Gov’t approves changes to justice system

Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani explained the main change to the plea agreement law after the Government meeting today., 04 Apr 2014 - 18:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government has approved a proposal to increase the transparency of plea bargaining.

Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani explained the main change to the plea agreement law, which saw the creation of a special report that recorded all details of discussions between the prosecution and those accused.

The reports would record topics discussed, any issues and any agreements made between the parties.

After today’s Government meeting, Tsulukiani said the reform to the plea bargaining law would benefit the prosecution and the accused, as both parties would know exactly what was agreed.

She noted this change would make this process more transparent.

"The draft law foresees writing a special report after plea bargaining negotiations begin between a prosecutor and an accused, and this is a novelty,” she said.

"The special report will depict the topic on which the deal was made, what the parties agreed to, and will be confirmed by both parties. Besides that, after the plea agreement is sent to the court for approval, the Judge will be obliged to explain its legal consequences to the defendant.

""In particular, if the accused are considered guilty, they will not have the opportunity to review the criminal case and other subsequent effects,” the Justice Minister said.

"Moreover, in the process of making the agreement, the rights of the victims are expanding [and they] will be able to attend the process in the courtroom and express their opinion on the plea agreement,” Tsulukiani said.