Coalition files a disciplinary complaint in the High Council of Justice - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Coalition files a disciplinary complaint in the High Council of Justice

11 March, 2016


On February 10, 2016, the Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary filed a disciplinary complaint against the judges of the Kutaisi City Court and individual judges of other courts in the High Council of Justice of Georgia. The Coalition believes that the public statement of the Kutaisi City Court regarding Mamuka Akhvlediani, as well as unethical and insulting comments that individual judges made on the Intranet, violates the Norms of Judicial Ethics and constitutes behavior unsuitable for judges that undermines the authority and public’s trust in the judiciary, which the applicable legislation regards as a disciplinary fault. According to the Norms of Judicial Ethics of Georgia, judges should observe due politeness in their statements and should not use insulting or humiliating words and expressions or discriminatory language.   

In the view of the Coalition, the public statement of the Kutaisi City Court, as well as the comments individual judges wrote on the Intranet, were only intended as a personal insult and infringement on the dignity and authority of Mamuka Akhvlediani rather than for professional deliberation on the institutional and systemic problems he had raised at the briefing of December 29, 2015. In the opinion of the Coalition, the judiciary’s authority is also undermined by the fact that judges react to critical opinion with such insulting and humiliating expressions. This creates the feeling that the judges find it difficult to distance themselves from the positions of influential groups even within the judicial corps; therefore, there is a danger that they will be predetermined and constrained by the attitudes and interests of the dominant majority when administering justice in concrete cases.

The Coalition takes into account the disciplinary proceedings that were launched in the Council against Mamuka Akhvlediani and, on this basis, emphasizes that it is inadmissible to apply the mechanism of disciplinary liability selectively, as an instrument for punishing judges who are undesirable for the Council. The High Council of Justice is obligated to be consistent in disciplinary proceedings rather than applying a selective approach and turning the mechanism for liability into a repressive instrument against critically disposed judges. Therefore, the Coalition calls on the Council to act in accordance with its statutory obligations and to start studying the actions of individual judges which may contain unethical behavior.