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Human Rights Center applied to the Council of Justice to hear the violation of procedural terms by judge Leila Mamulashvili

March 16, 2023

The Chamber of Administrative Cases of Tbilisi Court of Appeals with presiding judge Leila Mamulashvili failed to serve the judgment with the plaintiff for five months now. The court judgment rendered on October 20, 2022 refers to the administrative appeal by Aleko Tskitishvili, Executive Director of HRC against Tbilisi City Hall and water supply company GWP. 

HRC applied to the Council of Justice to hear the violation of procedural terms by judge Leila Mamulashvili. In particular, according to Article 257 of the Civil Procedure Code, the court shall within 14 days following the announcement of the operational part of the judgment prepare the grounded decision to be handed over to the parties.

Hearings of the administrative appeal of Aleko Tskitishvili, Executive Director of HRC is going on since 2017.  The final judgement has not yet been rendered after 6 years, which is due to the procrastination of the hearings and violation of procedural terms by the judges. 

The administrative appeal concerns the facts of young people having drowned at 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 Matters of Tbilisi Court of Appeals with presiding judge Leila Mamulashvili rejected th2.5-meter-highve appeal by Aleko Tskitishvili and reversed the judgment by Administrative Panel of Tbilisi City Court instructing Tbilisi City Hall to install warning banners and to erect 2.5 meter high fence along the channel of the waterfall so no one could get over the fence.   According to the Chamber, since GWP had already fenced the area and installed warning banners, the subject matter of the dispute no longer existed against respondent City Hall. 

Aleko Tskitishvili also claimed GEL 50 000 to be paid by the  respondent through which he intends to build in the future a parkour park after Tsotne Tskitishvili.  The Court of Appeals rejected the claim by the appellant.  

Almost 5 months have gone by since the judgment was rendered. Despite many requests, 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 and promoting quality and effective justice serving as a guarantor of the independence of the court. HRC demands from the Council of Justice of Georgia to study the reasons of the failure to serve the parties with the judgement 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 Tbilisi Sea where swimming is particularly dangerous and is 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 Tbilisi City Court against Tbilisi City Hall and 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 no one could overcome the fence. 

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. So, the City Hall appealed the decision in the Court of Appeals.  In his turn, Aleko Tskitishvili appealed the judgement by Tbilisi City Court in the Court of Appeals in the part where he was denied to be paid compensations by the respondent. 

At the same time,     in parallel with the hearings in Tbilisi Court of Appeals 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 - Tbilisi City Hall and 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 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 and fence the death zone and install warning banners.  The claimant and his counsel organisation HRC believe that the interpretation by the Court of Appeals that the subject dispute against the City Hall no longer exists because GWP has already fenced the area and installed warning banners is wrong.  Therefore, HRC shall appeal the judgment after it is handed over to the party in the Supreme Court.