Lado Bichashvili, Shida Kartli
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association presented report to the representatives of nongovernmental and media organizations in the Gori Civic Engagement Center. The report presents findings from the trial monitoring of criminal cases. The organization monitored City and Appeal Courts in Tbilisi and Kutaisi.
After the government changed in Georgia, judiciary became more independent and judges pass more grounded judgments. Regardless general tendency of judiciary independence, young lawyers spoke about concrete problems revealed during monitoring.
Tinatin Avaliani, GYLA: “Court continues healthier approach to some directions, for example well-grounded decisions on imposing compulsory measure on the convicted person, but rights are still violated and problems still remain in the judiciary system. Court still rarely applies its discretion on compulsory measure and uses either imprisonment or bail.”
The organization monitored trial procedures and stereotypes established during adversarial proceedings, which refers to upholding solicitation of the prosecutor’s office on submitted evidence. As for the defense side, they refrain from presenting their evidence and also from soliciting declination of the prosecutor’s evidence.
GYLA monitored 38 court hearings on the search and withdrawal of evidence and court issued preliminary permission on the search only in two cases. In all other 36 cases, the court approved the search as measure caused by urgent necessity. Based on this decision, young lawyers doubt law enforcement bodies and court do not properly implement their duties.
After the presentation, discussion with the representatives of the nongovernmental and media organizations was held.
Nino Mindiashvili, representative of the nongovernmental organization “Consent”: “It will be good if monitoring continues because the public trust to the judiciary will increase. Today I received much information and I am glad that this information is positive and not negative. There are some changes, that demonstrate sustainability of the judiciary reform.”
GYLA monitored trial on 528 criminal cases in the period of July-December, 2013. The report covers the cases of former senior officials too.