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Tbilisi City Court Denies Lawsuit of a Lawyer ‘fighting for Fair Court’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 8
(TBILISI)--The Tbilisi City Court did not satisfy the lawsuit submitter by a non-judge member of Georgia’s High Council of Justice (HCJ), of an independent body responsible for unbiased judiciary.

Anna Dolidze, who was appointed by the President Giorgi Margvelashvili in January 2018, protested the actions of her colleagues in the council, who prevented her from attending the interviews of the judges who applied for life appointment.

The majority of the 15-member council criticized Dolidze for her statement to the judges, and satisfied the request of about 15 applicants not to allow Dolidze attend their interviews.

In the statement made prior to the interviews, Dolidze, who had served as a deputy defence minister and a former head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, said that many of the judges who applied for life appointment were under the control of the United National Movement government in previous years.

“The court system must remove such judges,” Dolidze said.

Responding to the statement, 15 judges out of total 51 appealed to HCJ not to allow Dolidze attend their interviews as she would be “biased”.

After the City Court verdict Dolidze said that the decision made by a judge over the case was dangerous as the verdict enabled the council members permanently avoid critical and unwanted members.

Dolidze says that her colleagues’ decision in the council was “against the right of expression.”

“I will appeal the verdict as the council’s decision creates serious threats to freedom of expression and the court system,” Dolidze said.

The council says that their decision against Dolidze was “lawful” and that it was the reason why the court did not take Dolidze’s remarks into consideration.

Before serving in the council Dolidze served as the president’s parliamentary secretary.

Ana Dolidze is a doctor of law, a professor at the University of Western Ontario in the United States and author of various scientific publications.

The High Council of Justice underwent major changes in 2013.

According to the amendments the High Council of Justice is now composed of 15 members.

Eight members are elected by the self-governing body of judges, five members -by the Parliament of Georgia and one member is appointed by the president.

The HCOJ was created to coordinate the judiciary system and to advance effectiveness and independence of the judiciary.

The main functions of the HCOJ include organizing qualification exams for judges, selection and appointment of judges of trial and appellate courts, disciplinary proceedings, legislative drafting and analytical work, quality management and relationship with the public.