Coalition requests the Constitutional Court to declare the closing of interviews with judicial candidates by the High Council of Justice as unconstitutional
The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary has submitted a constitutional appeal to the Constitutional Court of Georgia requesting the Court to declare unconstitutional the provision regulating the closing of judicial candidate interviews (Decision of the High Council of Justice on the Approval of the Rules for Selecting Judicial Candidates).
The disputed provision allows judicial candidates to close their interviews, disallowing stakeholders from attending, and witnessing the questions posed by the Council and the answers given by the candidates. Closed interviews became more frequent in recent years. Despite high public interest, in February 2018, 34 of 50 judicial candidates closed their interviews, of which 31 were given lifetime appointments.
According to Article 24 of the Constitution of Georgia, every person has the right to receive information freely, while Article 41 ensures the right of access to official documents held by state institutions, which includes not only that information which has already been processed, but also access to the process of generation of this information. An interview with a judicial candidate is a process, whereby official information is being generated. Therefore, limiting access to such interviews constitutes a violation of a constitutional right.
The constitutional appeal was submitted to the Constitutional Court by the Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI).