Outgoing President Saakashvili has vetoed bill, which envisages setting three-year probationary period for nearly recruited judges before their appointment for life.
The new constitution, which will go into effect after inauguration of president-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili on November 17, envisages life appointment of newly recruited judges. Currently, sitting judges hold office for a ten-year term.
The constitutional provision, approved in 2010, also provides for possibility of setting a trial period for judges of “not more than three years” before they take office for life. This provision also gave flexibility to lawmakers by saying that such a probationary period “may” be set.
On October 4 Parliament approved bill which sets three-year trial period for judges before their appointment for life. Detailed criteria and procedures based on which monitoring of judges should be carried out during the probationary period have to be developed. Monitoring, according to the bill, has to be carried out by the High Council of Justice (HCoJ), a body in charge of overseeing judicial system.
The outgoing President returned bill with remarks to the Parliament on October 28; according to president’s objections, he is against the trial period, because introduction of such regulations “will weaken judge’s independence” and make newly recruited judge vulnerable to political influence during the probationary period.