Reform of the Tunisian judicial and prison systems has taken a new step forward with the recent finalisation by the Ministry of Justice of an action plan for 2015-2019 on implementing the reforms identified in the 2014 Justice Sector Reform Strategy. ILAC and its implementing members will continue to play a central and active part in this process.
The Tunisian Action Plan sets out the specific measures necessary to realise the Justice Sector Reform Strategy for the judicial and prison system adopted in 2014 after national consultations.
The Justice Sector Reform Strategy focuses on five strategic outcomes:
1. The independence and autonomy of the judicial power
2. The moralization of the judiciary and prison system, in particular through adoption of codes of ethics
3. The quality of justice and protection of the rights of the litigant
4. Access to justice
5. Communication and partnership
In the Action Plan, these five results are translated into 29 intermediate results, 92 products and nearly 400 indicative activities, all listed in a results framework in which the work of ILAC and our implementing members are mentioned in not less than 11 instances, indicating the significant impact that the Tunisian components of the ILAC MENA Programme have had.
ILAC’s longstanding engagement in Tunisia
ILAC was invited to Tunisia only weeks after president Ben Ali was forced into exile in January 2011. The invitation was a result of the long-standing relations between the Tunisian Bar and the Union Internationale des Avocats, one of the founding members of ILAC. The Tunisian Bar had played a prominent role both in the opposition to and the overthrow of president Ben Ali, and as a result both the President and the Prime Minister of the interim government were former bar presidents.
ILAC Executive Director Christian Åhlund, who has been supervising ILAC operations in Tunisia since 2011, sees the new Tunisian Action Plan as a natural continuation of ILAC’s involvement:
– The new Action Plan shows that the work in Tunisia coordinated by ILAC has been fruitful, both given the continuity of work started by ILAC, and in light of the Ministry of Justice’s affirmation of ILAC as a partner into the future.