Skip Navigation
Georgia

Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions (GE0051)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Georgia National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Supreme Court of Georgia

Support Institution(s): General Courts, High Council of Justice of Georgia

Policy Areas

Judiciary, Justice, Legislation & Regulation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Georgia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions; Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions aims to improve transparency, accountability and efficiency of the court system. This commitment indends to increase trust between a citizen and the court and also to improve access to information. The working group will develop a project aiming to define key directions and principles in publishing court decisions through unified system. The given project will be submitted to the High Council of Justice for its approval. Based on the unified regulations elaborated, the court decisions will be published on the court webpage. Date of Implementation: 2016-2017; Issues to be Addressed: Because there are no unified regulations concerning disclosure of personal data, the practice is inhomogeneous. In the framework of the third wave of the reform, in compliance with the Order of the Supreme Court Chairperson (Order #30-s/18.12.2015) a working group was formed that will develop main directions and principles for establishing a unified standard to improve court decision accessibility. The objective of the working group is to work out recommendations on the rules concerning issuance of general court decisions, also concerning the rules for anonymization of personal data for transferring them to the third person.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

10. Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions

Commitment Text:

Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions aims to improve transparency, accountability and efficiency of the court system. This commitment intends to increase trust between a citizen and the court and also to improve access to information.

The working group will develop a project aiming to define key directions and principles in publishing court decisions through unified system. The given project will be submitted to the High Council of Justice for its approval.

Based on the unified regulations elaborated, the court decisions will be published on the court webpage.

In the framework of the third wave of the reform, in compliance with the Order of the Supreme Court Chairperson (Order #30-s/18.12.2015) a working group was formed that will develop main directions and principles for establishing a unified standard to improve court decision accessibility.
The objective of the working group is to work out recommendations on the rules concerning issuance of general court decisions, also concerning the rules for anonymization of personal data for transferring them to the third person.

Main objective – Improve accountability and transparency of the court system, also taking into account high public interest, improve information accessibility; publicity of the court decisions shall be ensured by observing international and national standards of the personal data protection.

Responsible institution: Supreme Court of Georgia

Supporting institution(s): General Courts, High Council of Justice of Georgia

Start date: July 2016

End date: December 2017

Context and Objectives

In Georgia, there is no unified standard for publishing court decisions while citizens often face difficulties in searching for those decisions online and not all court decisions are published, particularly those on criminal cases. To address this issue, the Supreme Court committed to developing key directions and unified standards for publishing court decisions online in a way that would allow easy reuse of this data.

If fully implemented across all levels and decisions of the court system, this commitment could have a moderate impact on increasing the transparency of the judiciary in Georgia. While publication of all decisions in the court system is a major step, this commitment falls short of changing transparency practices of the judiciary, that are closely linked to the procedures for appointing judges, allocating cases to judges and disclosing information about disciplinary measures taken against members of the judiciary.

Completion

At the midterm point, the commitment saw limited implementation. In July 2016, the Supreme Court created the main working group that consisted of representatives of all three tiers of Georgia’s court system, Supreme, Appellate, and District Courts, as well as the Personal Data Protection Inspector, High Council of Justice and local CSOs (GYLA, IDFI, TI, Lawyers’ Association and the Charter of Journalistic Ethics). This working group developed unified regulations in accordance with the internationally recognized standards, including those on protecting personal data. The regulations were approved by High Council of Justice on 12 September 2016, which published them on its website.[1]

Based on the new amendments, a pre-existing unified online portal, info.court.ge, should be used for publishing final decisions of Supreme, Appellate and District Courts, including decisions on civil, administrative and criminal cases. The citizens should be able to search for the data across the following categories: court that made the decision; case number; date when the decision was made; administrative body; judge; composition of the chamber of judges; subject of the dispute and the key words. The court decisions should be published in a way that allows copying, downloading and printing of the data presented. The Department of Common Courts under the High Council of Justice should be responsible for operating the info.court.ge portal while the contact information of a specific person in charge should also be made public. As mentioned above, all court decisions should be published in due consideration of the personal data protection, meaning that the name, ID number, birth date, address, workplace, and the vehicle registration number of persons and organizations involved will be concealed.[2]

As of August 2017, the Supreme Court is working to implement these new regulations in practice. The main challenge is the complexity of refining technical procedures related to publishing decisions online and the lack of funds for buying expensive software necessary for the redesign of info.court.ge. According to the Supreme Court representative, the court decisions will be published in a PDF format in order to better conceal the personal data provided. The European Union for Justice Project and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are providing technical support and trainings for this commitment in cooperation with the government.[3]

Next Steps

Stakeholders commended the Supreme Court’s openness on this commitment, specifically the fact that the Court created a working group with active participation of local CSOs that raised numerous recommendations on improving the standards of the publication of court decisions. However, important recommendations were not then reflected in the Decision of the High Council of Justice since those required changes in law that the High Council of Justice had no mandate to make. One important recommendation was to disclose the data on criminal charges of public officials as well as the personal information of organizations involved in the court disputes. While the publication of the latter data is not limited by the personal data protection legislation, the High Council of Justice decided to conceal it anyway.[4] The IRM researchers recommend the Supreme Court to disclose the data of high public interest if the benefit received from disclosing such data is higher than that of keeping it secret. To increase public accountability of courts, it would also be useful to publish statistics on guilty judgements by different courts and judges, and the length of time these trials have taken.


[1] Nino Shonia, Assistant to Chair of Chamber on Criminal Law of Legal Aid at Supreme Court of Georgia, interview with IRM researcher, 21 August 2017.

[2] High Council of Justice, Decision on Approving Rules for Issuing and Publishing Court Decisions of Common Courts, 12 September 2016, http://bit.ly/2f8HIhD.

[3] Shonia, interview, August 2017.

[4] Tsukhishvili, interview, September 2017.


Georgia's Commitments

  1. improved public services

    GE0066, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. citizen engagement platform

    GE0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. unified authentication system

    GE0068, 2018, E-Government

  4. economic governance

    GE0069, 2018, E-Government

  5. environment portal

    GE0070, 2018, E-Government

  6. strengthen anti-corruption institutions

    GE0071, 2018, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  7. Monitor SDGs

    GE0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. citizen engagement legislation

    GE0073, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  9. publish court decisions

    GE0074, 2018, E-Government

  10. Increasing transparency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    GE0075, 2018, E-Government

  11. citizen participation in public finance

    GE0076, 2018, Audits and Controls

  12. transparent public funding system

    GE0077, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  13. public procurement improvements

    GE0078, 2018, E-Government

  14. housing policy planning

    GE0079, 2018, Land & Spatial Planning

  15. Openness and accountability of state-owned enterprises

    GE0080, 2018, E-Government

  16. transparency and good governance

    GE0081, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  17. open data collection and publication

    GE0082, 2018, E-Government

  18. participation for disabled individuals

    GE0083, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  19. Participatory budgeting

    GE0084, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Your idea for the Zugdidi Mayor

    GE0085, 2018, Capacity Building

  21. electronic services

    GE0086, 2018, E-Government

  22. I. Gov. Zugdidi

    GE0087, 2018, Capacity Building

  23. service and citizen satisfaction assessment

    GE0088, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Promoting and Monitoring SDGs

    GE0089, 2018, Legislature

  25. Citizen involvement in budget

    GE0090, 2018, E-Government

  26. Technology for Transparency

    GE0091, 2018, E-Government

  27. Citizen Engagement Center

    GE0092, 2018, Capacity Building

  28. Raising Public Awareness about Parliamentary Democracy

    GE0093, 2018, E-Government

  29. Electronic innovations for more transparency and efficiency of Public Procurement

    GE0056, 2016, Capacity Building

  30. Starred commitment Adoption of the Environmental Assessment Code

    GE0057, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Introduction of a mobile app as an alternative channel to connect to “112”

    GE0058, 2016, E-Government

  32. Development of local councils for crime prevention

    GE0059, 2016, Public Service Delivery

  33. Development of a Guidebook for Economic Agents

    GE0060, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Development and introduction of the quality control program of commercial service

    GE0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Presentation of company reports in an electronic form and provision of their accessibility

    GE0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  36. Introduction of an electronic petition portal and “Zugdidi-INFO” on the webpage of Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

    GE0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. Transparency of Ozurgeti Municipality Assembly meetings

    GE0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  38. Creation of Electronic Mechanism for Local Budget Planning in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Akhaltsikhe

    GE0065, 2016, E-Government

  39. Adapting the Public Service Hall to the needs of the people with disabilities

    GE0042, 2016, Capacity Building

  40. Launch of the unified healthcare system information portal

    GE0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  41. Introduction of electronic licensing system in the field of natural resources application

    GE0044, 2016, Capacity Building

  42. Creation of spatial (Geographic) data web-portal for the energy sector

    GE0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  43. Creation of innovation ecosystem

    GE0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  44. Electronic portal for registering and disposal of State Property – Customer’s Module

    GE0047, 2016, E-Government

  45. Development of the Freedom of Information Law

    GE0048, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  46. Development of a monitoring and assessment system of the Government policy and legislative acts

    GE0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Introduction of the public officials’ asset declarations monitoring system

    GE0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  48. Establishing unified regulations to publish court decisions

    GE0051, 2016, Judiciary

  49. Development of transparency and integrity strategy and action plan in the field of regional development and infrastructure

    GE0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  50. Improvement of the database of the convicted and transfer of the penitentiary department entirely onto the electronic workflow management

    GE0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  51. Publication of phone tapping data according to the nature of the crime and geographic area

    GE0054, 2016, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Increasing citizen participation in supervision of public finances (Public Audit)

    GE0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  53. "Voice of the Consumer"

    GE0013, 2014, Public Participation

  54. JUSTdrive

    GE0014, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  55. Educational services

    GE0015, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  56. Citizen's Portal (www.mygov.ge)

    GE0016, 2014, Capacity Building

  57. Transformation of public libraries for regional development

    GE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  58. Digital signature and online authentication

    GE0018, 2014, E-Government

  59. Open data portal (data.gov.ge)

    GE0019, 2014, E-Government

  60. Freedom of information act (FoIA) draft

    GE0020, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  61. Georgia's OGP forum

    GE0021, 2014, OGP

  62. I-Change.ge

    GE0022, 2014, E-Government

  63. Transparency of public service recruitment

    GE0023, 2014, E-Government

  64. Asset declaration monitoring system

    GE0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  65. Starred commitment Political party financial declarations

    GE0025, 2014, E-Government

  66. Accessibility of Ministry of Interior's webpage to people with special needs

    GE0026, 2014, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Proactive publishing of surveillance data

    GE0027, 2014, Civic Space

  68. Public awareness of the electoral process

    GE0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  69. Transparency of budgetary processes

    GE0029, 2014, E-Government

  70. Electronic system of procurement

    GE0030, 2014, E-Government

  71. Digital human resource management system

    GE0031, 2014, E-Government

  72. Digital preservation system: E-archive

    GE0032, 2014, E-Government

  73. Openness and accessibility of national archives

    GE0033, 2014, E-Government

  74. Electronic catalogues of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) archives

    GE0034, 2014, E-Government

  75. Public finance management system

    GE0035, 2014, E-Government

  76. Alternative channels to "112"

    GE0036, 2014, E-Government

  77. Interactive statistics and crime mapping

    GE0037, 2014, E-Government

  78. Travel insurance services

    GE0038, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration

  79. State property registration

    GE0039, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  80. Development of community centers in Georgia

    GE0040, 2014, E-Government

  81. Introduction of e-governance in local self-governments

    GE0041, 2014, E-Government

  82. Public Service Hall-Hub of Public Services

    GE0001, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration

  83. E-Governance in Local Governments

    GE0002, 2012, E-Government

  84. Citizens’ Portal

    GE0003, 2012, E-Government

  85. Easily Accessible and Better Healthcare

    GE0004, 2012, E-Government

  86. Launch Ichange.ge and Data.gov.ge

    GE0005, 2012, E-Government

  87. Platform for Participating in the Legislative Process

    GE0006, 2012, E-Government

  88. Citizens and Justice

    GE0007, 2012, Judiciary

  89. Starred commitment Transparent Party Financing

    GE0008, 2012,

  90. Home-grown concept of E-procurement

    GE0009, 2012, E-Government

  91. E-declarations

    GE0010, 2012, Asset Disclosure

  92. Technology Cares for Safety: ICCMS, Crime Mapping, and Safety in Your Neighbourhood

    GE0011, 2012, E-Government

  93. NGO Forum

    GE0012, 2012, Capacity Building