Irakli Kobakhidze, Archil Talakvadze and Shalva Papuashvili, participants in the political dialogue relating to the selection of Supreme Court judges, have issued a statement.
“Today, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the US, our main strategic partner, released a statement saying that the election of Supreme Court judges contradicts the April 19 political agreement.
As the public is aware, in March 2021, there were active negotiations around the content of the April 19 agreement. We - Irakli Kobakhidze, Archil Talakvadze and Shalva Papuashvili personally agreed the points related to the selection of Supreme Court judges with international partners.
During the negotiations, it was emphasized that in case of acting in accordance with the above agreement, the ongoing process of selection of judges would no longer be meaningless and the existing composition of the High Council of Justice would be given the opportunity to complete the procedure!
This oral agreement was reflected in the first draft political agreement published by Christian Danielsson on March 31 and the Georgian Dream started to act in accordance of the agreement.
As you are aware, on March 31, when Christian Danielsson left Georgia and published the initial draft political agreement, the Chairman of the Georgian Dream made a public statement that the Georgian Dream would make legislative changes related to the elections and the judiciary without signing any political agreement.
According to this promise and the document published by Christian Danielsson, the parliamentary majority completed the process and adopted amendments to the Organic Law on Common Courts in three readings in April.
The law passed by the Parliament thoroughly reflects all the key recommendations of the Venice Commission: full openness and publicity of voting has been introduced; A rule for making decisions by the High Council of Justice according to the nominees’ scores has been introduced; A quadruple appeal rule relating to the decision made by the Council decisions has been introduced.
The bill passed by the Parliament was sent to the Venice Commission, which did not submit any remarks on any of the above points.
Although the Parliament of Georgia had already fulfilled all the conditions stipulated in the draft political agreement by April 19, the text published on March 31 remained unchanged in the agreement signed on April 19. The Georgian Dream informed its international partners about these and other similar circumstances, and they requested us to sign the April 19 agreement without additional amendments, so that to avoid additional political complications, and to clarify the inaccuracies in the document during the implementation process. We took the request of the partners into account. It was as a result of this oral agreement, for example, that the anti-four-month deadlock mechanism was replaced by a four-week mechanism in the Electoral Code...
We are ready to discuss in detail with our strategic partners, in any format, the content of the political agreement and the state of its implementation, which will finally shed light on the truth”, - reads the statement.