Georgian president says her involvement has led to three of five Venice Commissions on judges being met

  • Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili stated that she has held consultations in parliament regarding the Venice Commission recommendations on the selection and appointment of judges. Photo: President’s press office., 22 Apr 2019 - 18:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President  Salome Zurabishvili has stated that she has held consultations with Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, since when three of five recommendations of the CoE Venice Commission on the selection and appointment of Georgian Supreme Court judges have been implemented.

The Venice Commission pushed forward five major recommendations. One of the recommendations, which urged for the rejection of exams for non-judge candidates, has been met immediately and reflected in the draft.  I had consultations with Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and three other recommendations have also been met,” Zurabishvili said.

She stated  that the three recommendations concerned the release of personal information of candidates, depriving a member of the High Council of Justice who is running for the position of Supreme Court judge of voting in the selection process of judges and the nomination of the Supreme Court chairperson.

The personal information of the candidates will be available to interested parties. The members of the High Council of Justice, who will run for the Supreme Court judge, will not have the right to vote and the candidate for the Supreme Court chairperson will be nominated by three and not one member of the High Council of Justice,” Zurabishvili said.

The Venice Commission has provided recommendations on the bill offered by the Georgian Dream ruling party MPs on the selection and appointment of the Supreme Court judges. Photo: Supreme Court press office. 

She stated that the fifth recommendation of the Venice Commission, regarding the need of an open vote, “creates an awkward situation.”

The Venice Commission recommended itself back in 2014 that the vote on the High Council of Justice should be closed,” Zurabishvili said.

Two other topics of the special briefing

Speaking about yesterday’s confrontation in the Pankisi Gorge, when locals protested against the construction of the HPP, Zurabishvili said that violence against law enforcers is unacceptable.

She welcomed that the situation was calmed with the involvement of the Interior Minister and added that before the constriction of any HPP, its possible impacts on the environment must be closely studied.

Zurabishvili also touched upon the video of the opposition-minded Rustavi-2 TV channel last week, claiming that a 15-year-old boy committed suicide in the Samegrelo region because of hunger, a claim which was dismissed by the family.

Zurabishvili said that “it is an embarrassment” when such tragedies are used for political aims and tasked the Health Ministry and its social agency to list extremely poor families and to take special measures to help them.