Ombudsman to report before Parliament regarding draft law on selection of Supreme Court judges

The Public Defender’s Office of Georgia has released a statement regarding the rule of selection of the Supreme Court judges.

According to the statement, the Parliament of Georgia is discussing the draft law, initiated by the parliamentary majority and it has already been endorsed with the first hearing.

"The Chairman of the Parliament addressed the Venice Commission and requested to prepare the conclusion about the draft law. In addition, it was publicity announced that the draft law would not be adopted with the second hearing until the Venice Commission’s conclusion was submitted.

The Public Defender of Georgia is paying a special attention to the reform of the rule of selection of the Supreme Court judges. We used our authority and addressed the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on March 27, 2019, asking to prepare a conclusion on the bill in an accelerated manner.

On April 12, 2019, it was reported that the Legal Committee plans to discuss the draft law with its second hearing on April 15, 2019. Unfortunately, this happens until the Venice Commission submits its opinion.

Due to the fact that that the Parliament is carrying out a forced process regarding the rule of selection of the Supreme Court judges, the Public Defender, for the first time since the office was established, has decided to use her competence and to report before the Parliament regarding the draft law on selection of the Supreme Court judges and on the shortcomings of the draft law. The Public Defender expresses its readiness to answer the questions of MPs after submitting the report.

The letter of relevant request has already been sent to the Parliament of Georgia by the Public Defender. According to the procedure, the Bureau of Parliament determines the date of submission of the report. The Public Defender also requested to attend the Bureau sitting and participate in the decision-making process. The Public Defender has already sent a letter of a relevant request to the Parliament.

The date of the reporting will be set by the Parliament’s bureau,” the statement reads.