Venice Commission shares final opinion on Georgian constitutional reforms

  • The Venice Commission discusses Georgia's constitutional reforms. Photo by Parliament of Georgia, 6 Oct 2017 - 21:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has prepared its final opinion over Georgia’s constitutional reforms reiterating its previous positive assessment, "notably that the constitutional reform process completes the evolution of Georgia’s political system towards a parliamentary system”.

With respect to the other amendments made to the previous draft, the Commission welcomes, in particular:

  • Introduction of the requirement of a qualified majority of two-thirds of the votes of the total number of electors in the Election Board in a presidential election;
  • Requirement of a qualified majority in the election of three judges of the Constitutional Court and a number of members of the High Judicial Council by Parliament;
  • Lifetime appointment for the judges of the Supreme Court;
  • Abolition of probationary periods for judges as from 31 December 2024;
  • Election of the Public Defender for a longer term (6 years instead of 5) by a qualified majority in parliament;

The Commission believes that the proposed changes "constitute a positive step towards the consolidation and improvement of the country’s constitutional order, based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights”.

Attending the plenary session of the Venice Commission Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze thanked the Venice Commission and its President Gianni Buquicchio for their recommendations on the constitution. Photo by Parliament of Georgia

Read also: Georgian President, parliamentary majority discuss constitutional changes

Georgian Parliament has adopted the draft constitutional changes at their third and final hearing on September 26. However, consultations among the President Giorgi Margvelashvili, ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Movement team and opposition is still underway to achieve the final consensus.