Levan Ioseliani: We need more information on the countries where the "veting" system was implemented, it is not clear that it was successful everywhere - this is an issue that needs to be agreed upon

This is an issue on which I think there should be an agreement and a discussion should be held in society - we need more information about the countries where the "veting" system was implemented. It is not unequivocal that it was successful everywhere - Public Defender Levan Ioseliani said while talking to journalists.

According to him, all reforms should be within the legislative framework that Georgia has.

"The recommendation implies carrying out the reform, be it through the "veting" system or other, so to speak, mechanisms. This is an issue that I think should be agreed upon and debated in society. We need more information in countries where the vetting system has been implemented. It is not clear that it was successful everywhere. For example, it caused additional problems in Albania. Therefore, such a recipe is not one that will automatically solve problems. All the more, whatever should be done, we should remember and understand that it should be within the legal framework that we have today. Beyond that, if an agreement is reached between the political parties, i.e., the governing parties and the opposition, on another type of reform, of course, the public defender will assess the justice of this reform and, among other things, the possibility of protecting the labor rights of those judges who may be affected by this part of the reform. We look at reform in all directions, not only from the point of view of fair trial, but also from the point of view of labor rights. Therefore, there is an agreement on what will be done", said the Public Defender.

In addition, the public defender spoke about the independence of the Georgian court and noted that it is important to take specific steps in this regard.

"It is very important that today, at this stage, when within the framework of 9 recommendations, it is required to carry out an important reform in the court, there should be readiness in this direction and specific steps should be taken. This will increase confidence in the court and most importantly, it will give Georgia a chance to start negotiations without it being an obstacle. I hope that concrete steps will be taken in this direction. We support transparency in this direction as much as possible. It is important for us that the number of cases and the overcrowded court should be reduced as much as possible. This will be one of the prerequisites for access to justice. [The entry of new judges] is one of the issues we emphasize in our report, that it is important to have as transparent a system as possible, where new people are allowed to take positions on the court. However, the overcrowding of the court in this sense should not be an obstacle for our citizens to have access to speedy justice. This is one of the important problems", said the Public Defender.

In addition, the Ombudsman responded to the issue of pardoning the third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and noted that this is Salome Zurabishvili's discretion.

"The president has the discretion to pardon the convicts, therefore, it will be her decision and naturally, she should make it." From this point of view, we cannot make additional comments because it is the president's discretion and she should act accordingly", Ioseliani said.

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