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Crucial issues still need addressing over the appointment of Supreme Court judges in Georgia

Georgia / Parliament /

Following yesterday’s adoption by the Venice Commission of its opinion on the amendments to the Georgian law on the Common Court with regard to the appointment of Supreme Court judges, the Parliamentary Assembly’s co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE), made the following statement:

“We very much appreciate the fact that, on our recommendation, the Georgian parliament asked for a Venice Commission opinion on these amendments. This could have helped ensure that all Venice Commission recommendations and concerns with regard to the previous version of the law were fully addressed. However, following the publication of the Venice Commission opinion on these amendments, it is clear that this has not been the case and we can only regret that the parliament did not wait with the adoption of these amendments until the Venice Commission’s opinion was finalised.

While several recommendations from the previous Venice Commission opinion, especially with regard to reasoned decisions by the High Council of Justice (HCJ), were implemented, a small but crucial number of issues remain to be addressed. This is especially the case with regard to the process for appealing High Council of Justice decisions and the need to disclose the names of the Council’s members, together with their vote. These remaining recommendations still need to be implemented to ensure that the law provides a fully adequate basis for the sensitive issue of the appointment of Supreme Court judges in Georgia. We therefore call on all political forces in Georgia to commit themselves to addressing the remainder of the Venice Commission recommendations as soon as the new parliament has been convened.”

The rapporteurs intend, if the sanitary situation allows, to make their next fact-finding visit in the framework of the monitoring procedure soon after the parliamentary elections on 31 October, which they also hope to observe as part of a Parliamentary Assembly observer delegation.