ILACs project Training of Tunisian Judges has now reached out to 780 of the country’s 1800 judges. According to a midterm review made by Stockholm Policy Group the project is both effective and flexible, with a high degree of analysis and knowledge.
The report highlights the fact that ILAC and its implementing partners CEELI Institute and IBA, have managed to launch a large scale project in a short period of time, and also doing so in a highly transitional period of time. ILAC has acted with speed and flexibility, as well as with analysis and knowledge the report says.
ILAC was invited to Tunisia only weeks after the ousting of president Ben Ali and as the SPG-report says: …acted very pragmatically, and as soon as the MoJ approved the training program, ILAC launched the training within a few months.
Challenges for the future
Even though the report clearly states that the project both has been able to do the right things as well as do the things right, the Training of Tunisian Judges obviously faces great challenges for the future and the next phase of the programme: “Key challenges include the need to develop and implement a proactive and coherent strategy that enables coordination and communication with key stakeholders in the judicial sector in Tunisia, the report says. And “This approach goes beyond the actual training and requires ILAC to invest in stronger coordination with other actors.”
– One important thing this course does is to encourage Tunisian judges to think through issues of independence and effectiveness together with their colleagues and work toward contextually appropriate solutions, said Rhodri Williams, Program Manager. But the long engagement of ourselves and our member organisations IBA and CEELI with the course has also given us an informed perspective on these issues. We owe it to the judges we have been working with to make our own efforts to contribute to the reform process in Tunisia based on these insights.
Focus courts give measurable indicators
Not only half way into the project, it is too early to say something about the outcome and outputs of the project. The reviewing of the project is partly based on interviews with participants from three different focus courts, with different characteristics. This as a way of being able to present some measurable indicators for the project. The mid term review shows that the overall tone from these courts is very positive, even though ideas and suggestions on a higher degree of information prior to the courses and also a better linkage and feed back into the Tunisian judiciary was brought up.
Part of the ILAC MENA-programme
The project is now in it’s second phase also a part of ILAC MENA Programme, putting the efforts in a regional and more strategic context, and also allowing ILAC and it’s implementing partners the possibility to put more focus into the coordination and communication with local stakeholders.
– From our point of view it’s been very satisfying cooperating both with the Tunisian MOJ as well as with our implementing partners CEELI Institute and IBA and we’re hoping in developing that cooperation in the future, said Christian Åhlund, Executive Director of ILAC.
Training of Tunisian Judges – some Facts
- Aiming at all of Tunisias 1800 judges, the project has now reached some 780 judges
- Aiming at a good gender balance, the project has so far had 35% women participants
- The training reaches 30 judges in 4-day sessions carried out by CEELI institute and IBA
- The senior lawyers and experts used as lecturers are all pro bono
- ILAC and the Tunisian Minister of Justice just recently signed a new 3-year agreement on a continuation of the project