The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary is concerned about the decision of the Court of Appeals against Transparency International Georgia (TIG), where the Court found the views expressed in TIG’s study defamatory. If the decision remains in force, freedom of speech and expression and fundamental principles of human rights organizations’ work will be endangered.
In the study assessing corruption risks in the judiciary, the Court found the following statement, which was based on the analysis of a specific court decision, to be libelous: “[…] the renewal of the dispute in 2016 due to newly discovered circumstances raises questions about impartiality of adjudication.” The Court’s decision contradicts both the requirements of the law and the practice already established by the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. An unreasonable deviation from the already established, clear and consistent standard, and its drastic deterioration, raises important questions regarding the impartial administration of justice in this case.
If this court decision remains in force, it will restrict human rights organizations in performing their fundamental, controlling functions, in addition to considerably worsening the standard of protection of freedom of speech and expression. This will be a significant step backward in the democratic development of Georgia.
The signatory organizations hope that the Supreme Court will realize its role and importance in protection of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and will not uphold the decision made by the Tbilisi Court of Appeals.