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Govít selects two candidates for European Court

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 1
The Government of Georgia selected Constitutional and the Court of Appealsí judges for the two vacant positions for the only seat for Georgia in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg.

The solution came after the ECtHR, for various reasons, twice rejected Georgian candidates, and a special governmental commission had to announce a contest for the third time.

Georgia must send three candidates to the European Court, out of whom the court selects only one for nine years.

Of the recently-sent three nominees, the Court accepted only one, and Georgia must send two other nominations.

Several days ago, a special governmental commission under the Ministry of Justice selected four nominees and sent their choice to the government of Georgia to select two.

The government named a judge of the Constitutional Court and deputy head of the Court, Lali Papiashvili, and a judge of the Court of Appeals and former judge of the Constitutional Court, Otar Sichinava as its picks.

The government explained in a special decree that in the selection process, they also took the recommendation of the Council of Europe experts into account.

In the recommendation letter, the Council experts named the working experience in either the Supreme or the Constitutional Court as an advantage for the nominees to the ECtHR, the government wrote in the decree.

A group of leading NGOs, acting with the name of the Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary, which should have been involved in the selecting process of the judges within the governmental commission, boycotted the process.

In a special statement they stressed that the commission was partial to some candidates.

The head of Georgiaís Bar Association, Zaza Khatiashvili, also boycotted the commission for the same reason.

The Ministry of Justice launched a new contest for the position of European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judge after the Strasburg Court rejected two out of three presented candidates from Georgia at the end of July.

Justice Minister TheaTsulukiani explained then that the board of the ECtHR experts only considered Lado Chanturia, Georgiaís current Ambassador to Germany, as eligible for the position.

As for the other two candidates, according to Tsulukiani the experts said that Shota Getsadze was too young and had limited judicial experience, while Sophio Japaridze was deemed to have acceptable professional experience but at 36 was also thought to be too young for such a responsible position.

From the three candidates selected last autumn, Aleksandre Baramidze, Nana Mchedlidze and Giorgi Badashvili, the Strasburg Court disapproved of 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.