Ruling party says accelerated discussion of controversial list of judges not on the agenda

The ruling party group leader in parliament Mamuka Mdinaradze stated that an assembly of the ruling party will take place by the spring session of parliament, where ‘major issues’ will be discussed. Photo: reginfo., 08 Jan 2019 - 16:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Dream ruling party leaders say that the controversial list of ten judges for the Supreme Court of Georgia will not be discussed in an accelerated manner and discussions around the issue will take place in the spring.

The statement came after today’s meeting of ruling party members in the village of Kachreti, in eastern Georgia.

The ruling Georgian Dream group leader in parliament Mamuka Mdinaradze told the media that the parliament must discuss the case of each judge separately and cautiously, as the lifetime appointment of judges in the Supreme Court is a “very significant issue.”

Mdinaradze stated that those who supported the discussion of the list of judges in an accelerated manner provided thee argument that there are only ten judges instead of 28 in the Supreme Court, which is “currently in a state of collapse”, creating serious obstacles for the working process of the court.

Mdinaradze also dismissed speculations that the ruling team also discussed whether or not to dismiss the former head of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Eka Beselia from the party, as the latter [Beselia] connected her resignation from the post at the end of December with the list of judges and accused Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze of lobbying certain judges with controversial pasts.

Both Mdinaradze and Kobakhidze stated that Beselia’s resignation “had nothing to do with the judges,” and that Beselia had stated that she might quit long before the nomination of the 10 judges by the High Council of Justice on 24 December, 2018.

The High Council of Justice, a body responsible for the appointment of judges in the country, nominated the 10 judges for the Supreme Court of Georgia without previous consultations.

The list was criticized by NGOs and several members of the ruling party, stating that the list included several judges who were related to politically motivated cases and a biased judiciary.

NGOs and many users on social media have asked parliament to withdraw the list and refine the procedures for the selection of judges.

Mdinaradze says that the refining of the procedure  is likely to take place, while the withdrawal of the list is up to the High Council of Justice and not the parliament.