On 29 September, The Hague Institute and the Embassy of Georgia to the Netherlands welcomed Ms. Thea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia, for the next installment of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Ms. Tsulukiani spoke on Changing Georgia in a Changing Europe.
The Minister spoke on why instituting reforms in Georgia is crucial for its future. She argued that introducing sustainable democratic institutions encourages an open, inclusive society and builds trust between the public and the government. The drive for reform currently in progress in Georgia aims to ensure respect for human rights through an inclusive process and public consultation, with input from politicians, academics and civil society.
Ms. Tsulukiani highlighted a number of initiatives undertaken thus far to profoundly alter and improve the transparency and legitimacy of Georgia’s judicial institutions. To begin with, Georgia introduced reforms to address the politicization of the High Council of Justice, removing politicians from sitting on the council. Also introduced were amendments to the vetting process of judges before they receive life tenure. Georgia overhauled the framework for children’s rights in the country to prevent unfair treatment of minors. Furthermore, the Minister spoke about depoliticizing the national Prosecutor’s office, creating a Prosecutorial Council with the competence to sue the national Prosecutor.
By strengthening the rule of law and maintaining effective and functional institutions that are not plagued by corruption and nepotism, Georgia is taking steps to increase its opportunity to integrate into the European Union. However, as Ms. Tsulukiani highlighted, commitment to reform is not only for the sake of the EU – it is mostly for Georgia and its people, to ensure a democratic and sustainable future. As she stated, governments in the country should come and go, but its institutions should remain.
Following Ms. Tsulukiani’s lecture, the Minister participated in a question and answer session moderated by Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute.