PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia Titus Corlatean and Claude Kern have expressed their regret yesterday that the Georgian parliament ‘did not wait’ for the Venice Commission’s opinion before the adoption of the amendments for the appointment of Supreme Court judges.
This, they said ‘could have helped ensure' that all Venice Commission recommendations and concerns with regard to the previous version of the law 'were fully addressed’.
However, following the publication of the Venice Commission opinion on these amendments, it is clear that this has not been the case and we can only regret that the parliament did not wait with the adoption of these amendments until the Venice Commission’s opinion was finalised”, Corlatean and Kern stated.
They further noted that while several recommendations from the previous Venice Commission opinion were implemented, ‘a small but crucial number of issues remain to be addressed’.
This is especially the case with regard to the process for appealing High Council of Justice decisions and the need to disclose the names of the Council’s members, together with their vote”, they said.
Corlatean and Kern claim that these remaining recommendations ‘still need to be implemented to ensure that the law provides a fully adequate basis for the sensitive issue of the appointment of Supreme Court judges in Georgia’.
They therefore call on all political forces in Georgia 'to commit themselves to addressing' the remainder of the Venice Commission recommendations ‘as soon as the new parliament has been convened’.
"Crucial issues still need addressing over the appointment of Supreme Court judges in Georgia", say PACE's Georgia monitors after the latest parliamentary vote. They also regretted that parliament didn't wait for the @VeniceComm's opinion on the changes. pic.twitter.com/eFRIijTqYj— PACE (@PACE_News) October 9, 2020
'If the sanitary situation allows’ the co-rapporteurs intend to make their next fact-finding visit soon after the parliamentary elections on October 31, which they also hope to observe as part of a PACE observer delegation.
The Georgian parliament requested the Venice Commission to provide its views on the court amendments on September 22; the amendments were adopted in its third and final reading on September 30.