Georgian opposition proposes judicial reforms in case of victory in elections
About 20 political parties cooperating in the run up to the upcoming elections have reached a consensus: Georgia needs an independent judiciary.
On March 13, they issued a memorandum outlining their plans if the opposition wins the parliamentary elections in the fall of 2020.
In the first year of reform, it will be necessary to implement a jury system which will consider serious and special serious crimes, and in the next four years, the jury system will be introduced for all crimes punishable by imprisonment.
By the end of 2021, the accused, along with the jury, must have the right to choose either an appointed judge or an elected judge. The same right should be vested in defendants in civil and administrative matters.
The Supreme Council of Justice must resign. The Supreme and Constitutional Courts must be combined. All acts must be annulled, according to which judges were appointed indefinitely from 2017 to the present. In order to apply all these points, constitutional amendments must be adopted. The opposition promises to provide them if successful in the parliamentary elections.
According to the opposition’s plan, foreign experts, specifically from the United States and Great Britain, will be invited to work in higher courts – the Supreme and Appeal Courts, because these countries have especially strong traditions in an independent judiciary. These judges will be appointed for a long term;
The opposition intends to introduce the American standard in civil and administrative disputes. According to the plan, in specific cases, the decision of the American court will be taken as a model as a recognition of legal precedent. This will concern issues related to freedom of speech, litigation between the state and businesses.
Representatives of the opposition believe that the agreement they signed will become the basis for the construction of the Georgian state and will forever change the judicial system, depriving the state of the opportunity to use it as a lever in its interests.