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“Tunisia must answer for attackson judicial independence”

“Tunisia must answer for attackson judicial independence”

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has the pleasure to invite you to a press conference.

For Press and NGO’s only, please register here to participate:

Link to the press release: click here


Mr Youssef Bouzakher, President of the dissolved High Judicial Council

On Monday 12 February 2024, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) will hold a press conference at the Geneva Press Club to provide updates on the organization’s legal advocacy actions to challenge Tunisia’s attacks on the judiciary.

Since President Kais Saied’s power grab on 25 July 2021, he has steadily dismantled institutional guarantees of judicial independence. Declaring a “state of exception” and ruling by decree, the President dissolved the body responsible for overseeing judicial independence, the High Judicial Council, and replaced it with a provisional body subordinated to him, while enabling himself to interfere in the career and discipline of members of the judiciary.

On 1 June 2022, the President summarily dismissed 57 judges and prosecutors. Although the First President of the Administrative Court ordered the suspension of 49 of these dismissals, the Ministry of Justice did not reinstate the concerned judges and prosecutors and instead, instigated arbitrary criminal prosecutions against them, including under the “counter-terrorism” legislation.

The ICJ will discuss an individual communication against Tunisia to the UN Human Rights Committee to be submitted on the same day by Mr Youssef Bouzakher, President of the dissolved High Judicial Council and one of the 57 judges summarily dismissed by Tunisia’s President, with the support of the ICJ and Human Rights in Practice. The complainant seeks redress for the multiple violations of his human rights resulting from his arbitrary dismissal, removal from the HJC and the arbitrary resort to criminal law and process against him.

As we mark the second anniversary of the dissolution of the Tunisian High Judicial Council, Said Benarbia, ICJ MENA Director, Mr Bouzakher and his counsel, Helen Duffy, Human Rights in Practice Director, will be in attendance to bring attention to institutional and individual attacks against the judiciary in the country and call for change.

About the International Commission of Jurists

Composed of 60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world, the International Commission of Jurists promotes and protects human rights through the Rule of Law, by using its unique legal expertise to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems. Established in 1952 and active on the five continents, the ICJ aims to ensure the progressive development and effective implementation of international human rights and international humanitarian law; secure the realization of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights; safeguard the separation of powers; and guarantee the independence of the judiciary and legal profession. The ICJ’s mission includes to assist judges, lawyers and prosecutors to be independent, impartial, and free to carry out their professional duties, in order to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law.

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