EWMI is proud to support the Georgia Bar Association's (GBA) “Strengthening Georgia's Legal Profession and Justice System” project, a comprehensive, two-year capacity development and legal system outreach initiative. The GBA officially announced and launched the project on January 25, 2024 at an event attended by judges, members of the Prosecutor’s Office, representatives of international organizations, and leaders of civil society groups. This initiative, supported through the EWMI-implemented USAID Rule of Law Program, will allow the GBA to continue development of its continuous legal education program, expand its bench-bar collaborations, support its Ethics Commission work, and develop a concept for Georgian lawyers to provide pro bono (free) legal assistance to those in need.
In his welcoming comments, David Asatiani, GBA Chairman, expressed gratitude for the ongoing support and partnership of the USAID Rule of Law Program. He acknowledged the essential role USAID has played in GBA development over the years, sharing credit for many of GBA’s achievements. During the event, Tamta Devdariani, Head of the GBA’s Department of Analytical and Committee Activities, detailed many of the achievements of the 2022 - 2023 USAID-supported project that enhanced the organizational and analytical capabilities of the GBA’s thematic committees, organized bench-bar meetings, administered the qualification exam for lawyers in an objective and transparent manner, evaluated court case-loads, and suggested evaluation criteria for first and second instance court judge candidates.
In her opening remarks, Lisa Kovack, Acting Director of USAID/Georgia's Office of Democracy, Rights, and Governance, emphasized USAID’s commitment to supporting the rule of law in Georgia. She shared her admiration for the progress GBA has made over the last decade. She expressed confidence that the Strengthening Georgia's Legal Profession and Justice program will help continue GBA’s development and reinforce the rule of law in Georgia.