CSO Coalition Slams Parliament’s Judicial Reform Strategy and Action Plan  

The Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary, uniting some 40 local civil society organizations, slammed the judicial reform strategy and action plan released by Parliament within the framework of the Justice Reform Working Group while stating that the document does not reflect the real challenges in the justice system.  

In a statement released on October 7, the Coalition noted that the document prepared by the Legal Issues Committee “selectively and fragmentarily suggests the issues to be addressed by the reform.”  

“The document also selectively mentions local and international assessments and ignores the growing criticism of the judiciary from local and international organizations in recent years,” the statement reads.  

The CSOs regret that the proposed vision “completely ignores the main problems in the justice system, namely the concentration of power and informal, clan-based influence in the system.”  

“Moreover, in the document, the mechanisms by which the activity of the High Council of Justice would have become more inclusive, and the power gathered in it would have been distributed to other parts of the judiciary, are considered unconstitutional without any argumentation,” the statement noted.  

The CSOs emphasized that the judicial reform strategy and action plan should solve the problems that exist in legislation or practice, adding that they had repeatedly called on the Parliament for a complete and in-depth assessment of the situation in the judicial system. However, the initiative was not even discussed by the working group and the parliamentary majority.  

The Coalition also noted that the 2021-2027 Association Agenda between the European Union and Georgia focuses on the assessment of the current situation in the judiciary. 

“Unfortunately, the new justice reform strategy is written in such a way that there is no unified picture of the challenges in the judiciary or the problems in legislation and practice,” the CSOs said, adding that considering the above, it is “unclear to us what the goal of the reform strategy and action plan is.”  

The Coalition claims that “unfortunately, once again, it proves that the ruling political team does not have the readiness for real reform and continues to aim for façade changes.”  

“Another façade reform will not be enough to ensure the real independence of the justice system and thus will pose an even greater threat to the country’s European integration process,” the statement reads. 

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