Non governmental organizations respond to statements of the prime minister and vice chairperson of parliament - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Non governmental organizations respond to statements of the prime minister and vice chairperson of parliament

28 July, 2014

 

 

 

We would like to respond and express our opinion on several statements made by representatives of the authorities in relation to the judiciary in the recent period.

On 10 June 2014, the Prime Minister meeting the locals in Batumi stated: “We still have a suspicion and grounds to think that several judges are still not independent and still several judges are under influence of the previous government.”

We believe that it is important that high-ranking officials must take special care when commenting about the judiciary and especially when making allegations against the judiciary in general, and particularly - individual judges, without providing clear and reliable evidence. The judges have the obligation to act in compliance with the ethical code, which also entails observing the principles of political neutrality and impartiality. The Identification and investigation of cases violating these principles is the responsibility of concrete agencies and not a subject of political statements.

Regarding the same topic, Ms. Manana Kobakhidze, the vice chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia, made a statement  in relation to the Constitutional Court’s decision on Giorgi Ugulava’s case. According to the vice chairperson, before, the Constitutional Court would not dare to make such a ruling and this is a sign of independence acquired under the current authorities. The statement made by Ms. Eliso Chapidze, the deputy chairperson of the Education, Science and Culture Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, also needs to be taken into consideration, which concerns the Constitutional Court making a politically motivated decision in the Public Broadcaster’s case. The fact that occurred after the ruling involving the chairperson of the Constitutional Court also needs to be considered. Opinions expressed by the majority party in the court may encourage expression of protest and opinions in this form and similar events. Unfortunately, these acts were not followed by adequate reaction and assessment from representatives of the government.

A democratic society cannot exist without respecting and recognizing the decisions of the judiciary. It is important that representatives of the executive and legislative authorities are coherent and principled in their acts and statements, benefiting the independence of the judiciary and strengthening the system. Their statements must not encourage discrediting the judiciary and damaging its authority. This is particularly important when the court’s decision contravenes the majority party’s interests.

We encourage both representatives of the government and any other political group to refrain from making unsubstantiated statements relating the judicial bodies, which can cause the judiciary to get involved in the politics and have its independence broken.

 

Human Rights Monitoring and Education Center (EMC)

Transparency International Georgia

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)

Fund “Open Society Georgia”

Article 42 of the Constitution

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