Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze says the Georgian Dream majority will not support the legislative proposal of their teammate, MP Eka Beselia, on suspension of lifetime appointment of city and appeals court judges until 2025.
Speaking at a news briefing on February 20, after the meeting of the ruling party’s Political Council, Irakli Kobakhidze said the GD leadership was initially ready to deliberate on the issue, but “some members of the parliamentary majority proposed a bill that comes in contradiction with the Constitution of Georgia and was drafted without agreement with the ruling team.”
Kobakhidze noted that the proposal, if adopted, will lead to halving the number of judges in common courts, and will ultimately incapacitate the judiciary. “Based on these circumstances, the bill will not be endorsed by the parliamentary majority,” the Speaker explained.
He then stressed the ruling party is ready to elaborate a new bill on lifetime appointment of judges that will be in line with the constitution and CoE recommendations, and will ensure unimpeded functioning of the judiciary. “For that, we would like to invite the Venice Commission to join the process from the beginning,” Kobakhidze added.
The Parliament Speaker also noted that the ruling party will continue working on the fourth wave of judicial reforms, involving the High Council of Justice and the High School of Justice, as well as the issues of disciplinary proceedings and judicial overload.
Kobakhidze also noted that the ruling party will proceed with the reforms in close cooperation with international partners, and called on all stakeholders for “open” and “constructive” engagement in the discussions.
“The ruling party will act in the interests of the state and the public and will create all necessary preconditions for safeguarding judicial independence and increasing public trust towards the courts,” the Speaker concluded.
In her press remarks today, MP Eka Beselia denied that GD leaders were unaware of her proposal. She also stressed Kobakhidze’s points on halving the number of judges were “incorrect,” and it was because the GD leaders refused to hold consultations on the issue.