Ten candidates of the Supreme Court judges, whose appointment was postponed by the Parliament till its spring session, released a joint statement on January 21, calling on the Parliament not to deliberate on their appointment to avoid “unhealthy speculations.”
The judges said that “unethical and insulting” statements were made against the nominated candidates and “these statements have artificially overgrown into the campaign of unprecedented pressure upon the judicial authority.”
“All these cause direct harm to the judicial independence and grossly infringe upon the principle of legal state,” the statement reads.
The judges noted that although by nominating their candidacies to the Parliament, the High Council of Justice (HCoJ) acted under its mandate and guided itself by current legislation, they do not want that certain persons use this situation “for their own political purposes” and “further harm the process through artificially created hype, thus casting shadow to the reputation of the judicial authority.”
Since the current legislation does not envisage the procedure on recalling the candidates nominated by the HCoJ from the Parliament, the judges call on the legislature to suspend the deliberations on their candidacies.
Also on January 21, a group of civil society organizations held a rally outside the HCoJ, demanding the resignation of two judge members of the Council – Chairman of the Tbilisi Court of Appeals, Mikheil Chinchaladze and judge Levan Murusidze.
They also claimed that the Georgian Parliament should develop regulations, procedures and criteria through broad involvement of civil society and opposition to ensure selection of the best candidates as judges.
Commenting on the matter, Secretary of the HCoJ, Giorgi Mikautadze noted that CSOs express their protest through persecuting particular judges that is unacceptable.
MP Eka Beselia claims the party’s parliamentary leadership, including Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, was lobbying the controversial nominees, which she argues include some who “served Mikheil Saakashvili’s oppressive regime.”