Judge of Giorgi Rurua case tried to discredit Transparency International Georgia
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) would like to express its concern over an attempt to discredit our organisation by Valerian Bugianishvili, judge presiding over the case of Giorgi Rurua. The judge refused to consider the independent expert opinion (Amicus Curiae) filed by TI Georgia stating as the reason that the organisation is biased. With his actions, the judge upholds an extremely dangerous trend whereby the judicial system repeats the ruling party’s messages and attempts to undermine the reputation of the organisation.
Unfortunately, the court is now including these messages into its decisions. This indicates yet again that the judge of the Giorgi Rurua case was likely guided by political motives.
TI Georgia filed the Amicus Curiae brief based on the analysis of the criminal case materials on 24 January 2020. The organisation’s representative made an oral presentation of the brief at the open court session, answered the questions asked by the parties and offered additional clarifications. When drawing up the brief, the organisation was guided by the local legislation as well as international norms and precedent cases concerning human rights.
The court decision states that the presented brief was biased, supported the defence and was drawn up in violation of the legal requirements. Taking full responsibility for our words, we declare that this assessment is inaccurate. The judge did not include any substantiation or deliberation into his decision, limiting it to discrediting and general assessments. The judge completely ignored the deliberation and assessments presented in the Amicus Curiae brief.
TI Georgia and other non-governmental organisations have been using the Amicus Curiae institution for years, filing briefs concerning cases to courts. The goal of this practice is to help the court assess legal issues and make fair decisions. This is an accepted practice in all democratic countries.
The superficial attitude towards such an important institution as Amicus Curiae on the part of the judge is alarming. The refusal to assess the arguments provided in the Amicus Curiae brief without offering an appropriate substantiation is disrespectful of the Amicus Curiae institution, an arbitrary interpretation of the requirements of the law, rejection of efficient administration of justice and extremely harmful action, first and foremost, with regard to the judicial system. Clearly, this has nothing to do with the standards accepted in the field of the law. It is unfortunate that the judge has expressed a political position and has once again tarnished the reputation of the court.
We hope that the Court of Appeals will not use the same standards as the court of the first instance when assessing the Amicus Curiae brief, will thoroughly examine and evaluate the arguments offered in the brief. The organisation would like to once again express its readiness to appear before the court with oral clarifications.