The Coalition’s Statement on Nominating Nino Kadagidze as the Chair
On March 10, 2020, the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) nominated Nino Kadagidze to the Parliament as a candidate for the Chair position. She was one of those 10 candidates who the HCOJ nominated to Parliament for the Supreme Court without any public hearing and discussion at the end of December, 2018. The Coalition believes that the candidates on the list were leaders, members or sympathizers of the influential group within the judiciary. In case of Nino Kadagidze, this was well illustrated during her hearing at the Legal Affairs Committee, when she found it difficult to discuss internal threats to judicial independence and practically denied the existence of the influential group, or the “clan,” within the judiciary.
She was also one of the 14 persons who were appointed to the Supreme Court last year, amid significant shortcomings. This process was not assessed positively by any independent observer, domestic or international.
Significantly, the HCOJ made the decision of nominating her upon consultations with Supreme Court judges only, behind closed doors. Judges from the first and second instance courts, as well as civil society representatives and other interested parties, were not involved in these discussions. While the HCOJ does not have a legal obligation for such open consultation, it would have been advisable to have an open and inclusive selection process, given the high public interest, and in order to secure more legitimacy for this process.
Given the above questions towards the selection process and the history of judge Kadagidze’s appointment to the supreme court, the Coalition considers the nomination of Nino Kadagidze’s candidacy for the high post of Chair of the Supreme Court of Georgia unjustifiable and calls on members of Parliament not to support her candidacy.