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PACE Co-rapporteurs Urge Georgia to Adopt Venice Commission Recommendations

In a  statement issued on October 9, the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), stressed the necessity to implement the remaining Venice Commission recommendations on the selection of Supreme Court Justices recently amended by the Parliament of Georgia.

The co-rapporteurs called “on all political forces in Georgia to commit themselves to addressing the remainder of the Venice Commission recommendations as soon as the new parliament has been convened.”

In its opinion adopted on October 9, the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) advisory body for legal affairs, said: “Georgia’s situation is an unusual one and requires a very high level of transparency.” According to the Commission, disclosing the identity of HCoJ members and their voting decisions would provide greater transparency; current appeal mechanism is insufficient; candidates should be treated equally by following standardized interviews;  higher age requirement and more emphasis on candidate’s experience, as well as judgment, independence and diversity is needed.

Regretting that the Parliament of Georgia did not await the Commission oponion that it requested itself, the co-rapporteurs said the Parliament implemented previous Venice Commission recommendations, however, “a small but crucial number of issues remain to be addressed.”

According to the two co-rapporteurs, recommendations on the appeal mechanism of High Council of Justice (HCoJ) decisions, as well as on the disclosure of the names and votes of HCoJ members need to be implemented, “to ensure that the law provides a fully adequate basis” for the appointment of Supreme Court justices.

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