Saakashvili and Ivanishvili meet after October electionsAfter a historical transition, caused by the defeat of Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement in October’s parliamentary elections, the issue of what constitutes justice has come to the forefront of political life in Georgia.

Georgia’s new government, led by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, has initiated a series of prosecutions against officials from the former administration. Georgia’s new leaders say they are delivering on a public demand to provide justice for abuses committed over a long period. Members of the former government say the arrests are acts of political retribution, and they have triggered concern from Western officials, warning that any acts of “selective justice” could threaten Georgia’s fragile political situation.

Carnegie held a discussion of a new article, “A Truth Commission for Georgia,” by Anna Dolidze and Thomas de Waal. The authors examined the problems Georgia has experienced with the rule of law and argue that the country needs a “transitional justice” mechanism which can deliver both justice and political consensus to the country as it navigates a difficult transition. Matthew Rojansky moderated.