Watchdog Criticizes Judicial System, Calls for Reform

On November 30, 2023, the Georgian Court Watch criticized the lack of results in judicial reforms over the years and presented its assessment and recommendations on the judicial system at the event “Rules of the Game of the Supreme Council of Justice”.

The watchdog said the current situation shows that the legislative processes that have been going on for years have not served the stated goal of reforming the court and establishing an independent, accountable and transparent system. Moreover, additional legal levers have been introduced in recent years to strengthen the existing informal power in the court, which has had a direct impact on both the independence of judges and the functioning of the judicial system in general.

According to the organization, the problems in the judiciary are caused by a number of factors, including imbalanced and informal power, personnel policies, levers affecting the independence of judges, lack of accountability of the judiciary and failure to implement action plans.

Noting that a key role in the judicial reform process is assigned to the High Council of Justice, and underlying that the degree of the Council’s authority and principles of its functioning don’t correspond to democratic standards and don’t serve the purpose of promoting justice, the Watchdog elaborated a number of recommendations.

The High Council of the Justice is a judicial body that oversees appointments, promotions, and disciplinary matters to ensure the independence, efficiency, and ethical standards of the judiciary. It plays a crucial role in safeguarding the rule of law by maintaining the integrity of the country’s judicial system.

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