The US Embassy to Georgia says that it is disappointed that the Georgian parliament is moving forward with Supreme Court appointments before it has completed an ‘independent assessment’ of the previous waves of judicial reform as parliament’s leaders agreed to do.
“We are also concerned that judicial appointments are proceeding without the participation of non-judge members of the High Council of Justice. While the High Council and parliament have rushed through appointment of judges over the past year, there has been no action on non-judge appointments despite the positions being vacant for months,” said the embassy.
The embassy stated that before any further Supreme Court judges are appointed, ‘we strongly encourage parliament to prioritize the appointment of impartial, independent, non-judge members to the High Council of Justice, and complete an independent assessment of the previous waves of reform by Spring 2022.’
The EU and US embassies have several times called on Georgia to pause the appointment of judges to the country’s Supreme Court, until Georgia carried out ‘fundamental judiciary reforms.
’The parliament is now interviewing four candidates for the Supreme Court judge, as the state legislature elects Supreme Court judges with at least 76 votes in the 150-member parliament. The candidates are selected by the High Council of Justice, an independent body which selects and appoints judges across the country. However, Georgian NGOs say that the High Council of Justice is being run by a ‘biased clan of judges.’