Rule of Law, Independence of Court & HCJG
08 December, 2011
Rule of Law, Independence of Court & HCJG

 

Judge Lasha Kalandadze is the Chairman of the civil law chamber of Tbilisi Court of Appeals and the member of the High Council of Justice of Georgia. We decided to introduce a dedicated column in Georgian Journal and give it a simple appellation like ‘Encounter with Judge’, which will present the activity of our judiciary to our readers, all ongoing innovations in the system, its international dealings, internal improvements and the endeavor conducive to more transparency of courts. The column will

greatly contribute to the education of foreign readers as well as our own public in law enforcement and the ongoing process of reforms. Those encounters with judges are aiming at enhancing the level of knowledge of law of our public. They will also serve the needs of those students of law who are trying to be bilingual in administering law in this country. Lasha is also a professor of Tbilisi State University where he is currently teaching Civil Law and is getting ready to introduce a special English-language class which will listen to his lectures, do seminars and play out various cases – all this in the English language. He will definitely have a lot to tell us.

 

NBR – Do you think our new column will manage to educate our readers on how law is handled in Georgia?

L.K. – I am more than certain that the decision of Georgian Journal to go for it was very timely. On my part, I thank you for this great opportunity to present a more or less clear picture of the measures we are going to take and as a matter of fact we have already managed to undertake – all with the purpose of better functioning of the judiciary of our country as well as what is currently happening in Georgia to this particular extent.

NBR – How should we understand this very trendy term ‘Rule of Law’? Is it working in Georgia full time? Or we still have to go a long way until it is completely functional here?

L.K. – It is well known that the rule-of-law state is a pre-requisite and foundation for democracy.  The state system like this is based on commonly accepted human values and ideals, and envisages the existence of relevant judicial system, all this being conducive to appropriately effective administration of law. This probably is the best guarantee of human rights and freedoms in any country. Georgia is very close to it, but to make it work at full swing will take more time. The process might be long enough and it might envisage the enhancement of general judicial culture in the country, including sides like judiciary, public, legislators and government. This is exactly why the introduction of this column makes so much sense.

NBR – Do you manage to be independent and impartial? And what all that means in general?

L.K. – In our times, it is universally recognized that independence and impartiality are the fundamental principles of effective judiciary. Although at a specific moment of decision-making we the judges are faced with the necessity of making not just an independent decision but a good decision in the first place.

NBR – We have all heard the prosaic and flagrantly commonplace phrase that the ‘judiciary is a servant of people’. What does this mean in reality?

L.K. – The judiciary is indeed, or at least should be a servant of people. It is a tool for observing human rights, and independence as such is a guarantee of fairness and healthy legal judgment.  This is what the judiciary is all about.

NBR – The effective judiciary must not be an easy thing to arrive overnight, especially in the reality of a newly born democracy like Georgia. Would this be a true statement?

L.K. – Although the effectively functioning judiciary is everybody’s dream and goal, it never comes out of the blue. It takes a painful effort to achieve this. Part of this effort is the existence of relevant legal institutions, and most importantly, the bottom-line-oriented work of those institutions.

NBR – Could you please tell us in a nut-shell what the HCJG (high Council of  Justine of Georgia) does?

L.K. – The HCJG of Georgia is exactly the kind of an institution which is capable of leading and implementing the necessary reforms of the system in Georgia, the main purpose of which is the improvement and further development of Judiciary in the entire country, providing for the independence and impartiality of the legal environment in general. This is all conducive to stronger guarantees for the realization of human rights and freedoms in our society. In a word, the tendency is to make courts in Georgia bulwark of hope and source of justice for our people.

NBR – What has to be done specifically for those councils to be functioning effectively?

L.K. – In order for the councils to function most effectively, we have to find and put in action the most optimal ways for its creation and fruitful work, which will never be possible without finding and putting in place the relevantly qualified personnel. But no matter how highly qualified the selected personnel could be, it may function effectively only in case the goals and functions are determined with purpose and precision.  This might be the only way to reach the goal.

Interviews with Judge Lasha Kalandadze will continue as long as the topicality of presentable issues allows and the current reforms need our attention. Lasha himself is a wonderful speaker of English which is very helpful to this interviewer. The topic for the next issue of GJ is the High Council of Justice of Georgia.

 

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