The Supreme Court
In 1993 the Supreme Court had thirty-nine members, of whom
nine worked on civil cases and thirty on criminal cases. All
judges had been elected for ten-year terms in 1990 and 1991.
Shevardnadze made no effort to replace judges elected under
Gamsakhurdia, although they had been seated under a different
constitutional system. The Supreme Court's functions include
interpreting laws, trying cases of serious criminal acts and
appeals of regional court decisions, and supervising application
of the law by other government agencies.
The Procurator General
The postcommunist judicial system has continued the multiple
role of the procurator general's office as an agency of
investigation, a constitutional court supervising the application
of the law, and the institution behind prosecution of crimes in
court. In 1993 the procurator general's office retained a
semimilitary structure and total authority over the investigation
of court cases; judges had no power to reject evidence gained
improperly. Advocates of democratization identified abolition of
the office of procurator general as essential, with separation of
the responsibilities of the procurator general and the courts as
a first step.
Data as of March 1994