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Judicial System Reform in Georgia, 2013-2021

2021-05-24 13:53
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The Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA) prepared the Research - „Judicial System Reform in Georgia (2013-2021) “. The purpose of the document is a systematic analysis of the judicial reform strategy and dynamics developed during the ruling of the Georgian Dream.

The research assesses the significant reforms implemented in the Common Court System during 2013-2021, the dynamics of transformations and their impact on existing challenges. The document consists of three parts. The documents consists of three parts. The first assesses the general court administration system, the managing collegial bodies as well as the institutions within the court; The second discusses the career of a judge and their disciplinary issues; The third part concentrates on the analysis of the guarantees significant for the individual independence of the judges as well as the management of different courts.

According to the research findings, although the legislation has become relatively detailed in recent years, collegial bodies have set higher standards of transparency and, in some cases, the obligation to make substantiated decisions has been defined; in general, this has not changed the logic of hierarchies and power established in the court. This has largely been due to the negligence of the content of the reforms, such as the presence of interest groups in the courts, their actual power, formal and informal influences, hierarchies and statuses that have been created and strengthened over the years.

During these years, the way of refining and detailing the legislation has made the independence of the judiciary only a matter of institutional design, ignoring real influences, formal or informal players, their interests or power. As a result, the changed legislative and institutional framework could not become the basis for a new, democratic order. The reforms retained the logic of majority rule and allowed the actual influential group – the Judicial Clan to manipulate positive legislative innovations.

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The research was made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this report are the sole responsibility of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and do not necessarily reflect the views of East West Management Institute, USAID or the United States Government.