The Coalition reacts to the November 1, 2023 decision of the High Council of Justice (HCoJ), by which Bolnisi District Court judge Nino Giorgadze was refused a life tenure appointment. The decision, Nino Giorgadze’s public statements, and major problems in the justice system raise reasonable doubts about the decision’s legality.
Judge Nino Giorgadze openly criticized the amendments to the Organic Law “On Common Courts” made on December 30, 2021, tailored to the interests of influential judges. She objected to the nontransparent review of the draft law and its adoption in an accelerated manner. The December 2021 changes were also harshly criticized by the Venice Commission.
Nino Giorgadze’s work was distinguished by her progressive decision to abolish the discriminatory rule established by Marneuli Municipality Assembly (Sakrebulo) allowing financing for only one religious organization.
It should be noted that the banishing of judges from the system of common courts because of their dissenting opinions has become an accepted practice. The criticism of the December 2021 changes was, in fact, largely due to assigning a new function to the Council, easing the oppression of dissent and limiting the individual independence of judges.
The open criticism expressed by Judge Nino Giorgadze and her progressive decision create a basis for reasonable doubt that Nino Giorgadze demonstrated a high degree of independence during her activities, which ultimately led to her punishment and expulsion from the system.