On September 18, Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) urged the Georgian authorities to seek the opinion of the Venice Commission concerning the amendments to the Georgian Law on Common Courts, proposed by the Georgian Dream.
“We welcome the willingness of the [Georgian] authorities to amend the law on the Common Courts, and emphasize the importance of fully implementing Venice Commission recommendations to ensure public trust in the selection process of Supreme Court judges – and thus, in the end, in the independence and impartiality of this important institution itself,” noted the two co-rapporteurs.
The PACE monitors also pointed out: “We have consistently called on the authorities to amend the legal framework for the selection process of Supreme Court judges in line with Venice Commission recommendations in order to address the deficiencies noted in the most recent selection process.”
The draft bill put forward by the ruling Georgian Dream MPs earlier in September tweaks the regulations concerning the duty of the High Council of Justice, the body overseeing the judiciary in Georgia, to make reasoned decisions regarding the candidates to the Supreme Court and regulates the candidates’ ability to appeal these decisions.
Georgian civil society organizations and the Office of the Public Defender criticized the draft amendments as insufficient and fragmentary.
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