A new Secretary for the High Council of Justice of Georgia was selected as well as four new judges to the Council, at a conference of Council judges on June 24.
Judge Giorgi Mikautidze, who is currently the Chairman of Tbilisi City Court, is set to become the new secretary of the High Council of Justice of Georgia. He will leave his current position to take on the new job.
According to legislation, the Secretary of the High Council of Justice cannot hold other positions such as Chairman of the Court, first deputy Chairman of the Court, or Chairman of a chamber or a board.
The four new members of the Council are judges Irakli Shengelia, Dimitri Gvritishvili, Vasil Mshvenieradze, and Irakli Bondarenko. The final four were chosen from seven candidates in a secret vote.
The new Council members are replacing colleagues whose terms have finished; judges Shota Getsadze, Tamar Alania, Merab Gainashvili, and Levan Murusidze, who was also the Secretary of the Council.
Judge Levan Murusidze was selected for a 4-year term on June 16, 2013. He was the only candidate for the position.
Murusidze’s tenure been a source of controversy. In December 2015, the High Council of Justice of Georgia appointed Murusidze as a judge of the Administrative Affairs Chamber of the Court of Appeals, while Murusidze was the Council’s Secretary.
Murusidze’s election and the process was fiercely criticized by parts of civil society: NGOs criticized that the process for the election of judges was marked with serious shortcomings which brought the legitimacy of the process into question. The Coalition for Transparent and Independent Judiciary demanded for reforms to be implemented and to pause the process of appointing judges until they were.