The 13-member selection commission under the Ministry of Justice of Georgia shortlisted eight candidates for replacing the two rejected nominees for a Georgia-nominated judge to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Ministry of Justice reported on August 25.
The following candidates have been shortlisted by the commission from the pool of 28 candidates:
- Irakli Adeishvili – senior lawyer at Geocell LLC, lecturer at the High School of Justice, former judge at Tbilisi City and Appeal courts;
- Tamar Alania – judge at the Tbilisi Court of Appeal, trainer at the High School of Justice;
- Nino Bakakuri – Supreme Court judge, trainer at the High School of Justice;
- Ioseb Bachiashvili – legal scholar, former Chair of the Supreme Arbitration Court;
- Konstantine Vardzelashvili – professor at Ilia State University’s Law School, former Constitutional Court judge;
- Konstantine Korkelia – legal scholar, full professor at Tbilisi State University’s Law Faculty;
- Otar Sichinava – judge at the Tbilisi Court of Appeal, former Constitutional Court judge;
- Lali Papiashvili – deputy Chair of the Constitutional Court, full professor at Tbilisi State University’s Law Faculty.
The shortlisted candidates will go through the interview process on August 26.
The Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary, the representative of which sits at the selection commission, said in its letter on August 25 that it would no longer participate in the selection process, citing the Commission’s failure two times to choose the candidates through “strict, just and transparent selection process.”
“We do not expect that that a new selection process with similar composition and procedures will be held objectively and we believe that at this moment our involvement in the work of the Commission is pointless,” reads the letter addressed to the selection Commission.
Zaza Khatiashvili, who represents the Georgian Bar Association (GBA) at the selection commission, said on August 25 as well that he would boycott tomorrow’s interviews, citing the government’s failure to change the composition of the commission.
Repeat Selection Process
The nationwide procedures for selecting three candidates for vacant ECHR judge position have been underway since December 2015.
In January 2017, the Committee on the Election of Judges to ECHR, special committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, rejected all three Georgia-nominated candidates to ECHR, citing lack of qualifications, prompting the Government of Georgia to re-announce the call for applications in February.
In May 2017, the 13-member selection commission under the Justice Ministry shortlisted five new candidates, three of whom were later approved by the government and presented to an international Advisory Panel of Council of Europe experts, which offers nominating governments confidential advice on potential candidates before the final list of three is sent to the Assembly.
The Advisory Panel said in its July conclusion that only one (Lado Chanturia, former chairman of Georgia’s Supreme Court) out of three candidates met the criteria set by the European Convention, prompting the Government of Georgia to announce on July 26 a new call for applications to replace the two rejected candidates.
The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights rules on individual or state applications alleging violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.
The tenure of Nona Tsotsoria, current Georgia-nominated ECHR judge, expired in January 2017, but was prolonged due to the PACE committee rejection of Georgia-nominated candidates.