08TBILISI1216, LEGAL PROFESSION REFORM INDEX SHOWS GEORGIA’S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1216 2008-07-15 13:22 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO7344
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1216 1971322
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151322Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9751
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 001216 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KDEM GG
SUBJECT: LEGAL PROFESSION REFORM INDEX SHOWS GEORGIA'S 
SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS SINCE 2005 
 
 1.  (U)  Summary and Comment:  On July 10, the American Bar 
Association released the second volume of its Legal 
Profession Reform Index (LPRI) which assesses the performance 
of the legal profession in Georgia.  Overall, there have been 
significant improvements since the first LPRI in 2005:  out 
of 24 factors rated, 10 factors have improved, 11 remained 
the same, and two worsened.  Notable positive developments 
include the creation of a Georgian Bar Association, and the 
commencement of activities along with the promulgation of the 
Code of Ethics for Advocates and establishment of an 
enforcement procedure.  Another positive development was the 
recent adoption of the Law on Legal Aid, and creation of 
Legal Aid Bureaus in several cities. The two factors which 
deteriorated are access to clients, and lawyer-client 
confidentiality, reflecting an emerging challenge in the 
Georgian justice system of the exclusion of defense counsel 
from certain legal proceedings associated with the new plea 
bargaining process. The LPRI lists the passage of ex parte 
communications as a step forward, but does not mention the 
opening of the High School of Justice nor the passage of 
ethics for Judges.  The Judicial Reform Index (JRI), due out 
in Fall 2008, will address issues associated with prosecutors 
and judges and these related achievements.  End Summary and 
Comment. 
 
2.  (U)  The LPRI is a survey instrument of 24 factors 
derived from international standards which are important to 
legal profession reform in emerging democracies.  The index 
is the result of interviews with advocates (legal defense 
attorneys), members of the judiciary, government officials, 
NGOS and journalists throughout Georgia.  The LPRI rates each 
of the 24 factors as Negative, Neutral or Positive.  Of the 
ten factors which improved, five were upgraded from Negative 
to Neutral and five were upgraded from Neutral to Positive. 
Nine factors maintained the same Negative or Neutral ratings 
as in 2005, reflecting ongoing challenges resulting from the 
inquisitorial model, as a result of which advocates 
representing criminal defendants do not enjoy the same rights 
as the prosecution.  A lack of financial and legal resources 
was reported throughout the country, especially outside of 
Tbilisi.  The remaining two factors (professional immunity 
and formation of independent law practice) maintained the 
same positive ratings. The report can be found in its 
entirety at www.abanet.org/rol/publications/ 
legal profession reform index.shtml. 
TEFFT

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