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EU Delegation responds to expedited procedures in the Georgian Parliament relating to the State Inspector's Service and the Judiciary

28.12.2021
Tbilisi

As acting Head of the EU Delegation Asunción Sánchez Ruiz told Interpressnews, the process initiated this week in the Georgian Parliament to adopt, in an expedited procedure, a law that will lead to the abolition of the current State Inspector’s Service bears high risks for Georgia’s democracy

"Whereas there could be reason to legislate to improve the investigative and data protection functions currently vested in the State Inspector´s Service, such changes should be done in an open and transparent process, with a meaningful, broad debate, including civil society and the State Inspector´s Service itself. The State Inspector’s Service is Georgia’s independent mechanism for investigating ill-treatment and abuse of power committed by law enforcement officials and is thus a key institution for a well-functioning democracy and for the protection of human rights. The European Union was engaged in the creation of this Service and has invested substantial financial and human resources in its development. We are, therefore, very disappointed to see these actions, and regret the fact that it has not proved possible for EU representatives to engage with the Parliament on this matter," stated the acting Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia.

According to her, in addition, the Georgian Parliament has initiated, in an expedited procedure, amendments to the Law on Common Courts related to the functioning of the High Council of Justice. As Sánchez Ruiz notes, the timing and hasty handling of these draft amendments raise further serious concerns regarding the authorities’ commitment to genuine justice reform to rebuild trust in an independent and accountable judiciary

"The trust in and independence of key state institutions are essential for democracy and human rights, and integral to the proper implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and to advancing Georgia’s European aspirations," Sánchez Ruiz told Interpressnews.