20 judges balk from criticism of EU, US concern over appointment of high-level judiciary members

Judges hail the support of the foreign dignitaries in helping Georgia become a member of the European and Euro-Atlantic family. Photo: RFERL

Agenda.ge, 07 Nov 2021 - 14:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

Over twenty judges have distanced themselves from criticism of EU and US concern over the appointment of two judge members of the High Council of Justice. 

Calling on the Georgian authorities to uphold their reform commitments, including in the justice sector, the United States Embassy and Head of the European Union delegation Carl Hartzell have called the appointments ‘hasty, non-transparent and non-competitive’.

In response, the Administrative Committee of the Conference of Judges, a self-governing body strengthening the independence of the judiciary, said diplomatic missions ‘are obligated to respect the laws and ordinances of the receiving state and not to interfere in its internal affairs’. 

Devi Devidze, judge of Bolnisi district court in Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli region, says the foreign partners who have been financially supporting Georgia for over 30 years including the judiciary, want to see ‘strong Georgia with its strong institutions' in the European and Euro-Atlantic family.

Judge of Tbilisi Court of Appeals Tea Sokhashvili-Nikolaishvili also joins in her colleagues in hailing the ‘immense role’ of the foreign partners in helping Georgia aspire to have democratic institutions. 

Following the assessments of the EU and US dignitaries, President Salome Zurabishvili has also stated that the election of two new members to the High Council of Justice ‘in this form and at this time is an incomprehensible step’. 

However, the Administrative Committee of the Conference of Judges disagrees, calling the attacks ‘unfounded’.