New JGC, JDC judges selected

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    The first Assembly of All Judges of Mongolia was held and selected new members of Judicial General Council (JGC) and Judicial Disciplinary Committee (JDC) by secret ballot on October 11 at the State Palace. A total of 16 judges were nominated for five positions of JGC while 10 judges were nominated for four positions of JDC.

Judge of the Supreme Court B.Undrakh, judge of the Administrative Appellate Court E.Zorigtbaatar, judge of the Civil Appellate Court of Ulaanbaatar A.Otgontsetseg, judge of the Primary Administrative Court of Ulaanbaatar A.Nasandelger and Chief Judge of the Nalaikh District Primary Civil Court L.Enkhbileg were selected as member of JGC. 

Judge of the Supreme Court G.Tsagaantsooj, judge of the Administrative Appellate Court O.Nomuulin, judge of the Civil Appellate Court of Ulaanbaatar S.Enkhtur and Chief Judge of the Primary Administrative Court of Uvurkhangai Province B.Sugar became members of JDC.

JGC, which is responsible for the election of judges and independence of the judiciary, must have 10 members. Five members of the committee must be elected from among judges and the other five non-judge members are nominated openly and appointed by Parliament.

JDC consists of nine members, with one judge elected from the supervisory court, two from the appellate court and one from the primary court through a secret ballot. The remaining five members are appointed by Parliament on the basis of an open selection. In accordance with Article 20 of the Law on Courts of Mongolia, JDC will hold judges accountable for misconduct and make decisions on removal and dismissal of judges.

President of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh addressed the assembly. In his speech, he stated, “Judges must never betray the fundamental interests of their country. As the head of state, I would like to remind you to always remember that innocent people should not be repressed or convicted under the pressure of others or at the request of those in power.”

The president underscored that judges are one of the few officials who take the oath of office.

“Remember that if you break your oath, you will be held accountable under state law. This is because a judge, who makes decisions on behalf of Mongolia, is the pillar of the state’s justice,” U.Khurelsukh said. 

“Don’t forget that judges, elected to JGC and JDC on behalf of all judges, have a duty to be free from conflicts of interest and enforce newly-adopted laws.”

The current COVID-19 pandemic situation has shown the need to digitalize the judiciary and further improve the e-judicial system. Public access to court services will have an important effect on public confidence in the judiciary. In this context, it is important to ensure the proper participation of citizens’ representatives in the judiciary, he added.

The assembly also approved the general procedure for appointment of judges and court members in charge of receiving, allocating cases, claims, complaints and requests, as well as reviewing and resolving cases and disputes.

All levels of judges except for those excused attended the assembly in-person. The assembly will take place once every four years.

In January this year, Parliament adopted the revised Law on Courts with the aim to ensure fair judicial system and judicial independence in Mongolia by preventing improper influence from other branches of government and from private or partisan interests.

Former President Kh.Battulga put a partial veto on Law on Courts, which stipulated that members of JGC and JDC will be appointed by a working group headed by a lawmaker and established by the speaker of Parliament. Due to the partial veto, some regulation of the law related to the establishment of JGC and JDC had not been implemented. The Constitutional Court accepted President U.Khurelsukh’s request to cancel his predecessor’s veto invoked on the revised law during its meeting on September 24. As a result, the law has been put into force.

Misheel Lkhasuren