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Fair contest of nominees from Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, August 1
The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary, composed of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) based in Georgia, proposed consultations with the Georgian government on the selection of candidates for the post of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judges.

The Chair of the Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA), Ana Natsvlishvili, says that the civil sector is ready to negotiate with the government in order to elaborate on the type of provision that will provide a transparent and objective selection process.

Natsvlishvili claims that if the commission continues to work in the current form, the Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary will not be involved in its work any longer.

"We have the same complaints that we had during the first competition; the drawbacks were not improved in the second competition,” she said, adding that the competition is faulty and cannot bring proper results.

“Failure in the process of selection of judges damages the country’s image,” Natsvlishvili added.

The NGOs have been criticizing the contest of selection Strasburg Court judges from last autumn, saying the process was not transparent or impartial enough.

Of the three candidates selected last autumn – Aleksandre Baramidze, Nana Mchedlidze and Giorgi Badashvili - the Strasburg Court outright rejected Mchedlidze. After this, the ministry substituted Mchedlidze with Eva Gotsiridze, but on January 24 2017 the ECtHR rejected all three candidates, saying none of them was suitable for the position.

In May, a special 13-member commission headed by Georgia’s Justice Minister selected three new candidates, but of these, only Lado Chanturia was approved by the European Court on July 25.

Now the third contest is underway, which was announced by the Ministry of Justice last week.

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani called on Georgian lawyers, especially female ones, to participate in the contest.