The High School of Justice
19 January, 2012
The High School of Justice

Judge Lasha Kalandadze is today presenting to Georgian Journal the High School of Justice which has been functioning in Georgia in the last five years. He himself is teaching at the School, so the information we are getting is purely first-hand.

NBR – What is the High School of Justice about? What is its main goal? And why is it important that a school of that type operate in Georgia? As I understand our incumbent, past or future judges are

all graduates of law schools, qualified for their respective jobs, aren’t they?
L.K. – Of course they all have relevant qualification. What we need though is keeping them in good shape, so to speak, at all times. The goal of the School is to ensure that a student of the School of Justice deepens knowledge and acquires skills necessary for the specific practical work; also to support them, acknowledge the future responsibility and freedom of action within the statutory limits, so that they are gradually integrated into the social environment where she or he will have to work in the future as judges.


NBR – How about the financial support? Who pays the bill?
L.K. – While attending a study course, a student of justice gets state scholarship which represents another significant step of the reform. But the entire venture is financed by the state, including the scholarships.

NBR – What about their appointment? Who carries the responsibility to this extent, in other words, who is a final decision maker?
L.K. – After completing the mentioned course, the candidates will have to pass the exam, and if they succeed, they will be nominated by the Council of Justice of Georgia for being appointed as judges. The paper for their appointment is signed by the Council Chairman - Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

NBR – Is the school concentrating its efforts on only future judges? 
L.K. – No! The school is doing a lot in terms of enhancing the qualification of incumbent judges as well as the court personnel. Continuous training program of judges consists of trainings, seminars, workshops and field practice. Main objective of the continuous training program of judges is the improvement of qualification of the incumbent judges and court practice in general. As for the continuous training program of judges’ assistants and other court staff, it is designed in a similar way. It also comprises the training sessions and seminars not only about legal issues, but also   topics as court management, case-flow management, ethics of court staff, relations with public, etc.
NBR – What should be the presumable final effect of the activity of the High School of Justice of Georgia? In other words, what bottom-line is being served by its operation?

L.K. – It is my strong belief that by creating the High School of Justice, in fact, two important issues were solved. The first one is the elaboration and application of special Programs, necessary for training of judges and for upgrading their qualification which on its part represents another guarantee for independence and impartiality of judges. The second – creation of the new model of selecting and appointing judges, which envisages enrollment of the candidates as students at the School and their comprehensive training where the material prepared by trainers will be delivered to them by means of special methodology – analysis of legislation, review of the practice of the Supreme Court, study of the problems, connected with certain particular cases, and so on.

NBR – Are judges appointed in Georgia for lifetime or the limited tenures are more in practice?

L.K. – It should be noted that currently, Judges in Georgia are appointed for ten-year tenure, but in compliance with the amendments, recently introduced into the Constitution of the country, Judges will be appointed for lifetime, beginning from 2013. As we all understand very well, the life-time appointment of Judges will give them even more independence, stability, impartiality and responsibility.
NBR – And why is this good?

L.K. – As I said, the introduction of the lifetime appointment of a judge makes him stronger and freer in judgment as well as absolutely independent from any presumable pressure on him or her.

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