Judgeship as a less desirable position


Overcrowding of the court has been an acute and unresolved problem in the system for years, which is mainly caused by the lack of judicial staff, unbalanced distribution of judges in the courts, and the faulty policy of managing the flow of cases. The more citizens ' appeal to the court increases, the more vital it becomes to fill the courts with the necessary number of staff. Contrary to the above, the number of participants in the judicial competition is gradually decreasing.

Who can become a judge?

The High Council of Justice announces a competition for the vacant position of a judge in District (City) and appellate courts.1

The right to participate in the competition is a capable citizen of Georgia who:

  • Is 30 years old;
  • Has a higher legal education, not less than a master's or equivalent academic degree (which is confirmed by a higher education diploma);
  • Has at least 5 years of experience working in the specialty;
  • Fluent in the state language;
  • Has passed judicial qualification exam;
  • She has completed a full training course at the High School of Justice
  • And is included in the qualifying list of judicial trainees.2

In addition, the organic law defines the circle of persons who are exempt from passing the judge's qualification exam and studying at the High School of Justice.

Procedure for reviewing applications of judicial candidates

The High Council of Justice of Georgia sets a deadline for submitting applications for the registration of candidates for judges, which should not be less than 15 calendar days.

Within 5 working days, the High Council of Justice will review the applications and attached documents of the candidates participating in the competition. The list of candidates whose documents comply with the requirements established by the organic law is published on the website of the High Council of justice upon consideration.

2022 November 25 competition

The High Council of Justice last announced the competition on November 20, 2022. In total, competition was announced for 76 staff units (places) for vacancies of judges in District (City) and appeals courts. Applications could be submitted between November 28 and December 14, 2022.
A total of 21 interested persons submitted applications for the competition.

The High Council of justice on December 20, 2022, published a list of candidates who passed the second stage of the competition as a result of verification of documents and brief biographical data. All 21 candidates advanced to the second stage of the competition.

It is noteworthy that there were so few applicants that their number could not fill even a third of the competition places. More than half of them (11 people) were acting judges, meaning that if candidates successfully passed all stages, there would be a maximum of ten new judges in the courts.

It should also be noted that the indicated 10 candidates cannot be considered as new staff, since among them were those who have experience in the judicial system at different times, including as judges.

If we compare the data of the competitions held in the past years, it becomes clear that the number of applications in some competitions was twice the number of vacancies, but it should also be taken into account that a large part of the applications were from the acting judges (including those who had a 10-year term).

Since a large number of judges are appointed indefinitely, the number of applications to competitions decreases. This may indicate that there are few people willing to enter the court system from outside, which makes the system even more closed and reduces the prospect of renewal.

Competition announcement date number of vacancies

The number of applications was not allowed to define an additional period for compliance with the requirements of the documentation, the number of candidates transferred to the second stage

Table below is showing the number of vacancies and applications by the date of the announcement of the competition:

The High Council of Justice conducted an interview with the contestants participating in the competition announced on November 20, 2022 in January of this year and voted on their appointment on February 7. As a result of voting, 8 judges were appointed to the position, only one of whom - Christine Kopaliani was not a judge, but was an assistant judge. Of the appointees, there are 7 acting judges. Thus, as a result of the competition, only one new staff was added to the court system.

If we take into account the fact that today dozens of vacant seats of judges are yet to be filled in the judicial system and we have only one new judge, it turns out that the competition was unsuccessful.


1. Organic Law of Georgia "on common courts", Article 35
2. Organic Law of Georgia "on common courts", Article 34, paragraph 1


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Author: Keti Gachechiladze