“No Government in the history of independent Georgia has questioned the enforcement of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR),” Eka Mishveladze, Georgian President’s spokesperson, said at her press briefing on March 14.
“President Giorgi Margvelashvili hopes that Georgia will fulfill its commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights … and will not turn away from its European path,” Eka Mishveladze added.
Mishveladze’s statement came four days after the critical remarks of some government officials concerning the ECHR’s suspension of the Georgian Supreme Court’s March 2 decision, which granted the ownership rights of Rustavi 2 TV to its former co-owner.
Georgia’s Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandre Jejelava said in his interview with newspaper Kviris Palitra on March 13 that the Supreme Court’s decision, “will be enforced no matter how painful it may be, but the government does not plan to enforce it” until the ECHR’s final ruling.
Commenting on the same issue, MP Eka Beselia of GDDG, who chairs the Parliament’s committee on legal issues, said that “the European Court is not the court of fourth instance … and it does not alter the rulings made at the national level.”
Speaking on the same issue, Georgian Economy Minister Giorgi Gakharia said on March 14 that the suspension mechanism is “very dangerous and risky” and may “jeopardize” property rights in the future.
Eva Gotsiridze, member of the High Council of Justice and one of the three Georgia-nominated candidates to ECHR, who was rejected by the Committee on the Election of Judges, released a letter in newspaper Kviris Palitra on March 14 saying that the ECHR decision is “a serious challenge” to Georgia’s judiciary system.
“This is an unprecedented decision … [it] violates the principle of subsidiarity which the European Convention [on Human Rights] rests on,” she wrote.
Gotsiridze’s letter sparked criticism among opposition political parties.
“If these absolutely irresponsible opinions turn into being the Government’s official position and the Government does not observe the decision of the most respected court in Europe, Georgia will go against the whole civilized world. This road leads to nowhere and this road leads to the Russian Federation,” MP Giorgi Kandelaki of the Movement for Liberty-European Georgia said.
“Of course, the country can ignore ECHR’s decisions, but there is only one Council of Europe member state, which acts this way and it is Russia,” MP Salome Samadashvili of the United National Movement said.
Commenting on the matter, MP and Parliament’s Vice Speaker, Tamar Chugoshvili said on March 15 that Georgia has “full respect to the European institutions” and therefore, acts as “its dignified member is supposed to act.”