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Commission selects four for European Court judge

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 28
A special commission chaired by Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani has selected four nominations for the European Court of Human Rights judge and sent the candidates to the government for the selection of two.

The solution came after Georgian candidates were twice rejected by the Strasbourg-based court, the latest two candidates failed at the end of July this year.

The government will now have to select two candidates from Lali Papiashvili, deputy head of Georgia’s Constitutional Court; Tamar Alania, a judge of the Court of Appeals; Otar Sichinava, a judge of the Court of Appeals; and Ioseb Bachiashvili, a Doctor of Law, scientist, former head of the Supreme Arbitrary Court.

Georgia must submit three candidates for the European Court, which will select only one for a nine-year term.

The Ministry of Justice launched a new contest for the position of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judge, after the Strasbourg Court rejected two out of three presented candidates from Georgia at the end of July.

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani explained then that the board of the ECtHR experts only considered Lado Chanturia, Georgia’s current Ambassador to Germany, as eligible for the position.

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

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

From the three candidates selected last autumn, Aleksandre Baramidze, Nana Mchedlidze and Giorgi Badashvili, the Strasbourg 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 of by the European Court.

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