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Civil Society Announces Support for 5 Non-judge Candidates for High Council of Justice

The Coalition for Independent and Transparent Justice, which unites more than 40 civil society organizations, announced its support for 5 of the 32 candidates participating in the competition to become non-judge members of the High Council of Justice (HCoJ).

The Coalition supports the following 5 candidates:

  • Lika Sajaia – professor at the New Vision University.
    • Nominated by: the New Vision University.
  • Ana Abashidze – lawyer; Director of the civil society organization Partnership for Human Rights (PHR).
    • Nominated by: Partnership for Human Rights.
  • Dimitri Khachidze – lawyer; member of the Georgian Lawyers’ Association.
    • Nominated by: NGO Rights Georgia.
  • Sulkhan Saladze – Head of the Good Governance and Freedom of Information Program (Caucasus Open Space); lecturer at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs.
    • Nominated by: the Social Justice Center.
  • Giorgi Burjanadze – lawyer; Deputy Public Defender of Georgia.
    • Nominated by: the Social Justice Center.

Emphasizing the need for fundamental reform of the judiciary, the CSOs note that the steps taken by the Georgian government in this process should be directed towards “consensus-oriented” reform of the court system’s management and “must create strong obstacles to the concentration of power, the vicious practice of which exists in the judicial system today.”

In that context, they believe that the election of 5 non-judge members to the HCoJ could be an important step forward in achieving this goal. Therefore, they underscored the significance of choosing impartial, conscientious, and competent candidates for the position, “in whom there will be high public trust and broad consensus among political parties.”

“This will significantly change the balance of power in the High Council of Justice, will create a new center of gravity in the form of 5 independent members, and will leave the clan with only unanimous, unstable advantage,” they said.

Significantly, the five slots for non-judge members have been vacant for quite some time, with members of the opposition, civil society organizations, and international partners alike repeatedly calling on Parliament to ensure that they are promptly filled. Parliament announced the competition to fill the seats on 30 September and published the list of candidates on 20 October. A total of 32 candidates are taking part in the competition.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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