Georgian ruling party and opposition politicians commented on the Second Monitoring Report on the Nomination and Appointment of Supreme Court Judges in Georgia released by OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on January 9.
- OSCE/ODIHR: ‘Political Wrangling Compromises the Independence of Appointments to Georgia’s Highest Court’
The report reads that “while legal reforms regulating the appointment of Supreme Court judges in Georgia are an important step toward improving the independence of the judiciary, they fail to ensure an impartial process based on clearly defined and objective criteria without the influence of partisan politics.”
Civil.ge offers a compilation of these assessments.
Ruling party assessments
Gia Volski, First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament: “It is a very positive [report] and the conclusion also notes one thing that was not typical for Georgian reality [before], as previously we had the practice of appointments and now we have moved to the international standard system, involving interviews with selected candidates and their approval [by the Parliament]. I think that it is a serious achievement for Georgian democracy and will be exemplary for many [other] countries.”
Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the parliamentary majority: “OSCE/ODIHR conclusion also includes a positive part in connection with legislation, reforms… But, of course, it contains a critical part; however, the report contains factual inaccuracies and we are not used to it from such reputable organizations. I think, the Legal Issues Committee will prepare its explanation or response [to it].”
Sergi Kapanadze, European Georgia: “OSCE/ODIHR report was extremely critical towards the process of selection of judges. It actually said that unqualified candidates were selected and that actually it was a conspiracy staged by the government, which decided in advance which candidates would become the Supreme Court judges. Practically, the entire process was a farce.”
Eka Beselia, independent lawmaker: “The report contains strict, negative assessments. All international organizations, OSCE/ODIHR, the Council of Europe, the EU, the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Government strongly criticized the process of selection of judges, saying that it was bad for Georgia… Georgia made a fatal mistake in the process of judicial reform. It disappointed all international partners.”
Kakha Kozhoridze, Lelo for Georgia political party: “OSCE/ODIHR report is extremely critical and this reputable international organization with its reliable conclusion has joined the universal consent existing in the country [and abroad], according to which Georgia’s justice [system] is facing fundamental problems and these fundamental problems are not just the words written in reports… They will have a very serious impact on Georgia’s reality.”