Gaps have been found in the rules governing ethics and disciplinary issues for Georgian lawyers. European experts participated in a lively exchange of views in a round table with Georgian Bar Association Ethics Commission members, as well as the representatives of the Executive Council, international and non-governmental organisations.
The round table took place in Tbilisi on 19 August and aimed at identifying any gaps and misleading articles in the regulatory framework of the Georgian Bar Association and more importantly to find the best and most suitable solutions on how to fill these gaps and meet European standards.
The Council of Europe expert, Mr Jos Uitdehaag provided European insight and proposed possible solutions to legal dilemmas. As the President of the Bar Association noted, Council of Europe support is important for the process of amending Bar Association-related regulations.
The Chair of the Ethics Commission provided a detailed list of issues the Commission is currently facing due to the lack of flexibility within the legal framework. The round-table discussion also gave ground to new concept ideas regarding the introduction of investigatory lawyers’ institute within the GBA Ethics Commission. Despite several antagonist positions, all attendees agreed that the Ethics Commission “should be capable of establishing a system which works on its own rather that a system that depends on the work of several individuals”.
The attendees agreed to actively commence work on legislative/regulatory changes, whilst CoE expert Mr Uitdehaag will finalise his assessment of the existing framework, with concrete suggestions on amending it. The Council of Europe will closely follow the process and present concrete proposals which will eventually be reflected in legislative/regulatory framework.
This roundtable took place under the Joint Project "Support to the Georgian Bar Association" which is funded by European Union and the Council of Europe through the Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The Council of Europe and European Union are working in partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus to help them meet Council of Europe benchmarks in human rights, democracy and the rule of law and improve the lives of citizens.