Ruling party asks Venice Commission to help settle Georgian court-related row

The Georgian Dream ruling party says it will not support the bill  related to the selection and appointment of judges drafted by nine of its own members. Photo: Georgian Dream press office., 20 Feb 2019 - 14:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Dream ruling party has asked the Council of Europe Venice Commission to get involved in the drafting of a bill which will set criteria for the selection and the appointment of Georgian judges.

The statement comes after turmoil related to ten judges nominated for the Supreme Court of Georgia in December 2018.

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Judges nominated for the Supreme Court later removed their candidacies. Photo: Supreme Court of Georgia. 

The ruling party stated that they will not support the bill drafted by its member Eka Beselia and eight other ruling party legislators, offering the postponement of the lifetime appointment of the judges of the first and the second instances of courts until 2025.

The bill was drafted without the agreement of the party and it also contradicts the state constitution, which was drafted with the help of the Council of Europe Venice Commission,” the party says.

They claim that the current constitution speaks about an increase of the number of judges at least by 100, ‘when the bill by Beselia says that the number should be decreased’.

“The decrease will put the Georgian court system in a grave situation and may block its activities [due to the absence of sufficient number of judges],” the statement of the Georgian Dream political council reads.

Beselia says that the ruling party knew about the bill and that if some formulation of the bill is unacceptable for the party members, they could be changed through consultations.