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President Ready to Engage in Consideration of Common Law Courts Bill.

Tbilisi. Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, is ready to engage in consideration of the bill on the Common Law Courts,

which has been already passed its second reading in Georgian Parliament.

Due to the differences between the parliamentary majority and the opposition, Saakashvili refused on March 24 to include the

bill on common courts, key component of which is change of rule of composition of the High Council of Justice, in the agenda of

Parliament's March 25 special session. In the Georgian President's words, the Law on Common Law Courts is vitally important for

Georgian democracy.

"If the bill is passed in the existing form, we will say farewell to the court independence and Georgia will 'say goodbye' to its

European prospects, if not forever, then at least at the Vilnius Summit (eastern Partnership Summit)...I am ready to engage in

consideration of this issue and I hope that the Premier will be also engaged," Saakashvili stated.

At the same time, he positively assessed a consensus, reached between the government and the opposition on the Constitution

issues, especially the joint work carried out by Parliament Chairman, Davit Usupashvili and the parliamentary minority leader, MP from

Saakashvili's United National Movement (UNM), David Bakradze.

"After we have managed to reach agreement on constitutional amendments, which should be welcomed, it will be nice if the

same happens with regard to other important laws. The joint work is needed now as never before. Every party shall be interested in the

independent courts and our advancement towards Europe," Saakashvili stressed.

In his words, both sides shall take into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission. At the end of December

2012, President Mikheil Saakashvili warned the parliament that he would veto the bill on Common Law Courts and noted that "the court

is deprived of all formal attributes of independence".

In the beginning of February, representatives of the Venice Commission held meetings in Tbilisi with representatives of

legislative, executive and judicial power and prepared their recommendations on the bill.

The central part of the legislative amendments is the change of the rule of staffing the High Council of Justice, which oversees

the judiciary and enjoys a right to appoint or dismiss judges, as well as execute disciplinary procedures against judges.

According to the Venice Commission's document, some of the proposals, including the provision that envisages early

termination of powers of the incumbent members of the High Council of Justice, are 'controversial'. The Venice Commission

recommends not to fully renew the composition of the Council, despite that the existing rule of staffing the Council may be

'unsatisfactory'.

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Publication:ArmInfo - Business Bulletin
Date:Mar 26, 2013
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