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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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14 - 15 May, 2022

Group of Independent Lawyers Meeting with Political Parties

With the USAID Rule of Law Program’s support, the Group of Independent Lawyers (GIL) held a two-day working meeting with opposition political party representatives, where they discussed specific problems in the Georgian court system and brainstormed about potential solutions. 

Representatives of five parliamentary opposition parties, GIL, Georgian Court Watch, and the Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary participated in the meeting. 

GIL made presentations referring to the key problems in the administration of the court system and the changes made as a part of the Four Waves of judicial reforms. Ana Natsvlishvili from Lelo party talked about the impact of reforms, and Nazi Janezashvili from Georgian Court Watch made a presentation about the problems of nepotism and cronyism. 

The meeting participants pointed out that despite legislative improvements, the past reforms have not made any substantial changes. The need and importance of political consensus when suggesting and advocating for reforms in the justice system was also mentioned at the meeting. The need to appoint five non-judge members to the High Council of Justice was also discussed at the meeting. 

The attendees noted that in the current situation the professional society should be ready for different scenarios. Strategies can be grouped into those solutions that require constitutional changes and those which do not.

Participants also touched upon the Georgian Dream initiative to set up a working group in the Parliament to evaluate the impact of judicial reforms. They noted that only three working group meetings were held, and that the group is not formally arranged. A major concern is whether the ruling party will use the working group only to check whether Georgian legislation complies with international standards, without considering the impact of the amendments on court operations and practices.

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