EU calls on Georgia to uphold commitments in wake of ‘non-transparent’ judicial appointments

EU calls on Georgia to uphold commitments in wake of ‘non-transparent’ judicial appointments

November 3, 2021

The European Union has again called on the Georgian authorities to uphold their reform commitments following the “hasty, non-transparent and non-competitive” appointments of two new judges to the High Council of Justice.

On 31 October, the Conference of Judges of Georgia elected two new judge members of the High Council of Justice. These appointments took place on the day after local elections and only four days after the publication of the Conference’s agenda. The appointees’ predecessors, two women, had unexpectedly resigned from their mandates whose terms had not expired. No announcement of candidates was made in advance of the appointments.

In remarks released on 2 November, EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell said the appointments were at odds with Georgia’s commitments aimed at increasing the independence, accountability, quality and trust in the Judiciary, in line with the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, adding: This is a fifth setback in the area of the judiciary and rule of law in Georgia, within only four months.”

“These developments demonstrate yet again the urgent need to launch an ambitious judicial reform through a broad, inclusive and cross-party reform process,” he said.

Ambassador Hartzell concluded: The European Union reiterates that, while it remains fully committed to support Georgia’s reforms in line with the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, the EU’s assistance to Georgia remains conditional on progress on key reforms.

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