The messenger logo

Has the court's independence been jeopardized?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 12
Head of Supreme Court Kote Kublashvili thinks that the draft amendment initiated by the Ministry of Justice will undermine the independence of the judiciary system. Discussing the challenges of the Georgian judiciary with judges and non-government organizations on December 11, Kublashvili said several regulations in the document conflict with the independence of the court.

He said that possible engagement from the legislative body can endanger the “institutional independence” of the judiciary.

Kublashvili felt most suspicious about the two regulations. He said one of them prevents the judges from selecting court officials; while at the same time, the acting members of the Highest Council of Justice may lose their authority.

Kublahsvili thinks that the members of the Highest Council of Justice cannot be independent if they know that they can be easily changed by the Parliament's decision anytime. “The Highest Council of Justice is a constitutional body which is one of the most important aspects of the independence of court,” Kublashvili stated.

According to Kublashvili, he has introduced the Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani with his remarks about the draft document. However, only one of them was taken into consideration. Kublahsvili now plans to send his remarks to the parliamentary chairman and the Parliamentary Legal Issues Committee for further consideration during parliamentary discussions.

Kublashvili also criticized the part of the legislative package which will consider the restoration of photo and video recording during the court sessions. Kublashvili thinks that such a decision may harm the interests of the witnesses.

Commenting on the legislative changes, Deputy Ministry of Justice Alexander Baramidze said the changes worked out by the ministry have been sent to Parliament. He said discussions over this issue have been underway for over a month, so the judges are also aware of the changes planned in the judiciary. “I have come here to share the views of the ministry concerning our legislative packages and listen to the opinions of judges about the current situation in the court system,” Baramidze said.