The CSOs underscored that the EU-brokered April 19 deal between Georgian political parties “unequivocally points to the need for ambitious judicial reform,” meaning that the competition for the Supreme Court Judges must be halted.
Noting that the Venice Commission decision also “indicates the need to restart the competition for the selection of Supreme Court Justices,” the local watchdogs claimed the HCoJ, the body that oversees the judiciary, is attempting to force important decisions with its existing composition.
The watchdogs highlighted that the “judicial clan” and the HCoJ would not be able to take “such bold steps” without “unconditional support” from the ruling Georgian Dream party. The latter, they claimed, “indicates a lack of political will to implement qualitative changes in the judiciary,” and to fulfill the commitments of the April 19 deal by the ruling party.
Noteworthy that an HCoJ meeting is also currently underway today, which is to decide who will take up just under 100 judge vacancies in the country. In the same statement, the seven watchdogs also stressed that the process of adding new judges is heavily influenced by the so-called judicial clan, “making it even more impossible to bring in new, qualified staff into the [judicial] system.”