Civil society once again responds to the latest developments taking place at Public Service Broadcaster. Increasing influence of individuals connected to the government and the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili at Public Broadcaster is alarming and contradicts the mission of a public broadcaster in a democratic society.
For the first time the renewed composition of the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) is appointing judges for life. As of now, the Council has completed interviews of thirty-eight judges who applied for life tenure. Due to the recent legislative amendments it is expected that more than one hundred judges who are currently on probation may apply for life tenure.
On 1 September, the Venice Commission President Gianni Buquicchio stated that the postponement of the introduction of the proportional system in the Georgian Parliamentary elections to 2024 is disappointing.
As public prosecutors in many regions of the world use their powers to suppress critical voices, over 130 human rights/civil society organizations including IDFI and anti-corruption groups call on the International Association of Prosecutors to preserve the integrity of the profession.
On August 29, the Government selected two new candidates for the European Court of Human Rights to substitute for the candidates rejected by the Council of Europe. The Coalition believes that the composition and rules that govern the work of the Governmental Commission are still unjust, as is the outcome of its work, which does not correspond to the requirements of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly Resolution on Nomination of Candidates and Selection of Judges.
In response to your letter #4920 of August 17, 2017, please be informed that the Coalition for a Transparent and Independent Judiciary will not participate in the work of the Commission for selecting judicial candidates for the European Court of Human Rights.
We, the undersigned, the representatives of Georgian civil society organizations would like to address you ahead of your visit to Georgia, to point out outstanding issues we see most important for the democratic development and statecraft in Georgia as well as for the security and stability in the region.
The term of office of the Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Georgia ended on July 25. The new Auditor General will be elected by the nomination of the Chair of the Parliament of Georgia and through the majority vote of the Parliament. According to reports in the media, the Georgian Dream is considering to nominate members of the ruling party for this position.
The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary calls on the Government to change the composition rules (composition) and procedures of the Commission for the selection of the Strasbourg Court judicial candidates. If the majority of the Commission members continue to represent the government branches, representatives of independent institutions will stay in the minority and the Commission will continue to act according to the same procedures. Correspondingly, the involvement of the Commission in the selection process will not ensure the selection and submission of appropriate candidates to Strasbourg.
On July 24, the High Council of Justice dismissed Giorgi Ebanoidze, Tbilisi City Court Criminal Collegium Chair. The Coalition believes that the Council’s decision is illegal and represents another example of power abuse.