Law
Selection and Assignment of Judges
22 December, 2011
Selection and Assignment of Judges

Judge Lasha Kalandadze is at present providing us with answers to our questions about the process of Selection and Assignment of Judges which as we understand now is not as easy and simple as it might seem at the first sight. As a matter of fact, there is nothing easy and simplistic in the process of legal reforms in Georgia.

 

NBR – How is today treated a judge’s position in Georgia?

L.K. – In Georgia,

as in any civilized country, a judge as such has always been one of the most important functioning members of the society, but because Georgia has gone through the soviet autocratic regime, a judge’s job was relegated to a less significant position. Today, the situation is absolutely different – we are strongly on our way to elevate a judge’s position to the level of the importance the western-minded society has granted it forever.

NBR – How problematic and difficult is the process of selection and Assignment of Judges?

L.K. – It is a well-known truth but I still want to reiterate that the appointment of judges is an important aspect of judicial independence which requires that in administering justice judges should be free from all sorts of direct or indirect interference or influences. The principle of the independence of the judiciary seeks to ensure the freedom of judges to administer justice impartially, without any fear or favor. This freedom of judges has a close relationship with judicial appointment because the appointment system has a direct bearing on the impartiality, integrity and independence of judges.

NBR – Have there been introduced any changes in the procedure as a result of the reform?

L.K. – The rule and procedure of selecting and assigning judges have been changed and given a new direction. For example, a person who has passed the judges’ qualifying examination and is compatible with the rest of the demands in compliance with the law, has the right to participate in the competition of selecting the candidates, which of course is organized and directed by the High Council of Justice.

NBR – How is the approval of candidates defined and made fair?

L.K. – The approval of candidates is defined by voting. The winners are admitted in the High School of Justice where they continue enhancing their qualification.

NBR – How long do the programs of training last?

L.K. – The initial training program of judges lasts 10 months and consists of three stages: substantive training, internship at courts and seminars. The contents and duration of each stage of the training program is regulated by the law. And the training is organized by the High School of Justice which has been functioning in Georgia in the last 10 years quite successfully. It is working absolutely based on Western standards and the programs are thoroughly coordinated with the High Council of Justice of Georgia as well as the Supreme Court of the country.

NBR – This should be very interesting to listen to in more details, but I think we will give a chance to our readers in the next issue. Until then, thank you very much indeed for all the refreshed input you are giving us, based on both your juridical and academic experience

L.K. – My pleasure!

 

Coming up is the discourse about the High school of Justice which Judge Lasha Kalandadze is teaching at. His first-hand information is going to be most welcome in the next issue of Georgian Journal.

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