The messenger logo

President shoots down draft on courts

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, March 25
President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, confirmed the appeal of the Parliament Speaker on holding the special sitting on March 25. However, the agenda confirmed by the president for the sitting lacked one issue the parliamentary majority had wished to be discussed.

The parliament speaker appealed to the president to hold the special sitting. The main issues were constitutional changes and the draft on courts.

“The president agrees with the constitutional changes. However, the current version of the draft on courts is unacceptable for the president,” the president’s advisor, Nino Kalandadze said.

Kalandadze explained that the president’s denial is related to Georgia’s future and underscored that in case the current version of the draft on courts is confirmed, Georgia will have problems with the European Union.

“Georgia will not achieve success in the Vilnius Summit with regard to the association agreement with EU,” Kalandadze stressed, adding that the current draft on courts aims to take control of the court system from the current government’s side.

The parliamentary minority supported the president’s attitude towards the law on courts and stated that the government should first of all take the recommendations of the Venice Commission concerning the issues.

Georgian Dream member Vakhtang Khmaladze stated that the law on courts might be discussed on March 25 despite the president’s refusal.

“Parliament has a right to assemble and discuss an issue after 48 hours after the president’s refusal on the issue,” Khmaladze said.

Khmaladze also stated that the president might veto the draft on the courts and in this case the parliament will have to overcome the veto.

Georgia will have no problems concerning the association agreement with EU. Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, said.

“We have concluded working on the text. It was last week. Currently, there should be some procedure issues inside the EU,” Panjikidze said.

The Venice Commission underscored that the amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on the Courts of General Jurisdiction suggested by the new government have “improved many provisions of the organic law and will bring this law closer to European standards.” However, the commission had some remarks concerning certain issues, including the formation of the High Council of Justice.