D.Zumberellkham appointed to JGC

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Parliament appointed D.Zumberellkham as a non-judge member of the Judicial General Council (JGC) during its plenary session on December 2.

During the session, lawmaker D.Ganbat censured that the working group in charge of the selection, Standing Committee on Justice and Parliament nominated D.Zumberellkham after he was disqualified. He asked why the working group re-nominated him.

Six people were nominated for JGC, but D.Zumberellkham was removed by the Standing Committee on Justice last November, as five of them were to be elected in accordance with the law. During the standing committee meeting, Minister of Justice Kh.Nyambaatar criticized the working group in charge of the selection of non-judge members of JGC for violating the selection rules and nominating D.Zumberellkham and D.Erdenechuluun, who had previously served at JGC.

The working group explained, “Article 95.3 of the Law on Courts states that a member of JGC must have been a judge for at least 10 years and never been disciplined. Non-judges should be highly qualified lawyers. They must not have held a judgeship, political office or political party leadership position in the last five years. There is no provision that a former member of JGC cannot be appointed.”

“The Justice Standing Committee approved the selection procedure last March. Article 2.2 of this procedure stipulates that a candidate for a non-judge member of JGC shall be a citizen of Mongolia who meets the requirements set forth in Articles 95.3, 95.4 and 95.8 of the Law on Courts. The working group added a new provision, which reflects that a person who does not currently work as a judge, attorney, court administrator, or member of JGC can be appointed,” they noted.

Parliamentarian Ts.Munkh-Orgil commented that the issue of candidate D.Zumberellkham has been discussed by the standing committee before, but no conclusion had been made. In accordance with the Law on Parliamentary Procedure, only issues discussed by standing committees should be covered at the plenary session. Therefore, the standing committee has convened again, made a conclusion and submitted it to Parliament in accordance with the rules, he added.

Legislator N.Altankhuyag said that if the rules and regulations are changed in this way, judicial reform will not be possible.

Parliament appointed N.Otgonchimeg, N.Munguntsetseg, N.Baasanjav and R.Ononchimeg as non-judge members of the council, and rejected candidate D.Erdenechimeg last week. Therefore, the Standing Committee on Justice reviewed candidate D.Zumberellkham and supported his nomination for non-judge membership into JGC on Wednesday. 

JGC, which must have 10 members, is responsible for the selection of judges and independence of the judiciary. Five members of its members must be elected from among judges and the other five are nominated openly and appointed by Parliament as non-judge members. Last October, the Assembly of All Judges of Mongolia selected new judge-members of JGC by secret ballot.

Misheel Lkhasuren