07TBILISI1622, OCTOBER LAUNCH OF JUDICIAL TRAINING PROGRAM TAKES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1622 2007-07-10 05:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7613
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1622/01 1910527
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100527Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6944
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 001622 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: OCTOBER LAUNCH OF JUDICIAL TRAINING PROGRAM TAKES 
FORM 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 268 
 
     B. TBILISI 281 
     C. TBILISI 767 
     D. TBILISI 932 
     E. TBILISI 1479 
 
1. (SBU) Summary.  The USAID Caucasus Mission Director and 
Poloff attended the opening of a new High School of Justice 
(HSOJ) facility on 22 June in Tskaltubo (Kutaisi) where the 
Georgian Chairman of the Supreme Court released to the 
international community copies of the much anticipated 
curriculum for the training of new judges (reftel A, B). The 
release of the curriculum validated earlier conversations 
with ministry officials that the curriculum would soon be 
made available to the public (reftel C,D,E). Publication of 
the curriculum heralds yet another milestone in the 
continuing advance of Georgia to develop a more professional 
and independent judiciary.  End Summary. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
HSOJ CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTORS READY 
-------------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) The USAID Mission Caucasus Director and Poloff 
attended a press conference in Tskaltubo on 22 June which 
marked the opening of the Tskaltubo Regional Center of the 
High School of Justice. The main office of the HSOJ is 
located in Tbilisi.  To better serve the regions, two 
branches of the HSOJ have been established in Batumi and 
Tkhaltubo. Konstantine Kublashvili, Chairman of the Supreme 
Court, held a press conference to share with the 
international community copies of the HSCOJ curriculum and 
particulars about on-going training for judges already on the 
bench. He took questions from the floor about draft 
legislation dealing with judicial reform and shared 
information about the increase in judges and court workers 
salaries planned for next year.  His presentation answered 
many previously open questions about the HSOJ curriculum 
which no one had seen prior to this event. Further validation 
of the program will take place beginning 9 July. 
 
3.  (U) The HSOJ in its new format becomes operative in 
October 2007; judges from this time will no longer be 
appointed by the President and only HSOJ graduates will be 
eligible for the judicial election process. The current plan 
stipulates that judges graduating from the HSOJ will work as 
first instance judges either as magistrate judges or first 
instance judges, hearing cases on administrative, civil and 
pre-trial issues in criminal matters. Magistrates who are 
appointed in the specific areas of the 
administrative-territorial unit under the jurisdiction of the 
district court ensure that people in the areas remote from 
the district court have speedy access to justice locally.  In 
this way, the District Courts will assist in decreasing the 
large backlog of cases, thereby lowering the number of those 
in pre-trail detention. The HSOJ curriculum will consist of 
14 months of training, nine of these months in an academic 
setting, and five months practical application.  There will 
be a final exam and interview at t 
he end of the training before new judges assume their duties. 
Currently representatives from OSCE are suggesting the GoG 
extend the program up to two years, but any changes would not 
be in effect until 2008. 
 
4. (U) The HSOJ curriculum was developed based on the 
provisions of Chapter VI of the Law of Georgia on the HSOJ 
but uses a French model as a basis.  It provides a detailed 
description of the subjects to be taught and activities to be 
completed during the theoretical course, internship program 
and seminar work all of which are required by Article 19 of 
the Law. The main objective of the program is to deepen the 
theoretical knowledge of the judicial candidates and give 
them the needed practical skills, as well as help them 
realize the extent of their future responsibility and the 
importance of maintaining judicial independence within the 
bounds of the law. 
 
----------------- 
The Formal Course 
----------------- 
 
5. (SBU) Sitting judges will teach the theoretical course 
using lectures, practice-centered work, discussion, and 
homework to achieve the objectives of the course.  Shota 
Rukhadze, Deputy of the HSOJ, told Poloff that the majority 
of the trainers will be sitting judges, as the instruction 
will be practice-oriented and only judges have this 
experience.  University professors or other lawyers wouldn't 
have this expertise necessarily. Currently, Rukhadze is 
seeking other qualified professional instructors but the 
final list of trainers is not yet determined. Rukhadze told 
 
TBILISI 00001622  002 OF 003 
 
 
Poloff that the instructors' fees had been calculated into 
the 2007 budget and passed to the Ministry of Finance.  The 
calculation was based on the highest daily rate in Georgian 
educational institutions.   English language courses will be 
mandatory twice weekly during this segment, with an emphasis 
on English legal terminology.  Students who study at the HSOJ 
will r
esign their permanent jobs and be full time students; 
the government will allot 
 them a monthly stipend of 600-650 GEL (390 USD). The total 
number of new students for initial training will be 25-30, 
which is the number provided to the HSOJ by the High Council 
of Justice.  These students will be divided between the 
institutions in Tbilisi, Batumi and Tskaltubo.  Most of the 
training for new students will be in Tbilisi; Batumi and 
Tskaltubo will be used more for retraining of sitting judges. 
 
SIPDIS 
 
6. (U) The theoretical Course for Judicial Candidates for the 
October course will include the following topics: 
- Constitutional Law 
- Criminal law 
- Criminal Procedural Law 
- Civil Law 
- Civil Procedural Law 
- Administrative Law 
- Administrative Procedural Law 
- Tax Law and Customs Code 
- International Law 
- Law in Cinema 
- Computer and New Information Technologies 
 
---------------------- 
The Internship Program 
---------------------- 
 
7. (U) After completion of the nine month theoretical course, 
the students of justice will be required to complete a 
compulsory and alternative practical internship program.  The 
length of the compulsory internship program is three months, 
during which the students will spend time in the common 
courts of Georgia, or upon approval, either in the 
Prosecutor's Office, law firms, or public notaries.  During 
the internship program, the students of justice will go on 
site to different common courts to learn in detail of court 
operations, starting from the functioning of court 
chancelleries to making decisions on each particular case. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
Seminars--the Formal Course and Internship in Practice 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
8. (U) At the end of the internship program the students of 
justice will complete a two-month seminar program the purpose 
of which is to generalize the knowledge and practical 
experience the students of justice received during the 
theoretical course and practical internship program.  During 
the seminars, the students of justice will be given concrete 
practical homework (such as writing judicial decisions based 
on hypothetical cases, drafting various procedural documents, 
etc.) which will further improve their knowledge and prepare 
them for the final graduating exam. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
Judges and Court Workers Salaries to Increase 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
9. (U) During his presentation, Kublashvili announced that 
Parliament recently passed a law to increase judges' salaries 
monthly by 100 GEL(60 USD), which would be retroactive to 1 
January. In 2008 there are plans to further increase judges' 
monthly salaries by up to as much as 210 GEL (126 USD) per 
month.  Additionally, the Parliament is considering raising 
the salaries of Tbilisi District Court workers, as they earn 
significantly less than judges.  Court workers currently 
receive 250 GEL (150 USD) a month, whereas judges receive 
1500 GEL (899 USD) or more. 
 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
10. (SBU) The completion of the HSOJ curriculum is another 
milestone for the Georgians in their efforts to strengthen 
their judicial arm by having a cadre of professional judges 
who are not appointed by the executive arm but through a 
recognized transparent process. The curriculum still has yet 
to be approved by the High Council of Justice before the 
start of the HSOJ term begins in October.  Kublashvili's 
announcement and promulgation of the curriculum has finally 
answered the questions as to what the new judges will study 
and how.  The looming question still remains where will the 
 
TBILISI 00001622  003 OF 003 
 
 
HSOJ find additional instructors and will they be ready for 
the course start date in October. We will keep pressing the 
GoG to ensure that they meet this deadline. End Comment. 
TEFFT

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