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JUDICIARY / Analytical Documents

Another Attempt to Reform the Judiciary - Analysis of the Parliamentary Working Group and the Draft Law



On June 17 of this year, European Commission issued 12 recommendations for Georgia, fulfillment of which is mandatory for acquiring the EU membership candidate status. [1] Among the recommendations is the one concerning judicial reforms, which includes the following directions:

  • Development of a transparent and effective strategy and action plan for judicial reforms based on broad public and political consensus;
  • Ensuring independence, accountability, and impartiality of all important layers of the judicial system;
  • Distribution of power between different branches and ensuring adequate functioning of judicial and investigative institutions;
  • Elimination of problems identified in the process of judicial appointments (especially nomination of candidates for the Supreme Court) in the previous years;
  • Thorough reform of the High Council of Justice and appointment of 5 non-judge members to the Council;

It was indicated in the document that the changes need to comply with the best practices in Europe and the opinions of the Venice Commission.

As for other issues, in order to implement the recommendation regarding the judicial system, on August 4, the Parliament Legal Issues Committee created a Working Group of Judicial Reforms. The group was composed of MPs, representatives of relevant state agencies, professional groups, and civil society organizations (CSOs), and its goal was to prepare the judicial reform strategy and action plan, as well as the necessary draft bills.

In this manner, a formal mechanism for working on the systemic reform of the judicial system was created in the legislative body. However, the lack of representation of CSOs in the working group, disregard of their and other independent actors' recommendations, the superficial reform strategy, and the fragmented draft legislative amendments prepared on its basis show once again that the parliamentary majority does not have the political will for the systemic reform of the judicial system. Instead, the conception of the reform developed by the Georgian Dream once again offers only façade changes and represents another missed opportunity to devise appropriate legislative guarantees for the independent and transparent judicial system.

The composition of the working group and the quality of its work are analyzed in the present document; The document also discusses the judicial reform strategy developed by the working group and the package of legislative amendments prepared on its basis.

This document has been prepared in the framework of the project "Support the independent and fair judiciary" which is implemented by Social Justice Center with the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The contents of this report are the sole responsibility of Social Justice Center. The information and assessments provided in the document do not necessarily reflect the views of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia.


Footnote and Bibliography

[1] See recommendations: https://bit.ly/3ZpTQvf

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