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President names his pick for chair of Supreme Court

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, February 18
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili named former Judge of Supreme Court Nino Gvenetadze as his candidate for the post of Supreme Court chair. The president made his choice from the list of 28 candidates provided by various organizations and NGOs.

Dr. Gvenetadze, 51, is a researcher at Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Germany. She is also head of the Masters and PhD programs at the School of Law at the Tbilisi-based Georgian American University.

Gvenetadze was one of the three judges who openly spoke about the pressure on the court system under the previous authorities in 2005. She was dismissed by the judicial disciplinary commission in December, 2005, and accused of misconduct. Before serving for six years as a member of the Supreme Court till late 2005, Gvenetadze was the head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association 1998-1999.

In the 2008 parliamentary elections, she was running for a seat in the legislative body from the opposition Republican Party. However, the party failed to gain seats. When the Republican Party came to power as a part of the Georgian Dream coalition in 2012, she suspended her party membership.

The president claims that his pick meets all the four criteria: being principled, professional, having managerial skills, and being free from political influences.

“The person we selected encompasses all of these attributes.”

Gvenetadze states that her main goal will be the protection of judges.

Now it’s up to parliament to support the candidate or not. Gvenetadze will require support of at least 76 MPs to be endorsed on the post.

Shalva Shavgulidze from the Free Democrats, who was one of the candidates named for the post, welcomed the choice and stated he would vote for her.

Majority member Eka Beselia states that the Georgian Dream coalition will decide whether to support the candidate or not through consultations.

The opposition United National movement will not vote for the candidate, as according to party leader Sergo Ratiani, Gvenetadze fails to meet any of the above mentioned conditions.

“She was a Shevardnadze period judge when bribery was a common tradition, she was affiliated with the Republican Party and lacks international qualifications,” Ratiani said.