With 87 votes for and 33 against, the Parliament of Georgia endorsed with its third hearing on May 1 the controversial amendments to the Law of Georgia on Common Courts, backed by the ruling Georgian Dream party.
The discussions were held amid strong opposition criticism, who called for returning the bill from third to second hearing, enabling the lawmakers to make content-related changes to the amendments. Opposition members claimed this was necessary for taking into account the Venice Commission recommendations.
The majority group rejected the proposal, with Anri Okhanashvili, chair of the Judicial Committee, accusing the opposition of “discrediting” the bill and “exerting pressure on the judiciary with their political statements.” He also stressed the ruling party gave due consideration to all major recommendations of the Venice Commission.
The amendments bill clarifies the selection and nomination procedures of the Supreme Court judges. It was proposed by the Georgian Dream following internal dispute within the party over the judicial appointments, which saw the defections of several GD lawmakers.