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GYLA Calls on Top Court to Suspend Selection of Constitutional Court Justice during State of Emergency

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Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), a local watchdog, has called on the Supreme Court to suspend the selection process of a Constitutional Court justice until the expiration of the state of emergency.

In a statement released of March 30, the GYLA noted that the Plenum of the Supreme Court had planned to convene on March 31 in order to appoint the new Constitutional Court justice. This, GYLA said, was aimed at “increasing grip of the ruling party and the ‘clan’ over the judiciary.” 

GYLA stated, that given the coronavirus pandemic, when even the court hearings were held remotely (online), it was unclear why the Plenum had decided to convene. 

“We call on the Plenum of the Supreme Court to temporarily suspend the selection process until the end of the state of emergency, as well as to provide the public with sufficient information about the candidate in due course ahead of the voting after the process resumes,” GYLA stated

Meanwhile today, the Supreme Court announced that the Plenum postponed to convene “due to technical reasons,” and that the information about the meeting will be published later. 

The Constitutional Court, which consists of nine members, has one vacant seat after the term of justice Maia Kopaleishvili expired on December 5, 2019.

According to the law, a new justice should be appointed no earlier than one month and no later than 10 days prior to the end of term of an incumbent justice. 

The Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary, uniting dozens of  Georgian local civil society organizations, stated earlier in December that Chief Justice Mzia Todua had failed to present a new candidate to the Plenum of the Supreme Court, which selects a candidate with 2/3 of votes.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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