About the System
As the result of the judiciary, reform that was imple-mented in 1997-98 a judiciary system was established in Georgia where the principle of sequential order of instances was not clearly defined.
One of the main directions of the reform that started in 2005 is the institutional reorganization of the judiciary system that will result in the creation of a smooth, functionally balanced system and correspondingly, provide the principle of sequential order of instances.
Besides the principle of sequential order of instances, the modernization of the first instance courts were reflected in reference of identifying the issues that fall under their cognizance and in the specialization of judges as well. The main advantage of this system is that the judges will be specialized at district (city) courts, that is, the cases of various categories will be heard by the judge specialized in this discipline that will undoubtedly promote hearing and resolving of cases more quickly and on a highly qualified level.
For ensuring accessibility as one of the main principles of justice, the institute of magistrate judges is established. It constitutes the part of the district (city) court and imple-ments the judicial power in the administrative-territorial unit where the enlarged district (city) court is not present.
There are two courts of appeal in Georgia: in Tbilisi and Kutaisi. Kutaisi Court of Appeal hears the appeals of the courts of the first instance from the west Georgia, whereas the appeals on the resolutions of the courts of the east Georgia go directly to Tbilisi Court of Appeal.
As to the role and function of the Supreme Court of Georgia in the Judiciary system: Since November 1, 2005, the Supreme Court of Georgia has been established as a court of the pure cassation instance. The Panel for hearing criminal cases was cancelled at the Supreme Court, which used to hear the cases of extremely grave crime by the rule of the first instance.
The criteria for eligibility of cassation appeals have been introduced. According to these criteria, the Supreme Court considers the eligible cases and accepts only those which are significant for the development of the justice and for the establishment of the uniform court practice.
With the mentioned changes, the Supreme Court has in fact become a doctrinal court with one of the most basic functions of interpreting judicial norms and establishment of the uniform court practice.
High Council of Justice is the significant body of the Court System. At present High Council of Justice is the independent body in charge of management of the judiciary system.
This is the body of greatest authority in the judicial power, and its competence is to draw up the judiciary budget, provide with and control the material and technical resources, appoint and release judges, make decisions about promotion of judges, initiate disciplinary administration of justice against judges, employ court personnel.