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High Council of Justice appeals to President to dismiss Anna Dolidze from her position

By Levan Abramishvili
Tuesday, November 5
The High Council of Justice has formally appealed to President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili for the termination of Anna Dolidze’s membership of the Council as a non-judge member. An appeal was made on November 1.

The initiative belongs to the judge member of the Council Dimitri Gvritishvili and was voiced at the meeting on October 25. His appeal to the President is based on the fact that Ana Dolidze engages in political activities that are incompatible with the status of a Council member.

Dolidze repeatedly made political statements and calls, including demanding Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia's resignation, according to him.

Also, the letter sent by Council members to the President states that “Anna Dolidze has systematically violated the ethics of a public servant and her actions are not only aimed at discrediting the judiciary but are also damaging the important state institution that appointed her, the President of Georgia”.

Eleven members of the Council supported the termination of Dolidze’s authority and two non-judge members, Irma Gelashvili and Nazi Janezashvili, did not sign the document.

Dolidze has replied to the initiative, expressing hope that the President won’t take the side of the ‘evil forces.’

“As you know, this is a fight for a free court that is going on right now. There are two sides to this fight. On the one hand, there is the ‘clan’, the Georgian Dream and Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is involved in the fight. On the other hand, there is the whole Georgian society. Hopefully, in this case, Salome Zourabichvili will not be on the side of the evil forces,” Dolidze told IPN.

Concerning the appeal itself, Dolidze stated that the Council had committed another illegal act with this step because it had no legal right to make such an appeal.

“The High Council of Justice cannot come up with any legal basis under which it is entitled to make such an appeal. In the same way, the mayor of Zestafoni can ask Salome Zourabichvili to take me off of the Council. They’re trying to establish such unlawfulness. There is no constitutional basis for my removal from the Council because it is not written in the constitution that the President can dismiss a member of the High Council of Justice. She only has a written right to appoint a member of the Council. This requires a legislative change and, as far as I know, the ‘Democracy Index’ has already addressed the Parliament of Georgia,” noted Dolidze.

An independent MP Eka Beselia has also responded to the Council’s appeal, saying that no matter how hard they try, they can’t silence Anna Dolidze and Nazi Janezashvili, another non-judge member.

Eka Beselia claims that the High Council of Justice is damaging the authority of the court and the judiciary.

“I can tell you definitely that both Dolidze and Janezashvili are doing their job. They are doing what a Council member should do when they see the dangerous trends and how the judge members of the Council of Justice themselves are destroying the trust and authority of the judiciary,” said the independent MP.

Following the constitutional amendments, a minimum number of judges at the Supreme Court increased from 16 to 28, at the same time, 10-year appointments were changed to lifetime terms.

The High Council of Justice was given the authority to nominate candidates for parliamentary appointment. After the selection process, the Council provided a list of 20 candidates to the Parliament of Georgia for approval. The hearing of each Supreme Court Judge is in progress in the Parliament.

Anna Dolidze is a member of the High Council of Justice nominated by the President. Dolidze was appointed as a member of the Council by the decision of the former President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili in 2018.

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, independent experts and non-governmental organizations have all found numerous flaws in the selection process of the Supreme Court Judges, including the lack of transparency and accountability.