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Head of Georgia’s Constitutional Court says his candidacy blocked for European Court of Human Rights

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, March 2
Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani says that the selection of the candidates for the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) was completely transparent. Her remarks were in response to statements made by one of the candidates, Giorgi Papuashvili, who is currently the Chair of the Constitutional Court.

Papuashvili, who received a low assessment and was not selected as a nominee from the Commission, told Rustavi 2 TV that the whole process was politically motivated and based on personal views.

“The majority of the Commission members were governmental representatives who have an extremely negative attitude towards the Constitutional Court,” stated Papuashvili.

According to the Justice Minister, most commission members gave Papuashvili a negative assessment, and her vote alone was not decisive.

“Papuashvili was asked a question if he had felt uncomfortable when he received a flat from ex-President Saakashvili for a symbolic price, by leaving several underage children living there homeless. He answered 'No', and I could not give such a person high points,” explained Tsulukiani.

The third sector and Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili have questions about one of the nominees Eva Gotsiridze, who is currently a member of Georgia’s High Council of Justice.

According to Ana Natsvlishvili, the head of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), this nominee does not have a moral reputation, which should be necessary for a judge of the European Court of Human Rights.

“One of the main criteria for a candidate judge of the European Court of Human Rights is a high moral reputation. Eva Gotsiridze does not have this reputation. Her decisions are often incompatible with the law,” said Natsvlishvili.

She believes that the decision of the governmental representatives of the Commission, who gave high assessment to Gotsiridze, means that the High Council of Justice is not as independent as claimed by the government.

Publuc Defender Ucha Nanuashvili, who was a member of the Commission, has doubts about Gotsiridze’s competency too.

“Gotsiridze was unable to meet certain criteria and I gave her very low points,” Nanuashvili stated.

It should be noted that the Governmental Commission consisted from eleven members, out of which six were representatives of the government.

The commission has selected its five final candidates one of whom will represent Georgia in the ECtHR, in the international, Strasburg-based court that monitors human right issues in the 47 Council of Europe (CoE) member states.

The five nominees will be sent to the parliament for approval. Parliament must select three out of the five and send the nominations to the CoE that will name its only one pick from Georgia in autumn 2016, as Georgia’s current representative Nona Tsotsoria’s nine-year term in ECtHR expires at that time.