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GYLA assesses the election of judicial members of the High Council of Justice as an intraclan rotation

2021-05-25 14:57
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The main challenge for the judiciary today is clan governance and its alliance with the authorities. An influential group of judges has effective leverage to influence important decisions related to the judiciary. [1] The main pillar of the clan is the High Council of Justice, which makes major decisions related to the judiciary. A sitting of the Extraordinary Conference of Judges was scheduled for May 26, 2021, [2] at which four judicial members of the Council are to be elected. [3] Observations of this process over the years show that it takes place mainly in a non-competitive environment, and the Council usually has an intake of the leaders of an influential group of judges, most of whom are holding or held managerial positions for years.

Elections are associated with renewal and new perspectives, although expectations in this case are unfounded. GYLA believes that this is a rotation of individuals loyal to the clan, where the current judicial members of the council will be replaced by those other judges who are under the control of an influential group.

[1] Abashidze A., Arganashvili A., Beraia G., Verdzeuli S., Kukava K., Shermadini O., Tsimakuridze E.,The Judicial  System Past Reforms And Future Perpectives, Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary, Tbilisi 2017, pg.: 12, Coalition website, available at:, updated: 12.05.2020.

[2] XXIX Extraordinary Conference of Judges of Georgia, website of the Supreme Court, Available at:, Updated: 25.05.2021.

[3] The term of office of Irakli Bondarenko, Irakli Shengelia, Dimitri Gvritishvili and Vasil Mshvenieradze expires.