Judges on controversial list for Supreme Court call on parliament not to discuss their candidacies

Only the High Council of Justice has the right to withdraw the list of judges for the Supreme Court from Parliament. Photo: Supreme Court FB page.

Agenda.ge, 21 Jan 2019 - 18:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ten judges, who were  nominated for the Supreme Court of Georgia at the end of December 2018, have released a joint statement today in which they call upon the parliament to suspend discussions around their candidacies.

The ten judges say that their “legitimate nomination” by the High Council of Justice, an independent body which is responsible for the appointment of judges, was followed by “unhealthy speculations” and the intimidation of several judges on the list.

The negative campaign also included demands regarding the shutdown of the High Council of Justice and the ‘dismissal of biased judges.’

The judges say that such an attitude affects the court system.

As it is beyond the competence of parliament to withdraw the list, we call upon the legislative body to suspend discussions concerning our candidacies,” the statement reads.

Non-judge members of the High Council of Justice and the Georgian civil sector have strongly criticized the list, which “included several judges who were connected with politically motivated cases under the United National Movement leadership.”

The parliament made a decision on 26 December 2018 to postpone discussions regarding the judges until the spring session and elaborate new procedures for the selection of judges.

The Georgian civil sector and the opposition have welcomed the recent statement of the judges. However, they said that the “fight must be brought to the end” and clear procedures must be drafted for the selection of “fair judges.”

Judges for the Supreme Court must be approved by parliament.