Georgians’ perceptions about equality at court

Attitudes toward the judicial system have been one of the most discussed and researched topics in Georgia. CRRC’s past blogs have shown that Georgians’ perceptions of court system fairness have been at low levels throughout the last decade and that attitudes toward court system (im)partiality are associated with rates of  trust toward the court system and people working in the court system. A recent CRRC study also highlighted division among the public regarding trust in judicial institutions. This blog post contributes to this conversation through describing views on the fairness of courts in Georgia, showing its broader inter-relations with trust in institutions, political views, and general perceptions of the government’s treatment of citizens.
The 2019 Caucasus Barometer survey shows that the majority of Georgians (63%) think that the court system is biased toward some citizens over others. However, the levels of agreeing with that statement vary across different demographic groups. A logistic regression suggests that people living in the capital, those with higher levels of education, and ethnic Georgians are more likely to think the courts favor some citizens, controlling for other factors. People in different age groups, women and men, the employed and those not working, those who use the internet more and less often, and those with more and fewer household assets do not differ in terms of evaluations of court impartiality. 
The belief that the courts are (im)partial is also associated with party support, trust in institutions, and people’s perceptions of whether the government treats people fairly. Controlling for the above social and demographic factors, Georgian Dream party supporters are less likely to agree with the statement that the court system in Georgia favors some citizens over others compared to people who support an opposition party. Those who do not report supporting any particular party fall somewhere in between. With institutional trust, controlling for other factors, lower levels of institutional trust are associated with higher levels of thinking that courts favor some citizens over others. People who think that people like them are not treated fairly by the government are also more likely to think that the Georgian court system treats citizens unequally, when all other factors are held constant.  
Note: The institutional trust index was created from the following variables: Trust in the Healthcare system; Banks; Educational system; Army; Court system; NGOs; Parliament; Executive government; President; Police; Political parties; Media; Local government; Religious institutions respondent belongs to; and the Ombudsman. A 1 represents the lowest level of trust, while a 5 represents the highest level of institutional trust. 
These correlations matter. People who support the opposition, trust institutions less, and think the government does not treat people fairly are all more likely to also think the courts are stacked against citizens. This suggests that people clearly view what should in theory be an impartial umpire as a political one in practice. 
The data presented in this blog post is available here. Replication code for the above analysis is available here.

მსგავსი სიახლეები