The Chamber of Administrative Cases at the Tbilisi Appellate Court, with presiding Judge Leila Mamulashvili, has not handed the judgment over to the plaintiff for nine months now. The court judgment rendered on October 20, 2022 refers to the administrative appeal of Aleko Tskitishvili, Executive Director of HRC against the Tbilisi City Hall and water supply company GWP.
HRC petitioned the Council of Justice to consider the violation of procedural terms by Judge Leila Mamulashvili. In particular, in accordance with the Article 257 of the Civil Procedure Code of Georgia, the court shall within 14 days following the announcement of the resolution part of the judgment prepare the grounded decision to be handed over to the parties.
The administrative lawsuit of HRC Executive Director Aleko Tskitishvili had been heard in the common courts of Georgia since 2017. The final judgement has not yet been rendered 6 years later, which is due to the procrastination of the hearings in the courts and violation of procedural terms by judges.
The administrative appeal concerns the incidents, when young people drowned in the Tbilisi Sea near the so called waterfalls. Among the deceased teenagers is Aleko Tskitishvili's 15-year-old son, Tsotne Tskitishvili.
On October 20, 2022, the Chamber of Administrative Cases at the Tbilisi Appellate Court with presiding judge Leila Mamulashvili rejected the appeal of Aleko Tskitishvili and upheld the judgment of Administrative Panel of the Tbilisi City Court instructing the Tbilisi City Hall to install warning banners and to erect 2.5 meter high fence along the channel of the waterfall so that nobody could get over the fence. According to the Chamber, since the GWP had already fenced the area and installed warning banners, the subject matter of the dispute no longer existed against the respondent Tbilisi City Hall.
Aleko Tskitishvili also claimed GEL 50 000 to be paid by the respondent through which he intends to build a parkour park after Tsotne Tskitishvili in the future. The Appellate Court rejected the claim by the appellant.
9 months have gone since the judgment was rendered. Despite many petitions, no grounded decision was handed over to the party. This is a violation of the claimant's interests.
In recent practice, the timeframes for serving the parties with grounded decisions are violated prejudicing the lawful interests of the parties and prompt justice. The High Council of Justice of Georgia is an independent body created for coordinating the judiciary system and promoting quality and effective justice serving as a guarantor of the independence of the court. HRC requests the Council of Justice of Georgia to study the reasons of the failure to hand over the judgements to the parties within the timeframes established by the law and facilitate the correction of the problem.
The background of the claim in short:
The so-called waterfall is the “death zone” at the Tbilisi Sea where swimming is particularly dangerous and prohibited, however, for many years, there was no warmings made for the public and no insurmountable fence was installed. This was the place where Tsotne Tskitishvili, 15 year old son of HRC Executive Director Aleko Tskitishvili died in 2017. The two affected families lodged administrative appeals with the Tbilisi City Court against the Tbilisi City Hall and the water supply company GWP. After almost two years of hearings, Judge Natia Buskadze ordered the City Hall to install warning banners near the waterfalls and to erect a 2.5 m high fence along the waterfall channel so that nobody could overcome the fence.
The Tbilisi City Hall refused to implement the order of the court as it believed that the City Hall was not responsible for preventing such fatal cases in the city. Consequently, the City Hall appealed the decision in the Court of Appeals. In his turn, Aleko Tskitishvili appealed the judgement of the Tbilisi City Court in the Tbilisi Appellate Court in the part where he was denied to be paid compensations by the respondent.
At the same time, in parallel with the hearings in the Tbilisi Appellate Court the respondent satisfied the claim - erecting a firm fence of concrete and iron around the area and placing banners forbidding swimming. However, the representatives of the respondents - the Tbilisi City Hall and the GWP - could not name the agent who carried out these works on the site. At one of the hearings, the GWP representative stated that the area was fenced by them “at the request” of the Tbilisi City Hall. At the request of the plaintiff, GWP presented relevant documents to the court.
Nevertheless, the City Hall refused to admit during the hearings that it was the responsible body to protect the lives in the area and fence the death zone and install warning banners. The claimant and the organization protecting his legal interests HRC believe that the interpretation of the situation by the Appellate Court as if the subject of the dispute against the City Hall no longer exists because the GWP has already fenced the area and installed warning banners is wrong. Therefore, HRC shall appeal the judgment after it is handed over in the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Human Rights Center