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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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22 May 2023

Promoting Public Discussion on Judiciary Issues in Samtskhe-Javakheti

The USAID Rule of Law Program actively supports and promotes public discussions on judiciary-related topics in the regions of Georgia. As part of this effort, on May 19, 2023, the Democratic Institutions Research Center (DIRC) organized meetings with students and local civil society organizations (CSOs) in Samtskhe-Javakheti. The purpose of these meetings was to bridge information gaps and shed light on the impact of justice sector issues on the lives of Georgians.

At Samtskhe-Javakheti State University, DIRC representatives Sofo Verdzeuli, Nina Chikhladze, and Biko Kartvelishvili engaged in interactive sessions with students. The discussions revolved around the significance, challenges, and ongoing reforms in the justice system. Specifically, they discussed the state of the judiciary in relation to the European Union's 12 recommendations to Georgia in connection with its application for EU candidate status. The students demonstrated a keen interest in understanding the vetting process and expressed curiosity about the experiences of other countries in this regard. DIRC and the students also discussed the appointment of judges and the election of non-judge members of the High Council of Justice.

Another meeting took place at the Center for Civic Engagement in Akhaltsikhe attended by representatives from media outlets and local CSOs. During this session, the DIRC speakers provided valuable insights into practical aspects of judicial reform. The participants actively shared their perspectives on localized challenges, including language barriers and socio-economic factors that affect access to justice.

These regional meetings are part of a larger DIRC project funded by the USAID Rule of Law Program. The primary objective of the project is to enhance public awareness regarding the key developments in the justice sector and to emphasize Georgia's international commitments concerning judicial reforms.

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