Supreme Court of Georgia (country)

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Supreme Court of Georgia
საქართველოს უზენაესი სასამართლო
Greater coat of arms of Georgia.svg
Coat of arms of Georgia
Established 2005
Country Georgia
Location Tbilisi
Authorized by Georgian Constitution
Judge term length 10 years
Number of positions 9
Website [www.supremecourt.ge]

The Supreme Court of Georgia[1] represents the court of the highest and final instance for administration of justice in the country, which was established in 2005 as a purely the cassation instance court. It is located in Tbilisi,[2] the capital of Georgia.

The Supreme Court oversees administration of justice at common courts of Georgia and its activities should be guided by the principles of legality, collective nature, publicity, equality of parties and competitiveness, as well as irremovability, immunity and independence of judges.

The Supreme Court of Georgia represents a court of cassation, which considers cassation claims on judgments made by the Courts of Appeal (art. 14 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia). In this regard, the role of Supreme (Cassation) Court for doing justice and establishing the principles of legality in the country is significant important. It supports the introduction of unified interpretation of the law and establishment of common judicial practice.

Through the substantiated clarification and comparison of legal norms, by establishing of entire court practice,[3] the Court of Cassation should ensure prompt and streamlined functioning of the judiciary system, quick administration of justice and minimized protraction of hearing cases within the judiciary system.

Structure, elections and appointments[edit]

The Supreme Court building in Tbilisi
Greater coat of arms of Georgia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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The President and the judges of the Supreme Court of Georgia shall be elected for a period of not less than ten years by the Parliament by the majority of the number of the members of Parliament on the current nominal list upon the submission of the President of Georgia (art. 90.2 of the Constitution of Georgia).

The chairman and the members of the Supreme Court of Georgia shall enjoy personal immunity. Criminal proceeding of the chairman or a judge of the Supreme Court, their arrest or detention, the search of their apartment, car, workplace or person shall be permissible only by the consent of the Parliament, except when the chairman or a judge is caught flagrante delicto, which shall immediately be notified to the Parliament. Unless the Parliament gives its consent, the arrested or detained shall immediately be released (art. 90.4 of the Constitution of Georgia).

Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia (art. 15) administers the structure of the Supreme Court, according to which the following structural units are established at the Supreme Court:

  • Chamber of Civil Cases
  • Chamber of Administrative Cases
  • Chamber of Criminal Cases
  • Grand Chamber
  • The Plenum
  • Disciplinary Chamber

Duties of Chambers[edit]

The authority, organization of the Supreme Court of Georgia and the procedure of activity and of the pre-term termination of the office of the judges of the Supreme Court shall be determined by the Constitution of Georgia and Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia.

The Chamber of the Supreme Court considers cassation claims on judgments of the Courts of Appeal determined by procedural law and other cases assigned within its jurisdiction defined by the law and rules (art. 16 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia). There is also a Disciplinary Chamber established at the Supreme Court of Georgia, which reviews claims against the judgments made by the Disciplinary Panel of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia (art. 19 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia).

The Chamber of the Supreme Court considers cases collectively, in a group of three judges. The judgments (decisions) of the Chamber of Cassation are final and may not be appealed.

There is also a Grand Chamber at the Court, which consists of the Chairman of the Supreme Court, Chairmen of the Chambers and no less than 12 judges elected by the Plenum for the term of 2 years. Sittings of the Grand Chamber are chaired by the Chairman of the Supreme Court, or a Chairman of one of the Chambers of the Supreme Court, as assigned by him (art. 17 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia).

Article 16.3 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia states, that the Chamber reviewing the case at the cassation level may transfer a case with motivated judgment to the Grand Chamber. The Grand Chamber with its 9 judges considers the most complex cases if:

  • the case with its contents represents a rare legal problem;
  • the hearing the case Chamber does not share the legal evaluation already made by either the Cassation Chamber or the Grand Chamber.

Duties of Plenum[edit]

Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia (art. 18) defines structure and functions of Plenum. According to the law, Plenum is established at the Supreme Court of Georgia; it consists of the Chairman of the Supreme Court, First Deputy chairman, Deputy Chairmen, Judges of the Supreme Court and the Chairpersons of the Appellate Courts.

Activities of the Plenum are led by the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Plenum defines the number of judges of the Supreme Court and also it is authorized to resolve organizational and legal issues within its competence.

Other activities[edit]

According to the Article 18 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia, the Plenum of the Supreme Court proves the Regulation of the Staff of the Supreme Court proposed by the Chairman of the Supreme Court.

The structure of the staff and rules of its activities are determined by the Regulation. The aim of the staff is to support realization of unimpeded court activities at the Supreme Court. The staff of the court is led by the Chairman of the Supreme Court. The Head of Staff, employees and other members of staff are appointed and dismissed by the Chairman of the Supreme Court.

The Staff of the Supreme Court is established in the following structural units:

  • The Bureau of the Chairman of the Supreme Court, which also includes Media and Public Relations Unit;
  • Common Department, which consists of: the Chambers and Secretariat of Disciplinary Collegium, Human Recourses and Citizens Relation Sector;
  • Department of Court Practice Research and Generalization, which also consists of the Periodical Publications, Library Sector and Human Rights Center;
  • Department of Court Statistics and Generalization;
  • Department of Finance;
  • Service of the Court Police (Mandaturi).

On behalf of the judiciary power, the Supreme Court of Georgia maintains close and active cooperation with various international organizations, which are making important contribution to the development and promotion of the Georgian justice.

Cooperation is carried out in three basic directions: 1. system development; 2. capacity building, and 3. raising public awareness, which from its side includes the promotion of the judiciary power and its certain institutes.

The Supreme Court of Georgia is actively cooperating with the following organizations: German Technical Cooperation (GTZ); United Nations Development Program (UNDP);The Norwegian Mission of Rule of Law Advisers to Georgia (NORLAG); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Council of Europe (CoE); US Department of Justice (DoJ);European Commission program – EC / TAIEX.

Transparency of the judiciary system and ensuring the principle of publicity, represents one of the important conditions for the success of judiciary reform. A serious step was taken towards establishment of transparent relationship between the court and the public, and an institute of Speaker Judges was activated at the Supreme Court as well as in the System of Common Courts of Georgia. Speaker judges enable the court to inform its position to the public. There is also comprehensive information posted on the web-site of the Supreme Court concerning the judiciary system of Georgia, strategy of the current reform, and fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens within the system of common courts.

The Supreme Court is proactively engaged with students as well. The Judiciary officials on permanent basis meets with the university and schools students in order to discuss judicial reforms as well as the role of the judiciary in justice system. Supreme Court of Georgia also supports various type of public activities such as Olympiads for law students in form of moot court competitions.

Preparation of the journalists working in justice sphere is vital for proper communication with public. Therefore, the Supreme Court of Georgia with donor support organizes workshops for journalists regarding the New Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia as well as prepares the "Court Guidebook" that adequately informs journalists on procedural matters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Supreme Court of Georgia
  2. ^ Palace of Justice on www.supremecourt.ge as location of Supreme Court of Georgia
  3. ^ "Uniform court practice" on www.supremecourt.ge