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Establish supportive management of judicial staff

Last edited: December 22, 2011

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  • Support the provision of an adequate living wage for all levels of the judiciary. If state budgets for adjudicators are not sufficient for a living wage, they may be more likely to accept bribes. Salary levels for new adjudicators should meet living wage standards and should increase with seniority.
  • Encourage the Ministry of Justice to provide security for judges in appropriate cases. If security is provided to judges handling sensitive cases, they will be able to withstand attempts to intimidate or influence their decisions. Public knowledge of security procedures will inhibit the use of threats and offers of bribes. Funding for the development and maintenance of a security system for judges will enhance their safety and reduce actual and perceived corruption in the judicial sector.
  • Support the appointment of trained female judges and court administrators at all levels of the court system. This will increase women’s confidence in the formal justice sector system and help to give it legitimacy. The female professionals will bring a different type of experience to their work than men, and they can act as role models for other women.
  • The Ministry of Justice should create training and informational programmes for aspirant judges, with attendant publicity to women lawyer’s associations.
  • The Ministry should also create a directory of qualified women lawyers and make the directory a part of the consideration plan when judicial openings are being filled (Cowan, 2006).

Georgia – Rigorous New Exams for Judges

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, newly-independent Georgia was left with a weak and corrupt judiciary. In order to vet current judges and candidates for judicial posts, Georgia instituted a rigorous system of qualifying examinations in 1998.

This method identified and replaced incompetent judges, but it also created a young and inexperienced judiciary. In 2000, roughly half of all practicing judges in Georgia were newly qualified, and in 2006, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was 30 years old.

In order to boost the capacity and skill-set of newly qualified judges, Georgia undertook a number of reforms in the legal education sector. With help from USAID and other donors, a Judicial Training Centre was established to offer training and technical assistance to judicial personnel. Judges’ salaries were increased in order to stem corruption, and the court system was reorganized to promote efficiency.

Pepys. 2003. Combating Judicial Corruption in the Republic of Georgia