Open Society Georgia Foundation Calls on Candidates of Supreme Court Judges for Cooperation

8 Jul, 2019

Let us remind the public that the Parliament of Georgia will soon discuss the issue of appointment of 20 judges to the Supreme Court of Georgia for lifetime tenure.

Given the importance of establishing an independent, impartial and transparent judiciary in the country as well as the role of the Supreme Court of Georgia in this system, it was decided, with the support of Open Society Georgia Foundation, to carry out an alternative process of searching and processing the information about the candidates of the Supreme Court judges in frames of which publicly available information about 20 candidates selected/nominated by the High Council of Justice will be collected and processed. Based on this information, a so-called candidate portfolio will be created and submitted to the Parliament of Georgia.

Public interest in the process of selection and appointment of the Supreme Court judges is extremely high. In response to this interest, the Parliament of Georgia announced earlier that the legislative process of selection, nomination, and appointment of candidates would be as much open and transparent as possible. However, by the decision of the High Council of Justice, the civil society sector and other stakeholders were deprived of access to information submitted by the candidates to the High Council of Justice. This decision by the Council has significantly harmed transparency and openness of the entire process, as well as undermined trust towards each candidate.

If elected, the judges will be responsible for the administration of justice, on behalf of Georgia, in the final instance court of Georgia. So, it is crucial that the entire process, as well as candidates, enjoy public trust and that there are no question marks regarding candidate’s honesty or professionalism.

Alternative information processing will help provide additional information to Georgian MPs about the candidates of judges, as well as thoroughly inform the broad public about each candidate’s experience and achievements.

A part of candidates has already expressed their commitment to high standards and agreed to provide information to the Open Society Georgia Foundation. But for the project purposes, it is important that all candidates get engaged in the process activities that will help collect as much information about their professional activities as possible and create their full and comprehensive portfolios.

Thus, the Foundation calls on all candidates of the Supreme Court judges to demonstrate high professional standard and provide any information that is necessary to assess a candidate’s honesty and professionalism.