Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has decided to veto a legislative package today on court reforms.
The bill will be sent back to the Parliament of Georgia with remarks from the President.
“This legislative package proposes principles contradictory to the tenet of an unbiased court system. Taking into account the importance of this bill, I’ve made the decision to use my constitutional right and I’m sending the parliament my remarks, out of which the most important are the changes which regulate the selection of court chairmen and also which abolish deadlines for exams in future. These are the main principles which are in accordance with the recommendations of Venice Commission. I think that by taking into account these remarks, we will have a bill of much higher quality and a higher quality court system”, said the President of of Georgia
According to the President’s suggestions, all court chairmen should be selected by judges themselves, instead of the Council of Justice. In addition to that, the same person should not be able to be both a court chairman and a head of chamber or board.
The Parliament of Georgia approved the bill with 87 votes in favour on December 29. The United National Movement and Patriots’ Alliance did not participate in the voting.
The original version of the package suggests to define the number of judges of the Supreme Court by 28 members. The package also plans to free current and previous judges of constitutional and supreme courts from passing judge qualification exams.