Overview of the Second Part of the Judiciary Reform
On 8 September 2013, the Ministry of Justice of Georgia presented a package of draft legislative amendments pertaining to judicial reform. According to representatives of the Ministry, this marked the launch of the second part of the reform of the judicial system. Overall, the amendments should be evaluated positively, as their goals are: strengthening guarantees for the independence of the judiciary; enhancing the role of individual judges; improvements in the procedure of disciplinary proceedings; establishing democratic rules for the election of chairpersons of courts; and reforming the High School of Justice.  With this, a controversy was caused by the rules for the appointment of judges, more specifically, the three-year probationary period before the lifetime appointment of judges, along with the issue of assessing judges after the three-year period.
Together with the Ministry of Justice, at the initiative of the chairperson of the Supreme Court, draft amendments were prepared by some of the judicial members of the High Council of Justice. According to the representatives of the judiciary, the amendments were proposed to strengthen the weak areas of the system. The central goals of this draft law were to regulate the issues related to social guarantees of judges, reforming the High School of Justice and determining the rules for the appointment of judges.
Also, on 4 October 2013, the Parliament of Georgia adopted amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on Courts of General Jurisdiction. Their goal was to bring the law into compliance with the new norms of the Georgian Constitution. The law entered into force on 17 November 2013, after the inauguration of the new President of Georgia.
The purpose of this report is to present part of the important reforms, proposed by various state agencies, to the public. Additionally, we herein present the opinions of “Transparency International – Georgia” with regard to the important reforms.
The draft amendments will be made to the following laws: the Law on Courts of General Jurisdiction, the Law on Disciplinary Responsibility of Judges of Courts of General Jurisdiction and Disciplinary Proceedings, the Law on the High School of Justice, the Law on Personal Data Protection.
This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Transparency International Georgia and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, or EWMI.