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Judicial Conference on agenda

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, June 4
The date for the Judicial Conference, scheduled for June 9 is approaching. On May 31, Chairman of the Supreme Court, Kote Kublashvili, met with non-government organizations to inform them about the preparations for the conference, including the accreditation rules for people who want to attend the conference, working conditions for media and other organizational details.

A couple of days before the conference, members of the Supreme Court, Natia Tzkepladze and Teimuraz Todria, released a statement stressing that the upcoming conference should ensure the independence of the judiciary and strengthen public trust towards its members as well as increase the authority of judges.

Tzkepladze and Todria said that both the voters and those who are being voted for have a special responsibility.

“The state is the guarantee of independence of the judges, while the later, for their part, are the guarantees of justice,” they said, emphasizing that on June 9 the corps of judges becomes “the establisher and the creator of constitutional independence of the judiciary”.

Highlighting that the Georgian MPs are facing an “historic choice” by electing 6 members of the High Council of Justice (HCoJ), Tzkepladze and Todria said they have to choose not only professionals with “a pure reputation” but also those who have proved that they have the sense of legal statehood and justice.

“In summary, a free and democratic Georgia cannot be imagined without a strong judiciary. The court belongs to people and the process of forming an important institution should be clear not only for the judges, but for society as well,” Tzkepladze and Todria stressed in their statement.

At a session at the HCoJ on June 2nd, Georgian Dream member Zakaria Kutsnashvili said due to high interest towards the conference MPs asked to hold it at an open public space, not in the court so that NGOs, dip corps, international organizations could also follow the process.

Kutsnashvili said June 9th conference will be the first real-time election for selecting the new judges. This is why he said the entire regulations of the conference should be precisely scheduled.

There are 15 members on the HCoJ, including the Supreme Court Chairman Kote Kublashvili, who chairs them. According to the legislative changes, six members will be elected by the parliament via secret ballot from candidates nominated by NGOs, law schools and the law departments of various universities and the Georgian Bar Association.

35 candidates for HCoJ membership have become known, so that now it is the prerogative of the legislative body to select the most six most worthy candidates named by various NGOs, including the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia, Article 42nd of Constitution, as well as Media Union Obieqtivi, various universities and foundations.

Based on the legislative changes of May 1, 2013, the HCoJ should consist of 15 members selected by the legislative and judiciary bodies. 8 of its members should be the judges of common courts named by the self-governments of judges at the Judicial Conference, including the Chairman of Supreme Court, (however, Kublashvili retains his position) while the MPs should define the 6 other non-judge members among the candidates recommended by different NGOs