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Georgia: monitors regret Constitutional Court changes have not been sent to Venice Commission, as promised

The monitoring co-rapporteurs for Georgia of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC) and Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE), have expressed their regret at the hasty adoption in final reading, reportedly undermining the transparency of the process, of amendments to the laws governing the functioning of the Constitutional Court.

They in particular regretted that these amendments were not sent to the Venice Commission – the Council of Europe’s independent group of constitutional law experts – for opinion after they were adopted in second reading in the Committee on Human Rights and Civic Integration of the Georgian Parliament, as was originally indicated to them during their visit in the first week of May 2016.

“We wish to reiterate that a Venice Commission opinion on these amendments, and the prompt implementation of their recommendations, could help ensure the efficient functioning of the Constitutional Court and counteract any possible attempts to unduly politicise these amendments, as well as the court itself, in the run up to the forthcoming parliamentary elections. We therefore urge the authorities to request such an opinion of the Venice Commission without any further delay. If not, we will propose that the Assembly’s Monitoring Committee itself request such an opinion at its forthcoming meeting on 23 May 2016.”