The Georgian Coalition for International Criminal Court (GCICC) considers that the process of selection of a judge for the nomination to the International Criminal Court on national level lacks transparency and includes flaws that decrease the chances of successful selection of the candidate nominated by Georgia to International Criminal Court.
On January 30, 2020, the government of Georgia adopted the rule regarding the selection of the candidate of the judge to the International Criminal Court. According to the resolution of the government, Legal Entity of Public Law, Training Center of Justice which conducted the initial selection of the applications for the announced competition and administered professional testing, announced the conditions of the competition on February 3, 2020. The applications were received from February 3 to February 21. The Training Center of Justice had to propose the candidates to the government of Georgia till February 23. This term was prolonged till March 6.
According to the initial version of the resolution, the Training Center of Justice had to propose more than one candidate to the government of Georgia as a result of the testing, but no more than five candidates. The government was supposed to propose to the Parliament 2 candidates. According to the amendments made to the resolution on February 21, 2020, the Training Center of Justice and the government of Georgia can propose only 1 candidate.
As the information published by the Parliament of Georgia on March 18, 2020 shows, the government of Georgia addressed the Parliament with a submission regarding the candidate to be proposed from Georgia – Gocha Lotrkipanidze. According to this information, 10 candidates in total submitted applications to the Training Center of Justice. 7 out of 10 did not meet the established criteria. Two refused to participate in the testing later. 1 candidate – Gocha Lortkipanidze – was tested. The tests were evaluated electronically by the consultants invited by the Center. Gocha Lortkipanidze received 6 points out of 10. On March 5, the Training Center of Justice proposed only the candidacy of Gocha Lortkipanidze to the government. The government proposed this candidacy to the Parliament. The Committee on Legal Issues of the Parliament will hear the proposed candidate on March 20.
The rule regarding the selection of the judge on the national level was developed and process of selection was conducted without the involvement of the NGOs working in this sphere. The GCICC was notified regarding the development of the rule only on February 3, 2020.
Following this news, GCICC responded to the rule of the selection of the candidate from Georgia multiple times in written form, as well as expressed its opinions regarding the process on February 11, 2020 at the meeting with the representatives of the Ministry of Justice.
With this statement, we, the member organizations of GCICC would like to once again underline the shortcomings revealed in the process of development of the rule regarding the selection of the candidate of the judge from Georgia as well as during the process of selection:
GCICC considers that the government of Georgia did not conduct the process responsibly, including the development of the rule of the selection of the candidate. Therefore, the government could not ensure open, transparent and fair process and created risk for the successful selection of the candidate nominated to the ICC from Georgia. Considering this, the hearing taking place in the Parliament of Georgia today has only formal nature and does not ensure the nomination of the independent candidate.