Georgian judges have released a joint statement in which they condemn what they say is a ‘politically motivated and unhealthy process which aims to discredit the Georgian judiciary.’
The letter by 310 judges comes in response to statements from the opposition, NGOs and foreign embassies which call for a moratorium on the election of new judges to the Georgian Supreme Court and the High Council of Justice (HCJ) until the ‘full implementation’ of the April 19 EU-mediated agreement.
The agreement proposed by the European Council President Charles Michel and signed by the majority of Georgian political parties to resolve the several-month political crisis in the country says that the signatories must ensure large-scale electoral and judicial reforms.
The Georgian judges say that the country’s court ‘has never been as free and it is now and this is confirmed by foreign ratings and statistics.’
The US and EU embassies have called for the moratorium on election of new judges. Photo:IPN.
We are Georgian judges. We are the patriots of the country and serve the country's interests only. We are faithful to justice and committed to its enforcement,” says the letter.
The judges also state that the judiciary field must be free from the interference of executive and legislative authorities, ‘as well as any other subjects involved in the country’s political and public process.’
The EU and US embassies have several times criticised the election of new members to the country’s High Council of Justice, the body which selects and appoints judges around the country, as well as selection of new candidates by HCJ for the Supreme Court.
The Georgian parliamentary opposition parties say that if the parliament approves candidates for the Supreme Court it will be a violation of the EU-mediated agreement.
They and NGOs state that HCJ is being run by a clan of judges.
The ruling Georgian Dream party said that they will support the approval of Supreme Court judges by parliament because the state legislature adopted major judiciar reforms before signing the EU-mediated agreement.
The approval of the judges will need at least 76 votes in the 150-member parliament, while the ruling party MPs occupy 90 seats there.