Supreme Court of Georgia (country)
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|Supreme Court of Georgia
საქართველოს უზენაესი სასამართლო
Coat of arms of Georgia
|Authorized by||Georgian Constitution|
|Judge term length||10 years|
|Number of positions||9|
The Supreme Court of Georgia represents the court of the highest and final administration of justice in the country. It was established in 2005 as the cassation instance court. It is located in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
The Supreme Court oversees the administration of justice at common courts. Its activities are to be guided by the principles of legality, collective nature, publicity, equality of parties and competitiveness, as well as the irremovability, immunity and independence of judges.
The Supreme Court of Georgia considers claims on judgments made by the Courts of Appeal. It supports the introduction of the unified interpretation of the law and the establishment of common judicial practice.
Through the substantiated clarification and comparison of legal norms and by establishing court practice, the Court of Cassation is intended to ensure prompt and streamlined functioning of the judiciary.
Structure, elections and appointments
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The chairman and the members of the Supreme Court of Georgia have immunity from prosecution. Criminal proceedings against 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, in which case, the Parliament is to be immediately notified. Unless the Parliament gives its consent, the arrested or detained shall immediately be released.
The Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia defines the structure of the Supreme Court, according to which the following structural units are established:
- Chamber of Civil Cases
- Chamber of Administrative Cases
- Chamber of Criminal Cases
- Grand Chamber
- The Plenum
- Disciplinary Chamber
Duties of Chambers
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 as defined by the law and rules. A Disciplinary Chamber is 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.
The Chamber considers cases collectively, in a panel of three judges. The judgments (decisions) of the Chamber of Cassation are final and may not be appealed.
A Grand Chamber 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. The Grand Chamber is chaired by the Chairman of the Supreme Court, or a Chairman of one of the Chambers of the Supreme Court, as assigned by him.
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 Chamber does not share the legal evaluation already made by either the Cassation Chamber or the Grand Chamber.
Duties of Plenum
Article 18 defines the structure and functions of the Plenum. According to the law, the Plenum 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 is authorized to resolve organizational and legal issues within its competence.
The Plenum of the Supreme Court approves 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 ensure unimpeded court activities. The court staff 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 follows the following structural units:
- Bureau of the Chairman, which also includes Media and Public Relations
- Common Department, which consists of the Chambers and Secretariat of Disciplinary Collegium, Human Recourses and Citizens Relation Sector
- Court Practice Research and Generalization, which also includes Periodical Publications, Library Sector and Human Rights Center
- Court Statistics and Generalization
- Service of the Court Police (Mandaturi)
On behalf of the judiciary power, the Supreme Court maintains close and active cooperation with various international organizations, which make important contribution to the development and promotion of the Georgian justice.
Cooperation is carried out in system development, capacity building and public awareness, which from its side includes the promotion of the judiciary power and its certain institutes.
The Supreme Court is actively cooperating with German Technical Cooperation; United Nations Development Program, Norwegian Mission of Rule of Law Advisers to Georgia (NORLAG); United States Agency for International Development Council of Europe, US Department of Justice and European Commission program – EC / TAIEX.
Transparency and the principle of publicity represent important conditions for the success of judicial reform. A serious step was taken towards establishment of a 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. Speaker judges enable the court to inform the public. Comprehensive information is posted on the website of the Supreme Court concerning the judiciary system, reform strategy and fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.
The Supreme Court proactively engages with students. Judiciary officials meet with students to discuss judicial reform and the role of the judiciary. The Supreme Court supports various type of public activities such as Olympiads for law students in form of moot court competitions.
Preparation of journalists working in the justice sphere is vital for proper communication with the public. The Supreme Court organizes workshops for journalists regarding the New Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia and prepares the "Court Guidebook" to inform journalists on procedural matters.
- The Supreme Court of Georgia
- Palace of Justice on www.supremecourt.ge as location of Supreme Court of Georgia
- Article 14 of the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia
- "Uniform court practice" Uniform Court Practice
- Article 90.2 of the Constitution of Georgia
- Article 90.4 of the Constitution of Georgia
- Article 15
- Article 16
- Article 19
- Article 17
- Article 18
- German Technical Cooperation
- United Nations Development Program
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