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CSOs: Draft Amendments to Common Courts Law Insufficient

The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary, uniting some 40 local civil society organizations, stated that proposed amendments to the Law of Georgia on Common Courts do not address sufficiently the problems not only in regards with the selection of Supreme Court justices, but also in the judiciary system in general. 

According to the statement released on September 9, the bill put forward by the ruling Georgian Dream MPs, is concerned with the duty of the High Council of Justice to make reasoned decisions regarding Supreme Court judicial candidates and the candidate’s ability to appeal these decisions. 

The Coalition argues that the proposed amendments will not be able to alter the state of the judiciary system in the country. “It is impossible to improve the judicial selection process without reforming the High Council of Justice,” the statement reads.

The Coalition reckons that the proposed amendments will not address fundamental problems existing in the selection process of Supreme Court judges, noting that improvements should encompass both, the selection of candidates by the High Council of Justice and the voting stage in the Parliament. 

The CSO coalition recalls the selection process of Supreme Court judges  in 2019, during which “the coalition, as well as international organizations, submitted their opinions and recommendations to the Parliament, which would have ensured a merit-based, transparent and impartial process.” According to the statement, the Parliament back then did not consider a large part of the recommendations, which eventually led to a number of shortcomings during the selection process. 

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