Support to the Independence, Accountability and Efficiency of the Judiciary - Georgia
The overall objective is to assist with ensuring the independence, efficiency, impartiality and professionalism of the judiciary, towards being free from political or any other undue interference.
The specific purpose of this Contract is to consolidate planning and strategies of the judicial administration, strengthen capacities of judges and other judicial personnel, rationalise selection and promotion procedures for judges, streamline the judicial case flow, enhance empowerment and integrity of judges, improve courts’ communication practices, and consolidate the position and efficiency of the Constitutional Court.
Context: Georgia has undergone extensive judicial reform in order to increase judicial independence, accountability, efficiency and transparency. These have culminated in the 3rd wave of judicial reforms, detailed in the Draft Organic Law of Georgia on Entering Amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on Common Courts. Key reforms concerning the selection, promotion and transfer of judges and judicial integrity are addressed, alongside structural changes in the HSOJ and Supreme Court, in order to strengthen judicial independence. This important draft Law has been rigorously scrutinised by the CoE Venice Commission (among others) and is seen to be essential to align the Georgian judiciary with international standards. This project will provide support to implementation of a number of these reforms. However, most importantly for the start of this project in September 2016, this draft Law has been adopted by the Parliament in two hearings so far and requires a third hearing before its approval into force. Therefore, this project has an important role to play in maintaining momentum for the judicial reforms contained within.
The 7 expected results are:
Result 1: Consolidated judicial strategies will provide an overarching framework to unify judicial institutions in the implementation of key reforms. This important result-area will finalise a consolidated judicial reform strategy and action plan, which will detail many actions to be implemented within this project.
Result 2: Strengthened capacities of judges, recognising the need to provide extensive support to judges and their assistants as the forefront of the implementation of reform efforts.
Result 3, 4 and 5: Rationalised selection and promotion of judges; streamlined case flow and HRM in courts; and enhanced integrity of judges, focus upon supporting reforms identified in the 3rd wave judicial reforms (such as the independent selection, promotion and transfer of judges against objective criteria; the implementation of an electronic randomised case assignment system; and improved ethical and disciplinary procedures for judges).
Result 6: improved communications provides tools to improve internal and external communication of the judiciary in order to raise public confidence, and will underline the achievement of all other project results.
Result 7: Consolidated position and capacities of the Constitutional Court, will further strengthen and consolidate the work of the Constitutional Court of Georgia.