Today, the Committee heard the 17th candidate, Lasha Kochiashvili.
The Chair of the Committee, Anri Okhanashvili introduced the biographic data of L. Kochiashvili, who counts 20 years of professional experience, including 12 years at the position of a judge. He has also worked as: Judge at the Zestafoni District Court between April 2007 – May 2007, Judge at the Kutaisi City Court between May 2007 – December 2007, Chair of the Borjomi District Court between December 2007 – August 2008, Chair of the Kutaisi City Court between August 2008 – November 2009. From November 2009, he has been the Judge of the Civil Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court.
The questions to the Supreme Court Judge were about: his decisions as a judge, including the cases of the Rustavi Metallurgical Plant and the Maestro TV; access to justice for people with disabilities in the courts; law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination; UN Convention on the Rights of the Person with Disabilities and the optional protocol; practice of the Supreme Court; Civil Law; individual decisions of the Constitutional Court; effectiveness of commercial dispute resolution; speeding up court proceedings; individual decisions of the Constitutional Court and other legal issues.
Attendees inquired about Lasha Kochiashvili's opinion regarding: the degree of independence of the judicial system during the previous Government and whether the preceding Government exposed pressure on him; whether judicial independence has increased since 2012; his assessments towards the interview process with the candidates for the Supreme Court; judicial reform; principles of the Constitution of Georgia; role of the Public Defender; whether the President of Georgia is entitled to dismiss a member of the High Council of Justice; whether Georgian Constitution better protects the property rights compared to the article 1 of protocol 1 of EU Convention on Human Rights, etc.
The sitting was attended by the Majority and Opposition Factions, independent MPs, as well as the representatives of the Public Defender, Legal Aid Service and NGOs Coalition.
The candidate answered the questions of the citizens introduced by the First Deputy Chair, David Matikashvili.
There are three more candidates to be heard by the Committee according to alphabetical order: Ketevan Tsintsadze, Alexander Tsuladze and Gocha Jeiranashvili.
The interviews are being held according to the American model and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR office.