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Venice Commission welcomes amendments to court laws, issues three recommendations

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, April 30
The Venice Commission welcomed the amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on Common Courts, although the urgent report published on April 29 mentions several recommendations.

The Venice Commission suggests considering changing members of the High Council of Justice (it is the council that selects and appoints judges); to suspend the procedure of appointing judges until the Supreme Court Qualification Commission makes a decision on the appealed cases (the candidate can appeal his/her result to the Supreme Court). The commission reported it may be necessary to restart the procedures to ensure equal treatment of candidates.

The Parliament sent the Organic Law on Common Courts to the Venice Commission for final revision on April 8. Earlier, then-Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Archil Talakvadze expressed his readiness for this in response to the criticism of the EU for hasty changes. Talakvadze assured that the legislative change reflected three recommendations of the Venice Commission. He said that while it was easy to find that the new regulations were in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the parliament was ready to take into account the call of the partners and send the law to the Venice Commission for final revision.

Note that the parliament of Georgia elected Archil Talakvadze who until recently held the position of Parliament Speaker as the Deputy Speaker with 86 votes against none.

“Mr. Archil, congratulations, and good luck,” said the new Deputy Speaker of Parliament Kakha Kuchava who replaced Archil Talakvadze as Speaker on April 27. Prior to that, Kuchava himself held the post of Deputy Chairman.

Talakvadze decided to resign on April 24:

“Now that opposition members entered the parliament, I think, my place is with my colleagues, and not in the Speaker's role.”

He led the Georgian Dream on the initiative of the European Union to reach an agreement with the opposition and said that it was better to have a chairperson in parliament who was not a party to the talks. Talakvadze's resignation was assessed by the opposition as recognition of defeat by the Georgian Dream.

Talakvadze has been the Speaker of the Tenth Convocation of Parliament since December 11, 2020. He also chaired the ninth convocation of parliament.