Parliament of Georgia Approves the Proposal of Public Defender on Introducing ‘Amicus Curiae’ Briefs in Administrative Proceedings
On December 15, 2014 the Public Defender of Georgia proposed the Parliament to introduce changes into the Administrative Procedure Code of Georgia, concerning the possibility of submitting ‘Amicus Curiae’ on administrative proceedings.
The Parliament of Georgia accepted the suggestion of the Public Defender and by the legislative change of July 3, 2015, the Article 161 was added to the Administrative Procedure Code, which allows not only the Ombudsman, but also to any person, to submit their written observations on the merits before the substantial consideration of a case by the court.
It should be noted that ‘Amicus Curiae’ briefs were first introduced in the United States and this practice is widely used in the legal system of continental Europe; it is also actively used by the European Court of Human Rights.
‘Amicus Curiae’ brief offers the normative and factual information, the purpose of which is to facilitate the examination of a particular case by the Court. ‘Amicus Curiae’ does not represent either the party in the case nor the third person. At the same time, the brief does not seek to support any party to the case.
The Public Defender considers that in case of administrative proceedings, where the party is the State, it is of particular importance to enable the public defender and the public at large to have an opportunity to submit their opinions to the court. ‘Amicus Curiae’ brief will improve the quality of judicial decisions, as the court will rely on more sources of information in making decisions. At the same time, this practice will increase the level of public participation in the administration of justice and improve the degree of public confidence towards the court decisions.
The Public Defender appreciates the above-mentioned changes and calls for the civil society to make an active use of Amicus Curiae submission practice.