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Ekaterine Popkhadze Was Elected Chairperson of the Legal Aid Council

The supervisory body of Legal Aid Service – Legal Aid Council has a new chairperson. This is a representative of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association – Ekaterine Popkhadze who was elected as a chairperson of the Council on January 27. She will be in charge of the activity of the Council and take part in managing of Legal Aid Service in the framework of the power determined by the law.

Ekaterine Popkhadze has replaced Elza Leshkasheli on this position who was a representative of Georgian Bar Association and took this post from 2014. The members of the Council thanked the former chairperson for the actions carried out for 2 years and underlined the progress which was made with support of the Council in the framework of the reform of Legal Aid Service.

Legal Aid Council is a collective body with a lot of rights. Its competence includes: election of the director of Legal Aid Service, approval of the strategy of the Service and monitoring of its fulfillment, approval of the Statute and other regulating documents of the Service, making decision on setting up or winding up offices of the Service, etc.

The Council consists of 9 members among which three persons are represented by the Bar Association and Public Defender’s Office. Moreover, among the members represented by the Public Defender’s Office, one person is from the apparatus of the Office, one – from the human rights NGO and one is a representative of the academic society. The Ministry of Justice and the High Council of Justice are represented by one member each. One person is elected by the LAS legal aid bureaus each year. The other members hold their position for a 4-year term.

Today, a new member of the Council, Zakro Gvishiani who is the LAS Tbilisi bureau lawyer, had his first working day too. On January 12, the lawyers of the legal aid bureaus elected Mr. Gvishiani as their representative in the Council.

The Legal Aid Council operates since January 2014, after the time when LEPL Legal Aid Service left the system of the executive power and was established as an independent organization. The aim of the Council is to administer activity of Legal Aid Service, to effectively carry out the functions of the Service, to ensure independence and transparence of it.