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Georgia’s Ambassador to Germany elected as European Court judge

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 12
Georgia’s Ambassador to Germany, Lado Chanturia, will represent Georgia as a judge in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for a period of nine years.

Chanturia was one out of three candidates sent from Georgia to the court.

Chanturia managed to receive the majority of votes at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the body which is responsible for electing judges for the Strasbourg-based court.

“I believe that Lado Chanturia’s activities will demonstrate even more proof of our western values. I wish him success in this special and responsible role,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said.

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

The decision of the court nominations by Georgia to ECtHR was accompanied by criticism in Georgia from the opposition and NGOs, who claimed candidates were selected “unfairly, through their political beliefs.”

Chanturia was in the third wave of nominations sent to the ECtHR, as several previous candidates selected by a special commission in Georgia and finally selected by the government, were rejected by the European Court.

Reasons of rejection were either lack of experience or relevant qualification.

The Committee on the Election of Judges at the European Court of Human Rights finally approved all three judicial candidates nominated by Georgia at the beginning of the month.

The government opponents forecasted that the latest nomination could also be rejected by the court which would be a “big shame” for the country’s image.

The latest candidates were Chanturia, 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.

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