Watchdog: Lifetime Appointment of 21 Judges “Unexpected”

On May 22, the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), a local watchdog, reacted to the lifetime appointment of 21 judges by the High Council of Justice (HCoJ), calling the decision “unexpected.”

According to GYLA, this is because the judges who were on the three-year probationary period had to be interviewed before being appointed for life, but no information about such interviews has been published on the Council’s website, making it unclear whether they were held at all. The GYLA also asks why, if such interviews were held, watchdog organizations were not given the opportunity to monitor the process.

Moreover, the watchdog also mentions in the statement that the HCoJ’s May 21 session agenda included four topics, but the “information about the session and the agenda were published on the website the day before in violation of the law and in accordance with the established practice.” The watchdog also argues that the session started two hours later than scheduled.

The GYLA’s statement also speaks about the allegedly unfavorable conditions for the monitoring organizations, arguing that by oral decree of the Secretary of the HCoJ, representatives of these organizations are no longer allowed to wait for the start of the session in the lobby of the building. Instead, they must wait in “humiliating conditions” between the entrance doors and the turnstile.


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