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23 Oct 2023

Public Discussion with University Students on Challenges in the Judiciary

The USAID Rule of Law Program supports public discussions on judiciary-related topics in Georgia. With the Program’s support, Democracy Defenders (DemDef) organized a debate for students on challenges in the justice system and possible solutions. Giorgi Mshvenieradze, DemDef representative, and Davit Zedelashvili from Gnomon Wise Research Institute (an independent research institute based at the University of Georgia) presented different views on judicial reforms to over 40 students at the University of Georgia.   

Mr. Mshvenieradze shared the recommendations reflected in “12 Steps towards a Fair Trial,” a document developed by DemDef and Georgian Democracy Initiative that covers issues such as the reform of the High Council of Justice, the election of court presidents, judicial transfers, judicial specializations, disciplinary proceedings, case allocation, jury trials, reform of the Code of Administrative Offenses, and case overload. He noted that the proposed changes do not require constitutional amendments.

Davit Zedelashvili outlined major problems in the justice system. According to his perspective, the decentralization and devolution of power in the judiciary should be the primary goal for a fundamental reform.

The presentations were followed by questions and answers. The discussion touched on the role and functions of the High Council of Justice, the diversification of types of court cases to be considered by a jury, and judicial reforms in the context of Georgia’s EU integration.

This was the fourth discussion in a series of debates organized by Democracy Defenders with USAID Rule of Law Program support to promote public discussion on the court system in Georgia. During the course of the project, eight similar events will take place for students in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi.


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