Venice Commission ready to help Georgia make clear procedures for selection of judges

The Venice Commission promises “speedy” support for Georgia to settle its court-related row. Photo: CoE., 13 Mar 2019 - 17:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe says that it is ready to help Georgia make clear and transparent procedures for the selection and appointment of judges, which has become one of the top issues of discussion over the past two months.

Head of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio wrote on the official webpage of the council that the commission had received a request for an opinion from the speaker of the Georgian parliament regarding the appointment of Supreme Court judges.

I welcome the willingness of the Georgian authorities to cooperate with us in order to establish clear and transparent criteria and procedures for the selection and appointment of these judges,” Buquicchio said.

He claimed that the Venice Commission will deal with this request “speedily” as it is conscious that it is urgent to have a full composition of the Supreme Court to ensure its effective functioning.

As concerns the appointment of other judges, the Venice Commission underlines that it is important that their status does not remain undetermined for an excessive period of time. The appointment of judges until their retirement, based on clear and transparent criteria and procedures, is an essential condition for the independence of the judiciary, “he stated.

The ruling Georgian Dream party stated on February 20 that they would ask the 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 came after turmoil related to ten judges nominated for the Supreme Court of Georgia in December 2018.

Members of the civil sector, the ruling party and the opposition stated that several judges on the list used to deliver unfair verdicts under the United National Movement leadership.