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Non-Judge Member of High Council of Justice Says She May Be Recalled

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 26
A non-judge member of the High Council of Justice, former deputy Defence Minister Anna Dolidze, says that the judge members of the council, which is responsible for the unbiased judiciary in Georgia, may appeal to President Salome Zurabishvili to recall her from the council for her “critical statements and attitudes to the council members.”

Dolidze was appointed in the 15-member council by former President Giorgi Margvelashvili in January 2018 and since then she has many time accused the council members of making biased decision and affiliation with the United National Movement government.

She stated that the court system must be freed from biased judges.

The recent statement of Dolidze came after the 24 December decision of HCJ to nominate ten judges for the Supreme Court of Georgia without warning of non-judge members of the council.

Dolidze and two others in the council say that the list “cannot resist criticism” as most of the judges named are related to controversial cases and biased judiciary, especially the current head of Court of Appeals Mikheil Chinchaladze.

Dolidze is appointed in the council until 2022. However, the president has a right to recall her and appoint a new member in the body.

Georgian NGOs have called upon parliament not to approve the list, as based on the new constitution the list must be supported by the majority of lawmakers.

The NGOs also say that the rules must be changed which allows powerful judges make individual decisions.

“The process of appointing judges in the Supreme Court must be suspended until the rules are changed,” 12 NGOs say.

Secretary of HCJ Giorgi Mikautadze, who is in the list of judges sent to parliament, says that all the judges in the list are worthy with years of experience.

He also claims that currently in the Supreme Court there are 11 judges and they cannot cope with hundreds of lawsuits, while there should be 28 judges.

“We needed to draft the list as soon as possible,” Mikautadze said.

The Georgian Dream ruling party members claim that the list will be approved or not after the “detailed studying the biography” of all presented candidates.

The High Council of Justice underwent major changes in 2013.

According to the amendments the High Council of Justice is now composed of 15 members.

Eight members are elected by the self-governing body of judges, five members -by the Parliament of Georgia and one member is appointed by the president.

The HCJ was created to coordinate the judiciary system and to promote the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary.

The main functions of the HCOJ include the organization of qualification exams of judges, selection and appointment of judges of trial and appellate courts, disciplinary proceedings, legislative drafting and analytical work, quality management and relationship with the public.