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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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09 Dec 2022

Public Lecture at Batumi State University

Law students from Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University had an opportunity to learn more about the Roleof a Judge in the Protection of Human Rights from American Judge James Redwine and Vice President of the Constitutional Court (CC) of Georgia Manana Kobakhidze.  

The public lecture was specially convened by the USAID Rule of Law Program on Human Rights Day, December 10, 2022. Dean of the Law Faculty Levan Jakeli addressed the participants with welcome remarks and emphasized the importance of such meetings for the next generation of law leaders. “It is important for students to connect with judges to better understand how the justice system impacts their community and how they can contribute to building a more just society for the future.” – he said. 

Judge Redwine initiated a discussion about the characteristics of a ‘Good Judge’. He noted: “Good judging is a complex duty that calls for judges of high character who often must choose between an easier wrong and a harder right in their service for society both on and off the bench. Good character has always been the most important qualification for a judge. As Socrates told his Athenian judges 2,400 years ago, ‘Your duty is to do justice, not make a present of it.’”

In her presentation, CC Vice President Manana Kobakhidze drew attention to the role of common court and Constitutional Court judges in establishing and safeguarding human rights standards. She also discussed landmark decisions of the Constitutional Court that had a positive effect on human rights and the protection of constitutional values: “As an example, I refer to the case where the Constitutional Court of Georgia considered the punishment of drug-related offences and declared unconstitutional both administrative and criminal responsibility for personal use of marijuana in private residences and urged the Parliament of Georgia to review the drug policy at national level.” 

The meeting was followed by students’ questions and discussion. 

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