The Parliament will develop new selection procedures for candidates of the Supreme Court judges, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze announced on January 12, after his meeting with the Secretary of the High Council of Justice (HCoJ), Giorgi Mikautadze.
Speaking with journalists after the talks, Irakli Kobakhidze said the process will be led by the Parliament’s working group on judicial reform, which involves representatives of all three branches of government, as well as international experts and local civil society organizations.
The Speaker said the working group meeting will be convened in the near future.
Kobakhidze explained that the selection criteria and procedures will apply to new judicial candidates, as well as those ten nominees, who have already been presented by the HCoJ, and whose nomination has triggered internal dispute in the ruling Georgian Dream party.
“According to the legislation, it is impossible to recall the list of candidates, but I would like to underline that the selection procedures and criteria will have a retroactive power for the candidates proposed by the High Council of Justice in December,” the Speaker added.
Giorgi Mikautadze, the HCoJ secretary, spoke next, telling reporters that the working group will develop “unified” procedures and criteria for appointing the Supreme Court judges.
He specified that new rules will apply to both – current and new candidates (according to Mikautadze, the judicial council will nominate eight more candidates as there are 18 vacant positions in the 28-member Supreme Court).
Mikautadze also stressed that the ten-member list was submitted in full compliance with the constitution and respective legislation, and that concerns about the candidates, have to be raised individually, instead of “leveling blanket accusations against the entire list.”