June 11, 2007

Georgian Bar Association's Ethics Commission Drafts Amendments to Legal Profession Conduct Codes

Chairman of the Ethics Commission Eka Beselia, left, and member of the Ethics Commission Ketti Kvartskhava.


On May 4-6, 2007 the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiativeorganized a retreat in Bakuriani for the Ethics Commission of the Georgian BarAssociation (GBA), funded by the United States Agency for InternationalDevelopment (USAID). The goal of the retreat was to draft amendments to theCode of Ethics for Advocates, Code of Disciplinary Procedure, Law of Georgia onAdvocates and the GBA Charter. The amendments drafted are related to the EthicsCommission activities and disciplinary responsibility of advocates. During oneyear of practice, the Ethics Commission identified a number of deficiencies inthe Codes and the need for change both in the Codes and accordingly in the Lawof Georgia on Advocates and the Charter.

“The retreat has been a great success” GBA Ethics Commission Chairman EkaBeselia said. “With the great support and valuable expertise by the Rule of LawInitiative’s Legal Specialist Judge John Brown and Country Director DonnaWright we have been able to draft amendments which will enable the EthicsCommission to work more efficiently and make an enormous step forward towardscompliance with international standards” she added.

Based on the request of the Ethics Commission members, ABA/CEELI’s legalspecialist and staff will continue to provide expertise to the Commission tofurther improve the draft amendments and present them for adoption to theGeneral Assembly tentatively scheduled for fall 2007 and to the Parliament ofGeorgia. In addition, the Initiative’s Research and Program Development Officein Washington D.C. will conduct an assessment of the abovementioned documents and amendments by July 2007. The results andrecommendations of the assessment will be considered by the Ethics Commissionand incorporated in the amendments.

For more information, please contact Country Director Donna Wright, at <donna.wright@abarol.ge>.