Four large Tbilisi-based international business associations sent an open letter to Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze and Acting Chairman of Legal Issues Committee Davit Matikashvili requesting the legislature to “refocus attention on broader judicial reform.”
In their letter of January 25, American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, Business Association of Georgia, EU Georgian Business Council and International Chamber of Commerce of Georgia have joined their voices with other local and international non-governmental organizations in concern over the process of nomination of the Supreme Court candidates.
They have called upon the parliament “to quickly amend” the Organic law on the Common Courts in order “to develop specific qualification requirements for Supreme Court Judicial nominees and to define the fair, transparent and meritocratic rules for their nomination and appointment.”
“The selection of Supreme Court judicial nominees, without a fair, transparent and predictable process reinforces the extremely negative perception of the Georgian judiciary and court system… This is not only bad for the country, but will undoubtedly have a negative impact on Georgia’s international reputation, the business environment and the country’s ability to attract investment,” the letter reads.
Based on the above mentioned, the business associations called on the Parliament to develop legislative and if necessary, constitutional amendments in a shortest period of time. “We stand ready to work with the Government and the Parliament in any way that we can to make sure that the process of selection and appointment of judges corresponds to the best international practices and the requirements of democracy and rule of law,” they said.
The copies of the open letter were also sent to Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, First Vice Speaker Tamar Chugoshvili and Secretary of the High Council of Justice, Giorgi Mikautadze.