DRI proposals for the implementation of EU recommendations relating to judicial reform
The Democracy Research Institute addressed the parliamentary factions and representatives of political groups with recommendations relating to the judicial reform.
Today, within the framework of the procedure for the legislative initiative, the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, in connection with the issue of granting the EU membership candidate status to Georgia, will present a package of legislative amendments to be made to the Organic Law of Georgia on Common Courts.
The content of the package of legislative amendments is still unknown to the general public, since the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament did not ensure the openness of the working group set up in connection with the judicial reform.
Nevertheless, the Democracy Research Institute hopes that it will be possible to consider the main proposals within the framework of the Committee's work, the adoption of which is important for the implementation of the recommendations laid down by the European Commission.
The recommendations cover the following areas:
- In order to improve the procedure for electing non-judge members of the Council of Justice, the Parliament should ensure a public hearing of the candidates, including the presentation of their vision and four-year action plan, question-and-answer sessions for the MPs and attendees;
The non-judge member shall be elected by open vote, after consideration of the matter at the plenary session.
2/3 of the judge and non-judge members shall be defined as the minimum quorum necessary for making substantive decisions in the Council of Justice (the so-called double 2/3).
There should be no judges in the Council of Justice who hold the office of the chairperson of the court (deputy chairperson, or chairperson of the collegium or chamber)
Re-election of members of the Council of Justice should be limited.
Specific grounds for transferring judges to other courts shall be determined by law. The rules for transferring judges to other courts, which had been applied before the December 2021 changes, should be restored.
The implementation of the four waves of the judicial reform should be evaluated within the framework of the parliamentary format - the benefits of the reform in practice and the challenges. The assessment should be based on the documents and opinions developed not only by the ruling party, but also by other political groups, professional circles and civil organizations.
The justice strategy and action plan should be developed on the basis of the evaluation of the results of the four waves of reform.