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High Council of Justice of Georgia

High Council of Justice of Georgia

High School of Justice of Georgia

High School of Justice of Georgia

Disciplinary Committee of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia

Disciplinary Committee of Judges of Common Courts of Georgia

Georgian Bar Association

Georgian Bar Association

Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary

Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary

National Center for Commercial Law

National Center for Commercial Law

National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration Initiative Georgia

Arbitration Initiative Georgia

News

  • 2017
    09
    Aug

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports Workshop on Expansion of Legal Aid Service Mandate and Lawyer Appraisal System

    On August 4-6, EWMI/PROLoG hosted a three-day workshop in Borjomi between the State-funded Legal Aid Service (LAS) and the judiciary. The purpose was to discuss the upcoming expansion of the LAS mandate into civil and administrative law, to present the findings of a PROLoG-organized study by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) to identify challenges related to the upcoming expansion, and to find solutions to facilitate the expansion in close cooperation with the judiciary.  On the first day, the LAS board and management representatives met to develop their position on the precise areas of expansion and to identify the issues to be discussed with judges the next day. On the second day, 30 judges from Tbilisi and the regions joined the meeting. Mariam Kobaladze and Dimitri Gugunava from CRRC presented the findings of the study on challenges related to the LAS expansion. 

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  • 2017
    09
    Aug

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports 10th Annual Constitutional Court Summer School in Batumi

    On July 24 through August 4, the Constitutional Court of Georgia conducted its 10th Annual Summer School on Constitutional Law and Human Rights. The Summer School was held on the Court’s premises in Batumi. The Summer School is designed to enhance the knowledge of future legal professionals in constitutional and human rights laws and is considered one of the most effective ways to promote human rights in Georgia today. Twenty-eight students had the opportunity to learn from experts, interact with peers, and build relationships. The Summer School included dynamic case studies, practical exercises, and theoretical discussions. The classes covered topics such as: different models of judicial review; constitutional and international standards applicable to criminal procedures; freedom of expression and religion; and application of international treaties by domestic courts. The students were selected through a competitive process involving an exam in English and interviews.  Before the start of the Summer School in Batumi, students met with the President of Georgia and the Ombudsman in Tbilisi to learn about the role that both institutions play in the development of democracy and rule of law in Georgia. Students also visited the USAID office in Georgia, where Deputy Mission Director Thomas Morris made a short presentation for students on USAID’s work in Georgia and the role it plays in the development of democracy and rule of law in the country.     

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  • 2017
    28
    Jul

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports Public Lecture on Racial Discrimination

    On July 24, the EWMI/PROLoG-supported Human Rights Chair at Ilia State University organized a public lecture on Combatting Race Discrimination in the Georgian and American Legal Systems. The lecture was conducted together with PROLoG’s international expert Bridget Arimond, human rights expert from Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, and held at Ilia State University. Professor Arimond talked about the history of racism in in the U.S., legal mechanisms to fight racism, and her experience as a civil rights lawyer protecting U.S. citizens from discrimination. The Human Rights Chair, Tamar Gurchiani, talked about Georgian legislation and cases on racial discrimination. Fourteen students from Ilia State University attended the lecture, which was followed by a Q&A session that discussed the recent demonstrations in Tbilisi against foreign immigrants and other topics.

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  • 2017
    28
    Jul

    EWMI/PROLoG Trains Professors on Amicus Briefs and Shadow Reporting

    On July 22-23, PROLoG organized a workshop for law school clinic professors and human rights professors on how to write and teach to write amicus curiae briefs (briefs submitted to courts by entities who are not parties to the dispute) for Georgian courts and international fora, as well as how to prepare shadow reports for UN Treaty Bodies. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the human rights aspect of the legal clinics’ curricula and add more practical elements to the teaching of human rights courses. Konstantine Vardzelashvili, former deputy head of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, and PROLoG’s international expert Bridget Arimond, human rights expert from Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, conducted the workshop. Fourteen law professors from different Georgian law schools participated. As a result of the training professors will have a better understanding of how to teach the techniques of writing of amicus curiae briefs, how to integrate these tools into the clinical curriculum, and how to use these tools to develop students’ practical skills.

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  • 2017
    28
    Jul

    EWMI/PROLoG organizes second workshop on Law Teaching Methodology

    On July 22-23, EWMI/PROLoG organized a second workshop on modern techniques of law teaching for professors of teaching methodology courses at Ph.D. programs. During the workshop, Washburn University (Kansas, USA) Professor Rory Bahadur and two local experts, Tamar Tomashvili and Ketevan Iremashvili focused on class assessment and exam designing tools and talked about student feedback. This was a second workshop, since May 2017 when trainers discussed importance of multimodal presentation and active learning. Training participants also did presentations using active teaching methods discussed during previous workshop.  As a result, US and Georgian experts will develop a model guidebook on Law Teaching Methodology for Ph.D. programs that will be ready for distribution to all law schools by September 2017.

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  • 2017
    28
    Jul

    GBA Holds Discussion on Publication of Names of Disciplined Lawyers

    On July 7-8, with the support of EWMI/PROLoG, the Georgian Bar Association (GBA) Ethics Commission organized a retreat of its Executive Board and Ethics Commission to facilitate a discussion among the GBA’s governing bodies on the publication of the names of disciplined lawyers.  

    Currently, the GBA Ethics Commission publishes its decisions on its website with the names of disciplined lawyers. The decisions were published only after the one-month period for appeal of the Ethics Commission’s decision expired, after which the decisions with the lawyers’ names stayed on the GBA website and could be searched even after the disciplinary sanction expired. In 2016, the Personal Data Protection Inspector recommended that the GBA either keep the names of disciplined attorneys public for only the period of the disciplinary sanction or for a period that is proportional to the goal of the sanction.   The meeting sought to establish a unified position among the Ethics Commission and Executive Board members regarding the publication of the names of disciplined lawyers.  The participants agreed to issue an Ethics Commission statement on the rule regulating final decisions published on the GBA website.  In cases where disciplinary proceedings were terminated, the Commission refused to commence disciplinary prosecution, acquittal, or the Commission’s decision was to issue a private letter of recommendation, the decisions will be published without the names of lawyers. In cases where disciplinary sanctions are imposed, Commission decisions will be published with the name and GBA membership number of the disciplined lawyer for three years after the decision entered the legal force. After this, the personal data of a lawyer will be removed. The same rule of publication will be applied to the decisions of the Disciplinary Collegium of the Supreme Court of Georgia. The participants agreed to make relevant amendments to the Regulation on Disciplinary Proceedings against Lawyers and to adopt the amendments at the General Assembly in 2018.

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  • 2017
    27
    Jul

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports Working Meeting on Legislative Amendments to Implement Judicial Reform Strategy and Action Plan

    On July 16-17, EWMI/PROLoG, in cooperation with the EU4Justice Project, supported a working meeting of parliamentarians and key judicial stakeholders to discuss legislative amendmends required to implement the Judicial Strategy and Action Plan adopted by the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) in May 2017. The workshop was initiated by Eka Beselia, Chair of the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, to establish a collaborative dialogue between all three branches of the government to implement the recently adopted Judicial Strategy and a two-year Action Plan.

    After considerable discussion, the working group members – representatives of the HCOJ, Legal Affairs Committee and Ministry of Justice – managed to reach a concensus. Fourteen members of the HCOJ, including eight new members, participated in the meeting and a majority were actively engaged in the dicussions. Case backloag in the courts, judicial disciplinary grounds and disciplinary proceedings, High School of Justice reform, and the HCOJ’s rules of operation were identified by the participants as the issues which need to be resolved through legislative amendments.

    Nino Gvenetadze, Chair of the Supreme Court/Head of the HCOJ, Eka Beselia, Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice, and Giorgi Mikautadze, Secretary of the HCOJ, delivered opening speeches. Janos Herman, EU Ambassador to Georgia, and representatives of the international donors PROLoG, EU4Justice, CoE and GIZ also participated in the working meeting and expressed their support for the process. The next working meeting, to discuss the legislative framework of the grounds of judicial discipline in the same format, was tentatively agreed to be held in mid-August. PROLoG is eager to support this initiative.

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  • 2017
    28
    Jun

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports Second Workshop to Develop Company Law Course for Judges

    EWMI/PROLoG, in cooperation with the High School of Justice and the German International Development Agency (GIZ), organized a second Training of Trainers workshop for selected Georgian judges on Corporate Law and Governance in Georgia and the EU.  Like the previous workshop in May, the June 10-11training included presentations, case studies, discussions, and exercises that guided the “judge trainers” on the most important company law concepts, such as fiduciary duties, the business judgement rule, and the duty of care of directors. 

    Under the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, within the next three to five years Georgia must implement several EU company law directives. In 2016, the Georgian Government started the implementation process and with donor support, including from PROLoG, developed a draft Company Law that is expected to be adopted this year. The new Company Law will introduce modern legal features into the Georgian legislation governing companies, which will enhance corporate governance, attract more investment, and foster economic efficiency. After the adoption of the new Company Law, Georgian courts will have to apply new legal concepts and interpret the law in accordance with the EU directives. It is expected that the EU directives will continue to have a strong impact on the development of Georgian company law for many years to come and that this course will serve as a baseline for future courses for judges. The trainers trained through the EWMI/PROLoG and GIZ workshops will help prepare Georgia’s judges for these new and increased responsibilities.

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  • 2017
    26
    Jun

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports Georgian Team at Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition

    EWMI/PROLoG supported a team of students from International Black Sea University to participate at the second Hugo Sinzheimer Moot Court Competition, held on June 15-17 at Aarhus University, Denmark. The competition is an initiative of a five academics, including a Georgian, and focuses on employment and labor law at the European level.

    This year, 13 teams from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and a European team (composed of four students from different countries) competed against each other. The Georgian team was the only team from outside the European Union. A distinguished panel of jury members from across Europe judged the competition, including legal experts from academia, courts and private law firms. During the quarterfinals, the Georgian team competed against Polish and French teams and scored high in the oral pleadings. The teams from Poland and France continued onto the finals, but the winning team was from Finland.

    The third edition of the Hugo Moot Finale will be held in Italy in June 2018, but an annual meeting of the organizing committee will be held in Tbilisi in January 2018. 

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  • 2017
    26
    Jun

    EWMI/PROLoG Supports Academic Writing Initiative

    On June 23, Tbilisi State University (TSU) hosted a presentation of an Academic Writing Initiative.  Dr. Anna Dolidze, Parliamentary Secretary of the President of Georgia, approached EWMI/PROLoG with an initiative to develop an Academic Writing Manual for law schools that will establish academic writing and citation standards for law students and scholars engaged in academic research and writing. The manual will be based on the best practices of North American and European legal writing standards, adapted and tailored to the needs of Georgian academia.

    The presentation was hosted by the Rector of Tbilisi State University, who stressed the importance of improving academic writing skills among students and engaging scholars in academic research; he reinforced TSU’s commitment to support this cause. Dr. Anna Dolidze talked about the structure of the Manual and a working process that involved several consultations with academics and scholars, as well as meetings with students.

    The Manual will be finalized by September 2017, and will be widely distributed among Georgian law schools. 

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