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Statement by President Salome Zourabichvili

The case of an early termination of the term of Mrs. Anna Dolidze, a non-judge member of the High Council of Justice of Georgia (HCoJ), has become newsworthy in the past few days.

The legal position on the issue is the following: on the one hand, the current Organic Law of Georgia on “Common Courts” ensures that the power to terminate the term of a member of the High Council of Justice be in the hands of the President; on the other hand, the Constitution grants the President only the power to appoint a member of the High Council of Justice of Georgia, much like the Chief of the Georgian Defence Forces and other similar cases.

The President of Georgia is the guarantor of the Constitution. She bears the responsibility to act only within the powers defined by the Constitution, which makes no provision on the dismissal of a member of the High Council of Justice.

While speaking about the nonjudicial part of the current case, the President considers that a person who takes such an important and responsible office should know the grounds provided by the law, and understand where the line is between political activity and commitment to political appointment. Indeed, the confidence of our society depends on such self-awareness and responsibility. The President expects that Mrs. Anna Dolidze will take a timely and dignified decision.
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