The Council of Europe Project “Strengthening the Independence and Efficiency of the Justice System in Georgia” was funded by the Kingdom of Denmark through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented from 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2016.

The project was part of the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Georgia 2013-2015. The project aimed at strengthening the Georgian justice system and the justice administration, and ensuring the further standardisation of criminal justice policies and practice in line with Council of Europe recommendations and instruments. It was specifically designed to improve the procedural guarantees for handling criminal cases and to strengthen judicial self-governance.

During the implementation period, the project contributed to the on-going judicial reform and supported efforts of national authorities in liberalising and modernising criminal law. In particular, the project assisted the judicial authorities in facilitating the discussions, exchange of opinions between the national stakeholders and European experts on enhancing the national criminal legislation and the access to court decisions, improving the electronic case allocation, the model of selection, appointment and evaluation of judges and the ethical and disciplinary framework for the judiciary, as well as strengthening the independence of the Georgian judiciary. The assessment of the national legal framework and practices were analysed for their compliance with relevant European standards and practices, and expert legal opinions were provided to the stakeholders. Some of these recommendations became the basis for legislative amendments and allowed further institutional changes. The project contributed to the enhanced capacity of legal professions as regards the application of the European standards in the field of the judiciary and human rights. The project supported the elaboration, publication and dissemination of a Guidebook for judges and assistant judges on reasoning, form and stylistic coherence of judgments in criminal cases, and a Guidebook for prosecutors on drafting and reasoning of procedural acts and other documents, which became a part of the training materials for the national training institutions for the judiciary. The opinions of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) were translated into Georgian and broadly disseminated among the project beneficiaries.