Georgian Gov’t begins major prosecution reform

Georgian Prime Minister today instructed Justice Minister to establish a working group for reforming prosecution. Building of Chief Prosecutor's Office in Tbilisi., 18 Dec 2014 - 17:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Government is beginning a major institutional reform of the country’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office for the purpose of increasing its independence and accountability.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili instructed Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani to establish a working group regarding this issue at today’s Governmental meeting.

Garibashvili noted the reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was a promise he made to the Georgian public before the elections – and now he was fulfilling his promise.

"Our main task is to develop the prosecutor bodies into an effective mechanism against crime. To strengthen it but at the same time enhance the rule of law in Georgia. The Chief Prosecutor's Office is a very important body that participates in the justice process,” he said.

"For me, as the Prime Minister of this country, it is important not to leave any state agency without reformation. All state institutions should get better than they are now and this is what construction of institutional democracy means."

To make the process more balanced and trustworthy, Garibashvili also invited non-governmental organisations to participate in the working process.

One of the most important things was to establish an institutionally balanced model under which the prosecution's neutrality will be institutionally secured and the principle of accountability will be protected, Garibashvili said.

The reform preparation process will be held in the criminal Inter-Agency Council established in collaboration with the European Union, consisting of Georgian ministries, the Prosecutor's Office, the United Nations Development Programme, international and non-governmental organisations.

Head of the Inter-Agency, Justice Minister Tsulukiani noted the group would start discussing the issue on December 26.

"Institutional reform of the prosecution means that it must be determined where the Prosecutor’s Office should work. Should it be under the power of the executive government or if not, where will it be? Most importantly, the Prime Minister has instructed us to determine the accountability issue - to whom will the main prosecutor report,” she asked.

"The main goal which we have to achieve is to make the prosecution an effective institution which fights against crime and at the same time, strengthens the rule of law as one of the main bodies of criminal justice system. This means that the institutional frame, in which the prosecution works now, needs to be revised and improved,” she said.

In addition, local NGO Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) already responded to the PM’s initiative. They positively evaluated the idea and expressed readiness to engage in the working process of reformation of the Prosecutor’s Office.