Frequently asked Questions

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Who has the right to lodge a complaint with an independent inspector?

In case of disciplinary misconduct committed by a judge, any person has the right to lodge a complaint with an independent inspector.

Is there an established format for a complaint?

For disciplinary proceedings to be initiated against a judge, your complaint (application) should be drawn up in accordance with the template approved by the High Council of Justice and, as a rule, be submitted in printed form. Disciplinary proceedings will not be initiated based on an anonymous complaint or application.

Can any other person besides an independent inspector initiate disciplinary proceedings against a judge?

Only an independent inspector has the right to initiate disciplinary proceedings. In case of challenging an independent inspector, the disciplinary case shall be investigated by a member of High Council of Justice of Georgia.

Where a disciplinary complaint should be submitted?

A disciplinary complaint can be submitted to the High Council of Justice of Georgia at the following address: Tbilisi, N12 Bochorma str., 0144 or you may send it to the following e-mail address: info@independent-inspector.ge

Is there any fee for lodging a complaint?

No fees are required to be paid for lodging a complaint with the Office of an independent inspector.

What type of information may become the basis for initiating disciplinary proceedings against a judge?

Grounds for initiating disciplinary proceedings:

  • A complaint or application of any person, other than an anonymous complaint or application;
  • An explanatory note of another judge, a member or an officer of a court, or of the High Council of Justice of Georgia with regard to committing disciplinary misconduct by a judge;
  • A notification by an investigative authority;
  • Information disseminated by the mass media, as well as information contained in a report and/or proposal of the Public Defender of Georgia about a judge having committed an act that may be considered as disciplinary misconduct.
What time is required for the independent inspector to review a complaint?

The term of investigation of a disciplinary case is two months. If necessary, this term may be extended by no more than 2 weeks.

What is disciplinary misconduct?

Disciplinary misconduct is a violation provided for by the Organic Law of Georgia “On Common Courts” based on which a judge may be imposed disciplinary liability and penalty. Please take into account that disciplinary misconduct is not a crime. Committing a crime by a judge leads to a criminal liability and in case of committing disciplinary misconduct, only disciplinary liability and penalty may be imposed on the judge.

What are the types of disciplinary misconduct?

Types of disciplinary misconduct shall include:

  • corruption offence or misuse of one’s official status to the detriment of the interests of justice and the office held. An infringement provided for by the Law of Georgia on Conflicts of Interest and Corruption at Public Institutions shall constitute a corruption offence unless it entails criminal or administrative liability;

  • any activity incompatible with the position of a judge, or conflict of interest with duties of a judge;

  • any action inappropriate for a judge that disgraces the reputation of, or damages the confidence in, a court;

  • ungrounded delay in proceedings;

  • failure to fulfill or improper fulfillment of the obligations of a judge;

  • disclosure of secrecy of deliberations of judges or professional secrecy;

  • impediment to or disrespect for the activities of bodies having disciplinary powers;

  • breach of judicial ethics;
What sanctions can be imposed on a judge for committing disciplinary misconduct?

For committing disciplinary misconduct, a judge can be imposed disciplinary liability and penalty.

Disciplinary penalties shall include:

  • reproval;

  • reprimand;

  • severe reprimand;

  • dismissal of a judge from the position;

  • elimination of a judge from the reserve list of judges of General Courts.

 

Disciplinary measures shall include:

  • giving a private recommendation letter to a judge;

  • dismissal of a chairperson, first deputy or deputy chairperson of a court, a chairperson of a judicial panel or chamber.
In what case will a judge not be imposed disciplinary liability?

A judge will not be held liable under disciplinary rule if 5 years have lapsed since the commission of the disciplinary misconduct. A judge will not be held liable under disciplinary rule also in case if 1 year has lapsed since making a decision (making a decision on sending a case to the disciplinary panel) on bringing disciplinary proceedings against a judge.

Is misinterpretation of the Law considered disciplinary misconduct?

Misinterpretation of the Law may not become the grounds for bringing disciplinary proceedings against a judge. Consequently, it is not disciplinary misconduct.

Will the decision delivered on the complaint replace the judicial act?

According to the Constitution of Georgia, a judge is independent in his/her work and no one has the right to request a report on a particular case or interfere in his/her activity to influence the decision. The court decision may be changed or revoked only by the court and only in cases and according to the rules provided for by the legislation. Disciplinary proceedings do not imply substantiation or examination of the content of the court decision.

An independent inspector is not a judiciary body; he/she is not authorized to accelerate review of the case. An independent inspector has no right to supervise the judicial act.

In case of imposing disciplinary penalties on a judge, will the decision made by the judge on my case be reviewed?

The aim of disciplinary proceedings is not terminating or changing the decision made by the judge. Consequently, imposing disciplinary measures or penalties on a judge shall not influence any of his/her decisions.

Who has the right to make public materials of disciplinary proceedings initiated against a particular judge?

The disciplinary proceedings are confidential. Officials and public servants with relevant authorization are obliged to observe the secrecy of all information that became known to them during disciplinary proceedings.

Can a judge make disciplinary proceedings public?

The judge against whom the disciplinary proceedings are instituted has the right to request meetings of the Disciplinary Panel of the judges of the Common Courts of Georgia and disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court of Georgia, as well as meetings held by the High Council of Justice of Georgia to bring disciplinary proceedings against a judge or terminate disciplinary proceedings be made public. Making meetings held to make a decision and decision-making procedures public is prohibited.

Will I be notified about the results of review of the complaint lodged against a judge?

The decision on terminating, suspending or resuming disciplinary proceedings against a judge, as well as a decision on acquitting the judge shall within 5 days after it is made, be forwarded to the author of the complaint (application) and the judge in question.

The decision of the High Council of Justice of Georgia on instituting disciplinary prosecution against a judge and on imposing disciplinary liability on a judge, as well as decisions of the disciplinary board on imposing penalty on the judge or giving a private recommendation letter to a judge shall within 5 days after they are made be forwarded to the author of the complaint (application/notification), if a Common Court has quit hearing the case with regard to which the disciplinary proceeding was conducted.