Top Court Picks Khvicha Kikilashvili as Constitutional Court Justice

On March 3, the Plenum of the Supreme Court unanimously elected Khvicha Kikilashvili as a new justice of the nine-member Constitutional Court.

Khvicha Kikilashvili, 54, has been the judge at the Khelvachauri District Court in Adjara region from 2011. Earlier in 2006-2011, he was a judge of the Signagi District Court in Kakheti region.

President, Parliament and the Supreme Court each appoint three members of the 9-seat Constitutional Court for a 10-year term.

Kikilashvili will now replace Maia Kopaleishvili, who was also appointed through the Supreme Court quota, and whose 10-year tenure as Constitutional Court justice expired in December 2019.

Presenting Kikilashvili’s candidacy to the 24-member Plenum of the Supreme Court today, Chief Justice Nino Kadagidze said that the former is “a worthy candidate,” who is not associated with any of the groups in the judiciary. 

Ahead of Kikilashvili’s appointment, a number of leading civil society organizations had slammed the process of selecting new justice amid the state of emergency as “unacceptable.” CSOs suspected that by appointing new justice during the COVID-19 pandemic the Supreme Court aimed at avoiding public oversight. In another critical statement, GYLA, a principal watchdog said the Supreme Court’s move served “increasing grip of the ruling party and the ‘clan’ over the judiciary.” 

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