrolled,” stated Natsvlishili.

According to Natsvlishvili, after interviews, the results should be explained as to why one candidate was chosen and another rejected.

“The process should be 100% transparent. We are talking about the lifetime appointment of judges and this is a huge responsibility,” stressed Natsvlishvili.