The CSOs voiced concern that the existing rules for the selection and appointment of judges are “fundamentally problematic” as well as that the Parliament appointed the justices through a “single-party vote, in the absence of a broad political consensus.”
The Coalition criticized the Georgian Parliament for not considering the numerous calls of the civil society, Public Defender, the international community to delay electing the top court judges “until ensuring that the processes would be conducted fairly, free from partisan or corporate interests.”
The statement slammed the ruling party, arguing its “lack of will” to make final decisions based on a broad public and political consensus reduced the interest of civil society organizations and opposition political parties to engage in candidate hearings.
The Coalition argued the selection process cast “a shadow over selected judges, and the court system as a whole,” and would diminish the prospects of restoring confidence in the judiciary.
Another issue the watchdogs highlighted was that the seats for five of the six non-judge members at the High Council of Justice, the body overseeing the judiciary, remain vacant. According to the Coalition, the decisions the Council makes are therefore dominated by the judge members, which reinforces perceptions of “clan-based governance” in the judiciary.
The CSOs asserted that similarly to past instances, the selection process at the HCoJ “left the impression of inconsistency, unequal treatment and stereotyping towards candidates.”
Read more on the controversial appointments:
- EU Slams Top Court Appointments in Georgia
- Parliament Elects Four Top Court Judges Despite Criticism
- U.S. Embassy Disappointed with Continued Top Court Selection
- EU Embassy Abstains from Observing Top Court Candidate Hearings
- Watchdogs Warn Against Electing Top Court Justices