President Giorgi Margvelashvili has called on “professional circles” and “stakeholders” to name before February 9 their favorable candidates for Supreme Court chairmanship from which he would then pick one and submit for confirmation to the Parliament.
Speaking at a news conference on January 28, the President said that his consultations with political groups in Parliament and civil society representatives has demonstrated that there is a “consensus” on criteria based on which a nomination for Supreme Court chairperson should be made.
“The entire society, including political groups, agrees on same criteria,” President Margvelashvili said.
“Being principled, having managerial skills, being free from political influences, and professionalism – these are the criteria on which the political spectrum and the society agree,” he said.
“Now we are moving on the next stage and ask the society, professional circles, those who are competent in this area to submit candidacies,” he said.
Margvelashvili said that selection from nominated candidates will be made by “a commission made up mostly of my advisers.”
He stressed that under the law he has no obligation to go through this process and neither was he obliged to hold series of consultations with civil society representatives and political groups.
“But such open, transparent and unprecedented process is significant now, when level of confidence towards the judiciary needs to be increased… The judiciary should become one of the most trusted institutions and public engagement in this process will determine reforms and trust towards the reforms, which have to be carried out in the judiciary,” the President said.
Over the past two weeks President Margvelashvili held consultations with civil society organizations, lawmakers from ruling coalition and opposition parties, and also met with incumbent chairman of the Supreme Court and members of the High Council of Justice. No specific candidates were discussed during the consultations and those meetings, according to president’s administration, aimed at exchanging views on criteria based on which a candidate should be selected.
“As a result of this process we will receive a strong candidate,” Margvelashvili said.
A candidate, nominated by the President, will need support of at least 76 members of 150-seat Parliament to be endorsed as new chairperson of the Supreme Court.