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Georgia re-announces contest for European Court judge

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 26
Georgia’s Justice Minister, Thea Tsulukiani, says the ministry has launched a new contest for the position of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judge, after the Strasburg Court disapproved of two out of three presented candidates from Georgia.

The Minister explained that the board of ECtHR experts assessed that only Lado Chanturia, Georgia’s current Ambassador to Germany was eligible for the position.

As for other two candidates, according to Tsulukiani the experts said that Shota Getsadze was too young and has limited judicial experience, while Sophio Japaridze had good professional experience but at 36 was also deemed to be too young for such a responsible position.

Tsulukiani stated that a contest has been announced to fill the two vacant places. According to her, the contest will be underway until August 25.

The Minister called on Georgian lawyers, especially females, to participate in the contest.

The rejected candidate Getsadze, 35, commented on the decision of the ECtHR, saying the only obstacle for him was his young age. He wished every success to approved candidate Lado Chanturia.

“As far as I know, there have been several cases in the history of the European Court, when 34, 35, 36-year-old people were appointed as judges. It is unfortunate that such a decision was made in this case,” he stated.

This is the third contest for the position announced by the Justice Ministry.

From three candidates selected last autumn, Aleksandre Baramidze, Nana Mchedlidze and Giorgi Badashvili, the Strasburg Court disapproved of Mchedlidze. After this, the ministry substituted Mchedlidze with Eva Gotsiridze, but on January 24, 2017 the ECtHR rejected all three candidates, saying none of them was suitable for the position.

In May, 2017 a special 13-member commission headed by Georgia’s Justice Minister selected the current candidates, but only Lado Chanturia was approved by the European Court.

Representatives of non-governmental organizations and opposition have sharply criticized the previous contests for the Strasbourg court judges, saying the process was neither transparent nor impartial enough.