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Georgian judges not comply the ECtHR conditions

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 27
The President of Georgia says that the Ministry of Justice “couldn’t or didn’t” provide competitive candidates for the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), as the court rejected several candidates twice sent from Georgia.

Initially the court rejected all three candidates. The Ministry of Justice had to announce a new competition, as a result of which three further nominations were sent to the Strasbourg-based court.

However, on July 24 the court said that two candidates out of three lacked professional competency for the role.

The Ministry has already announced a repeat competition for the two nominations, out of which the court must select only one for a period of nine years.

"What happened means that this contest has failed once again. The Ministry of Justice unfortunately could not or did not provide competitive candidates, which is very sad,” the President’s Spokesperson, Eka Mishveladze, stated.

The opposition strongly criticized the government over the “shameful failure,” accusing them of lobbying candidates who are fundamentally unsuitable for the role.

The parliamentary opposition claims that such a failure damages Georgia’s international image.

The head of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Association, Ana Natsvlishvili, stated before the sending of nominations to the European Court that a special commission to choose the nominees ignored “very strong candidates” during the contest.

This is the third contest for the position announced by the Justice Ministry.

From three candidates selected last autumn, Aleksandre Baramidze, Eva Gotsiridze and Giorgi Badashvili, the Strasburg Court rejected all three candidates, saying none of them were suitable for the position.

Later, the Government of Georgia selected three candidates for the court in May this year, from the five candidates nominated by a special commission headed by Minister of Justice TheaTsulukiani.

The following three candidates were presented:

Lado Chanturia - Georgia’s ambassador to Germany since 2014, Chairman of the Supreme Court in 1999-2004 and Justice Minister 1998-1999.

Sophio Japaridze – the Prime Minister’s advisor on human rights and gender equality since 2014.

Shota Getsadze – Judge of the Tbilisi Court of Appeals and member of the High Council of Georgia.

For Getsadze, the court stated that "he is very young and does not have enough experience of working as a judge to be considered in the role”.

Japaridze was described by the court’s experts as having "worthy professional experience but the scales and length of the experience are not sufficient”.

Only Chanturia was described as a nominee who could be suitable for the position.

A new competition is announced to select two nominees instead of Getsadze and Japaridze.

A deadline for submitting applications has been set for August 25.

The ECtHR post for Georgian judge became vacant last year when the nine-year term of Georgia’s representative, Nona Tsotsoria, expired.