The High Council of Justice has appointed 36 judges to appellate and district courts in Georgia.
Newly appointed judges who have more than three years of experience in the court system are appointed for life, while the rest are appointed for a probationary period of three years.
Seventeen judges were appointed to the Tbilisi Court of Appeals, three to the Kutaisi Court of Appeals, four to Gori District Court, three to Bolnisi District Court, three to Mtskheta District Court, two to Telavi District Court, one to Zugdidi District Court, one to Ozurgeti District Court, one to Rustavi District Court and one to Khashuri District Court.
The High Council of Justice announced vacancies for candidates for judges for 99 vacant positions in the appellate and district (city) courts. 68 individuals applied for the vacancy, 65 of them passed to the voting stage and finally 36 were selected.
A non-judge member of the council, Nazi Janezashvili, said that the court door is not open to professionals, which is the main problem of the system. She said that several 'good judges' were appointed but they accounted for 'a very small number in the 300-person system'.
Janezashvili said that there was low competition and the interest of professionals from the legal circle was very low.
She also mentioned that 'clan decisions emerged during the voting, which means that as before, it was now clear that the members of the council had agreed in advance on the candidates'.
A judge-member of the council, Dimitri Gvritishvili, responded to Janezashvili and said that she had offended all 36 'decent judges' when equating their appointment to the 'clan decisions'.
"The reality is quite different and simple: the court is open to all conscientious and qualified staff. If someone is less interested in participating in the announced vacancy, it is probably because they do not have the hope of meeting the criteria set by law, or it is not worth it to go to the courts from the private sector, because the responsibility is immeasurable", he said.