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UPDATE: A Guide to the Tunisian Legal System

 

By Dahmène Touchent

Update by Aviva Zimbris

 

Aviva Zimbris is a French national. She is a political analyst who received her Master’s degree in International Conflict Studies from King’s College (London) in 2010. She has since been working in Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Brussels and Geneva.  

 

Dahmène Touchent received his Diplôme d’études supérieures from the National Financial Institute, Algiers, Master of Law degree from Paris XIII University, and another degree in export law from Paris V University. He teaches law and economics courses to first-years and upper-class students at Institut Européen des Entreprises and commercial and social law at University of Paris XIII.  He has written on the law of Northern Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), as well doing studies on French labour and consumer law.  Khalil Mechantaf  is an Attorney at Law in Beirut, Lebanon. He is currently a Legal Associate in private practice with a main focus on international law and agreements, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Arab Arbitration. He has previously worked at the International Criminal Court and has published several studies on the judicial system in Lebanon.

Published September 2013
(Previously updated by Khalil Mechantaf on April 2010)
The Archive Version

 


Table of Contents

Introduction

Political Transition: The Jasmine Revolution

The Executive Power

          The President of the Tunisian Republic

          The Prime Minister

          Ministers

The Legislative Power: Parliament

The Judicial Power

          Civil Jurisdictions

               The District Courts

               The Courts of First Instance

               The Appeals Courts

               The Supreme Court

          Penal Jurisdictions

               The High Court

Other Authorities

          The Constitutional Council

          The Amendment of the Constitution

          Independent Constitutional Authorities

Administrative Setup

Other (Semi) Governmental Institutions

Law Faculties

Literature (Textbooks on Civil Law, Administrative Constitutional Law, Criminal Law)

Legal Sites

 

Introduction

Tunisia, a republic of northern Africa, is bounded on the north and east by the Mediterranean Sea, on the south by Libya, and on the west by Algeria. The population is largely Berber and Arab, and Islam is the dominant religion. Arabic is the official language, although French is widely spoken.

 

Home of the ancient city of Carthage, the Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French realized its strategic significance, making Tunisia a hub for control over the region.

 

In March 1956, France granted full independence to Tunisia and a republic was declared with Habib Bourguiba as president.  President Bourguiba declared Tunisia a republic in 1957 and in June 1959, Tunisia adopted a Constitution modeled on the French system.  In 1987, Bourguiba was deposed by his prime minister, Zayn al-Abidin bin Ali (Ben Ali). Ben Ali assumed the office of head of State on 7 November 1987. He ran for re-election unopposed in 1989 and 1994 and won the elections in 1999. On 24 October 2004, he was again re-elected for a fourth mandate with 95% of the vote following a constitutional referendum in 2002 allowing him to run again. Indeed, the constitutional reform lifted the limit on number of times a president can be reelected.[1]

 

Political Transition: The Jasmine Revolution

 

On December 17, 2010, a street vendor set himself on fire to protest against poverty, injustice and repression by the ruling regime. Following his death, massive public demonstrations broke out, forcing Ben Ali to flee to Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011. A day later, in line with the 1959 Constitution, the speaker of the Parliament Fouad Mebazza became interim President of the Republic.[2]

 

On October 23, 2011, Tunisia held free election for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA). The newly elected assembly was charged with “drafting a new constitution, to be followed by legislative and presidential elections”.[3] The elections were conducted relatively peacefully, with only a few minor violations considering the strong turnout attesting to a strong democratic impulse. The Islamic movement Ennahda/Al Nahda (“Renaissance”) won 37 % of the popular vote and became the strongest political force in the new National Assembly. On December 12, 2011, the NCA elected former dissident Moncef Marouki as interim president until a new Constitution be adopted and new presidential elections are held.[4]

 

Currently the NCA is debating the latest version of the new Constitution. The work of parliamentary committees on the new Constitution began after the Revolution. For secular Tunisians the greatest achievement of this new version is the Islamists’ renunciation to use Islam as a source of law.  Meanwhile the amended text seems to show a broad consensus within the NCA for the division of the legislative and executive branches of government.  In order to be adopted the new Constitution needs to be supported by two-third of the 217 Members of Parliament, otherwise it will have to be put on a national referendum. In case a referendum is held it is unlikely that elections will be held before the end of 2013.[5] 

 

By becoming the first country in the region to topple a President-Dictator without foreign intervention, Tunisia and the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” inspired popular uprisings throughout the Middle East.[6] However, the victory of an Islamist party raised concerns among secularists and many Tunisian women fearing a gradual erosion of their rights.[7]

 

This article attempts to examine the working of the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branch of the state in the context of political transition. Therefore, this article will study the interaction of powers in the framework of the 1959 Constitution and of the draft of the new Constitution knowing that it has not been voted yet but has already raised concerns and opposition especially regarding the independence of the Judiciary. To avoid repetition, this article will refer to the last version of the new Constitution of June 2013 as the draft.

 

Constitutional Institutions

Executive Power

Legislative Power

-       Chamber of Deputies

Judicial Power

Consultative Committees

-       Constitutional Council

-       Council of State

-       Independent Constitutional Authorities

-       High Islamic Council

 

The Executive Power

The executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic assisted by the Government presided by the Prime Minister.[8] The draft constitution grants more powers to the government and states that ‘executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic and the Government’.[9] 

 

The President of the Tunisian Republic

One of the many reasons for the Revolution in Tunisia was the abuse of power by the executive, namely, former President Ben Ali. Therefore, although the new Constitution has not been voted yet and it is therefore not possible to fully examine the future functioning of the executive, one can assume that the Constitution will attempt to hold the president accountable to the people. The draft states that the President cannot hold office for more than two terms[10] and limits his executive powers. Despite these attempts to amend the flaws in the old Constitution regarding abuses of the executive powers many NGOs such as Amnesty International are raising their concerns persistent discrimination that continues in the draft of the new Constitution such as “specifying that only a Muslim can become a president”.[11]

 

The following paragraph on the working of the executive power is based on the former Constitution as Tunisia has only an interim President. 

 

The president of Tunisia is the elected head of state. He is elected for 5 years based on the majority of votes gained according to a universal, free, direct and secret suffrage within the last thirty days of the term of office. He is the guarantor of national independence, the integrity of the Tunisian territories, respect for the Constitution and the applicable laws, law enforcement, ratification and execution of treaties, as well as governing according to a decree during the expiration of the term of the legislative power. He watches over the regular functioning of the constitutional public powers and assures the continuity of the State.

 

Designation

The president of the Republic of Tunisia appoints and dismisses the Ministers as well as the prime minister. He leads and coordinates the work of the Government and promulgates the laws. The president also represents the republic in international affairs, and he formally appoints and dismisses the civil servants, soldiers, and judges of the state. He may temporarily delegate his powers to the Prime Minister except the right to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies.

 

A candidate for the Presidency must be a Tunisian who does not carry another nationality, who is of Muslim religion and whose father, mother, and paternal and maternal grandfather have been of Tunisian nationality without interruption. Also, the candidate must be at least forty years and at most seventy five years of age on the day of submitting his candidacy, and enjoy all his civil and political rights.

 

The declaration of candidacy must be recorded in a special register before the constitutional council. The council rules on the validity of the candidacy, announces the results of the ballot and settles the challenges received accordingly.

 

Functions

The President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He accredits diplomatic representatives to foreign powers.

 

The President may submit to a referendum any bill relating to the organization of the public powers or seeking to ratify a treaty which, without being contrary to the Constitution, may affect the functioning of the institutions.

 

Also, the President ratifies the treaties, declares war and concludes peace with the approval of the Parliament exercises the right of pardon and directs the general policy of the Nation, defines its fundamental options, and informs the National Parliament accordingly. He communicates with the Parliament either directly or by message.

 

He promulgates constitutional, organic, or ordinary laws and ensures their publication in the Official Journal of the Tunisian Republic within a maximum period of fifteen days counting from the transmission by the President of the National Parliament. During this period, the President of the Republic may return the bill to the National Parliament for a second reading. If the bill is adopted by the National Parliament with a majority of two-thirds of its members, the law is promulgated and published within a second period of fifteen days.

 

He watches over the execution of the laws. He exercises the general regulatory power and may delegate all or part of it to the Prime Minister.

 

The President nominates the highest civil and military officers on the recommendation of the Government.

Term of Presidential functions

In case the Presidency of the Republic becomes vacant on account of death, resignation, or total incapacity, the constitutional council immediately convenes and confirms the vacancy of the office with the majority of its members. The council consequently notifies the President of the Chamber of Advisors and the President of the Chamber of deputies who immediately assumes the office for a minimum period of 45 days and a maximum of 60 days. In case such a vacancy occurs during the end of the term of the Chamber of deputies, the President of the Chamber of advisors shall assume the office for a similar period. The acting President of Republic shall take the constitutional oath before the Chambers of deputies and advisors.

 

The acting President of the Republic may not be a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic even in the case of resignation.

 

The interim President of the Republic discharges the functions of the President of the Republic, however, without resorting to referendum, dismissing the Government, or dissolving the National Parliament. During this period, a motion of censure against the Government cannot be presented.

 

During the same period, presidential elections are organized to elect a new President of the Republic for a term of five years.

 

The new President of the Republic may dissolve the National Parliament and organize early legislative elections.

 

The Prime Ministry

The President nominates the Prime Minister, and on his suggestion, the other members of the Government. The President presides over the Council of Ministers. In the draft, the head of Government calls in and presides over the Council of Ministers, except on Foreign affairs, Defense and National Security issues where the President is presiding.[12]

 

The Prime Minister directs and co-ordinates the work of the government. He substitutes, as necessary, for the President in presiding over the Council of Ministers or any other Council.

The President dismisses the Government or one of its members on his own initiative or on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

 

Bills are deliberated on in the Council of Ministers. Decrees of a regulatory character are countersigned by the Prime Minister and the interested member of the Government.

 

The members of the Government have the right of access to the Parliament as well as to its committees. Any deputy may address written or oral questions to the Government.

 

The Parliament may, by a vote on a motion of censure, oppose the continuation of the responsibilities of the government, if it finds that the government is not following the general policy and the fundamental options. The motion is not receivable unless it is motivated and signed by at least the third of the Parliament’s members. The vote may not take place until 48 hours have elapsed after the motion of censure. When a motion of censure is adopted by a majority of two-thirds of the deputies, the President accepts the resignation of the government presented by the Prime Minister.

 

Ministers

The Government (the Ministers) puts into effect the general policy of the nation, in conformity with the orientations and options defined by the President of the Republic. The Government is responsible to the President for its conduct.[13]

 

In the draft, the Government is responsible to the Assembly of People’s Representatives.[14] This new wording probably reflects intent to create a better balance between the executive and the legislative to avoid abuses by the executive.

 

Ministries

 

 

The Legislative Power: Parliament

 

By the decree law of March 23, 2011, the lower house, “the Chamber of Deputies” and the upper house, “the Chamber of Advisors” were dissolved.[15] In the future Constitution the wording the “Assembly of the People’s Representatives”[16]  will replace the “Chamber of Advisors” and “Chamber of Deputies”. Its representatives shall be elected for five years by a universal, free, direct, secret, sincere and transparent ballot according to the modalities and conditions determined by the Electoral Law. [17]  The draft added the terms “sincere and transparent” as an attempt to break with former regime. To recall “Under the former regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the cabinet, much of the legislature, and many regional officials had been appointed directly by the president. Elections were tightly controlled, and term limits were extended to allow Ben Ali to remain in power.”[18]

 

Furthermore, the draft stresses the importance of the opposition and enshrines its rights within the Assembly.[19] The former regime in “the parliament passed a law that criminalized opposition activities deemed to be fomented by ‘agents of a foreign power.’” [20] With the resignation of Ben Ali, “in the 2011 elections, all 217 members of the Constituent Assembly were directly elected through party-list voting in 33 multimember constituencies, and voters were able to choose from political parties representing a wide range of ideologies and political philosophies, including Islamist and secularist groups. Many of the parties that competed were excluded from political participation under Ben Ali.” [21] With the former election system while the members of the Chamber of Deputies were “elected by universal, free, direct and secret vote”[22], the Chamber of Advisors was tied to the executive. Indeed “The members of the Chamber of Advisors are elected as follows: One or two members from each governorate, according to population’s number, are elected at the regional level from among the members of elected local authorities. One-third of the members shall be elected at the national level from among employers, farmers and workers whose candidacies shall be proposed by the respective professional syndicates from a list comprising at least twice the number of seats allocated for each category. Seats are distributed equally among the concerned sectors. […]

 

The remaining members of the Chamber of Advisors are appointed by the President of the Republic from prominent and qualified figures at the national level.” [23]

 

Regarding the adoption of organic and ordinary law, the Assembly of People’s Representative will probably maintain a similar organization,[24] meaning, “Chambers of Deputies and Advisors ratify organic laws by the absolute majority of the members. Both Chambers also ratify ordinary laws by the majority of the members present in the session, considering that such majority reaches at least one third of the concerned Chamber.” [25]

 

Lastly, it should be noted that while the Constitution of 1959 stated “During the recess of the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Advisors, the President of the Republic may issue decree-laws which will be submitted, as the case may be, for ratification by the Chamber of Deputies or by the two chambers during the ordinary session following the recess”[26], the draft mentions the Head of the Government and not the president as the authority that may issue decree-laws.[27]

 

The Judicial Power

 

There is a certain apprehension regarding the future of last branch of government: the Judicial Power. Indeed, under the former regime, the Judiciary remained under the control of the executive. One of the requests of the people is for the new constitution to institute the independence of the judiciary.[28] However, the NGO Human Rights Watch stated that after the outset of Ben Ali “Executive branch influence over the judiciary persisted due to the failure to adopt long-awaited reforms of the judiciary, including a law that would set up a temporary judicial council to supervise the judiciary pending adoption of a new constitution. In its absence, the Ministry of Justice has been directly supervising the judiciary, including the appointment, advancement, and discipline of judges.”[29]

 

It is the role of the new Constitution to institute and enshrine this independence. However, the NGO Amnesty International pointed out that “The draft also does not include the necessary guarantees to secure the independence of the judiciary, ensure the right to a fair trial, fully prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and uphold the principle of non-refoulement.”[30]

 

Amnesty stresses that the draft “fails to specify objective criteria and to fully conform with the requirements of the ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], as explained by the Human Rights Committee, and the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary.[31] It also fails to specify that judges should be appointed based on ability, training and qualifications with no discrimination”.[32]

 

As in the former constitution, the draft states that Judges are appointed by decree of the President of the Republic upon the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council.[33] For Amnesty, “the draft fell short of guaranteeing this body’s independence from the executive and legislative branch. In addition, the criteria and procedures for the appointment of members, including some judges and individuals who are not judges, who together would compose more than half of the membership of the Supreme Judicial Council, are not specified. This leaves open the possibility that a majority of the membership of the Supreme Judicial Council could be controlled by the executive, thereby undermining the independence of the judiciary.” [34]

 

Separately, it is worth mentioning that Shari’a courts were abolished in 1956, and since then Tunisia has had a single unified judiciary structure.  However, following the elections of the NAC, an Islamist political party won the election and the right to have its saying in the drafting of the future constitution. Tensions escalated between Islamists and seculars[35] who fear that Islamists within the Assembly will seek to take control over institutions. In March 2012, to ease people’s minds Ennahda said that the Sharia will not become source of legislation. Nevertheless, seculars still fear that the project has only been postponed but not abandoned.

 

 

Civil Jurisdictions

 

The District Courts

At the base of the Tunisian judicial structure are the 51 District Courts, in which a sole judge hears each case. The jurisdiction of the District Courts extends to civil cases of lesser value, as well as cases related to issues of labor and nationality, civil affairs, personal estate actions, actions in recovery and injunctions to pay. 

 

The District Courts rules on first or final instance: 

  • demands for alimony introduced on a purely principal basis;
  • possessor actions; 

 

It rules in chambers (référé) in these cases:

  • saisies;
  • urgent reports;

The Courts of First Instance

The Courts of First Instance serve as the appellate courts for the District Courts. There is a Court of First Instance located in each region of Tunisia. Each Court is composed of a three-judge panel.

 

The Courts of First Instance hear all commercial and civil cases, irrespective of the monetary value of the claim.

 

The court of first degree rules on: 

  • the constitution of the companies or their directions
  • dissolution or liquidation
  • rectification of companies facing economic difficulties and bankruptcy

 

The Courts of Appeal

The Appeals Courts serve as the appellate courts for decisions made in the Courts of First Instance.  Cases that were originally heard in the District Courts and appealed to the Courts of First Instance may be further appealed to the Supreme Court.

 

The Court of Appeal is only qualified to rule on: 

  • appeals of the judgments given in the first resort by the courts of first authority of their district;
  • appeals of the ordinances of summary procedure returned by the president of the court of first authority as well as injunctions to pay; 

 

The three Appeals Courts are located in Tunis, Sousse, and Sfax.

 

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, or Court of Cassation, is located in Tunis and serves as the final court of appeals. The Court has one criminal and three civil divisions.

 

Penal Jurisdictions

The organization of the criminal court system is similar to that of the civil court system. 

  • The District Courts have jurisdiction to hear all misdemeanor cases. 
  • The Courts of First Instance hear all other criminal cases except felonies. 
  • A grand jury hears at first felony crimes. Once a judge issues an indictment based on the grand jury proceedings, the case is submitted to the criminal court division of the Court of Appeal. 
  • The criminal division of the Court of Cassation serves as the final appellate court for criminal matters.

 

High Court

The High Court meets in a case of high treason committed by a member of the Government. The mandate and procedures applied in this Court are determined by the Law.

 

The Chapter on the Judiciary includes one section on Judicial Justice, another on Administrative Justice and one on Financial Justice. Former structures such as the Council of State (Article 69 of former constitution) will probably be reshaped accordingly. To recall, the Council of State is composed of two committees:

 

-       administrative court

-       circuit of accounts

 

The Law determines the organization and panel of the Council, in addition to its scope of work and the procedures applied.

 

Other Authorities

 

The Constitutional Council

The role of a Constitutional Court or Council is to control the constitutionality of draft laws and proposals. Its independence is essential for a proper implementation of the Constitution. In a desire to avoid abuses such as the ones perpetrated by former regime, the draft will enforce several changes. First, while the Constitutional Council was composed of nine members, the Constitutional Court will be composed of twelve members. Furthermore, the President of the Republic will have less saying in their appointments. To recall, the President used to appoint four of the members and the President of the Chamber of Deputies two.[36] The draft states that the President of the Republic will only propose candidates.[37]

 

The Amendment of the Constitution

Despite the fact that most of the draft is in line with the former constitution there are several safeguards proposed that prevent altering and abusing Presidential executive powers. For instance, no amendment can be made to the term of the presidential mandates if it is with the intent to extend the term.[38] To recall, in 1988 an amendment to the Constitution permitted the President to serve for three five-year terms and again, in 2002 an amendment abolished the term limits.

 

Independent Constitutional Authorities

 

The draft shall also introduce several independent constitutional Authorities.[39] They will deal with elections, information, Human Rights, Corruption.

 

A new authority, an institution of sustainable development and right for future generations will probably take over the Economic and Social Council.[40] To recall, the Economic and Social Council is a consultative assembly in economic and social matters. Its composition and relations with the National Parliament are determined by law.

 

Administrative Setup

The municipal and regional councils conduct the local affairs under the conditions determined by law. For administrative purposes, Tunisia is divided into 23 governorates, each headed by a governor who is appointed by the president.

 

Other (Semi) Governmental Institutions

 

Law Faculties

Route de Sidi Mansour, km 10
B.P. 704
3061 Sfax, Tunisia
Phone: (216 4) 27.2441; 27.2331
Fax: (216 4) 27.2245 

  • Faculté des sciences juridiques, politiques et sociales de Tunis
    14, Rue Hédi Karray
    2080 Ariana, Tunisia
    Phone: (216 1) 23.0235; 75.3892; 76.6919
    Fax:  (216 1) 71.7255
  • Faculty of Law, Politics and Economics Science of Tunis
    Campus Universitaire
    1060, Tunis, Tunisia
    Phone: (216 1) 51.0323; 51.0627; 51.0500
    Fax:   (216 1) 51.0139
  • Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of Tunis
    94 A. 9 Avril 1938
    1007, Tunis, Tunisia
    Phone: (216 1) 56.4713; 26.4797
    Fax: (216 1) 56.7551
  • University of Zaituna: Faculty of Law
    29, rue Asdrubal
    1002, Tunis, Tunisia

 

Literature (Textbooks on Civil Law, Administrative Constitutional Law, Criminal Law)

 

Administrative law

Borowiec, Andrew Modern Tunisia: a democratic apprenticeship, Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998

Camau, Michel Vincent Geisser, Le syndrome autoritaire : politique en Tunisie de Bourguiba à Ben Ali, Paris : Presses de Sciences po , 2003.

Durupty, Michel, “administrative Institutions and Tunisian administrative law”, Editions of the national scientific research Center, Paris

Dwight, L. Ling, Tunisia, from protectorate to republic, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1967.

Tunisia: A Country Study, 3rd ed., Nelson, ed., Washington, D.C., 1988

Ezzeddine, Moudoud, Modernization, the state, and regional disparity in developing countries: Boulder, Colorado Tunisia in historical perspective, 1881-1982. : Westview Press, 1989

Ferchichi, Bechir, the work of the institution of the deferment in Tunisian criminal law, “Center of studies, search and publications of Faculty of law, political and economic sciences of Tunis”, Tunis.

Berkeley, Tunisia since independence; the dynamics of one-party government, University of California Press, 1965,

Mabrouk, Mohieddine, “Treaty of Tunisian Administrative law”, Tunisian House of the Edition, Tunis

 

Corporate debt

Ammar, Abdelmajid, “the personal liability for the leaders of corporations in the event of collective procedure”, Chabloz Printing works, Tolochenaz

 

Comparative law

Ben Aissa, Mohamed Salah the principle of specialty and economic publicly-owned establishments in Tunisian and French law, “studies Center of Faculty of right and political and economic sciences of Tunis”

 

Criminal Law

Baccouche, N La protection de l’autorité publique dans le Code pénal tunisien Tunis, ENA 1985

Baccouche, Néji "Le problème des délits électoraux en Tunisie" Revue tunisienne de droit (1982)

Ben Achour, Rafâa "Les protections et les garanties constitutionnelles des droits et libertés en

Tunisie" Revue tunisienne de droit (1989)

Ben Achour, Yadh "Islam et Constitution" Revue tunisienne de droit (1974)

Ben-Halima, S "La régionalisation du droit pénal international et la protection des droits de l'homme dans les procédures de coopération internationale en matière pénale: Tunisie" 65 Revue

Internationale de Droit Pénal (1994) 487-491

Human Rights Watch The administration of justice in Tunisia: Torture, trumped-up charges and a tainted trial (E1201) 3/00

Jazi, Daly Les rapports entre l’Etat et le citoyen dans la Tunisie indépendante: Le problème des liberté publiques Thèse de doctorat de l'Université de Paris II, 1982

Khalfallah, L "Le mauvais traitement des enfants à travers le droit tunisien" Revue de jurisprudence et de législation (1997)

United Nations Freedom of opinion and expression – mission to Tunisia E/CN.4/2000/63/Add.4 Zine, M & Halima, SB “Les movements de reforme de la procédure pénale et la protection des droits de l’homme en Tunisie” Revue Interationale de Droit Pénal (1993) 1345-1355.


 

Legal Sites



[1] For further information on the referendum please refer to José Garçon (May 28, 2002), “Référendum-Plébiscite sans surprise pour Ben Ali”, Libération,  http://www.liberation.fr/monde/0101414297-referendum-plebiscite-sans-surprise-pour-ben-ali (accessed 14.07.2013).

[2] Alexis Arieff (January 18, 2011), “Tunisia: Recent Developments and Policy issues”, Congressional Research Service p.1.

[3] Human Rights Watch, ‘Tunisia”,  http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/tunisia (accessed 14.07.2013).

[4] For further information please refer to Bouazza Ben Bouazza (December 12, 2011),  “Moncef Marzouki, Tunisia Human Rights Activist, Expected to Be Elected Interim President”, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/12/moncef-marzouki-tunisia-interim-president_n_1142759.html (accessed 14.07.2013).

[5] Tirthankan Chanda (July 2, 2013), “Tunisie: les débats sur la future Constitution se poursuivent”, Radio France Internationale, http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20130702-tunisie-debats-future-constitution-assembl%C3%A9e (accessed 14.07.2013).

[6] Alexis Arieff (June 18, 2012), “Political Transition in Tunisia”, Congressional Research Service pp.3-4.

[7] Regarding women’s rights, Tunisia was perceived as the most progressive Arab country. For instance, Bourguiba, had outlawed polygamy, granted women the right to divorce and legalized abortion. Ben Ali had pursued these advances in strengthening women’s parental, education and employment rights. Since the Revolution, several incidents, reports of rape and violence against women could be interpreted as worsening for women throughout the country (for example refer to press release of Amnesty International  http://www.amnesty.org/fr/node/34388Ambiguous wording in a new draft Constitution refers to women as “partners” with complementary roles in the family rather and contradicts other wording on gender equality.”).

[8] Article 37 of Chapter III on the Executive Power in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[9] Please refer to article 70 of Chapter IV on the Executive power in  “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » ( June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[10] Please refer to article 74 of the “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (Juin 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[11] Amnesty International Briefing (June 5, 2013), “Last opportunity for Tunisian lawmakers to enshrine human rights for all in Tunisia’s new Constitution.” http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/info/MDE30/005/2013/en  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[12] Please refer to article 92 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[13] Article 59 of the Constitution of 1959 “The Government is responsible to the President for its management” in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[14] Please refer to article 94 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[15] Article 2 of the Decree-Law No. 2011-14 dated 23 March 2011, relating to the Provisional Organization of the Public Authorities, http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=11175 (accessed 14.07.2013).

[16] Please refer to article 49 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[17] Please refer to articles 54-55 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[18] Freedom House (2012) “Freedom in the World: Tunisia” http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2012/tunisia-0  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[19] Please refer to article 59 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013)

[20] Freedom House (2012) “Freedom in the World: Tunisia” http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2012/tunisia-0  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[21] Ibid

[22] Article 18 of the Constitution of 1959 in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[23] Article 19 of the Constitution of 1959 in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013)

[24] Please refer to article 63 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[25] Article 18 of the Constitution of 1959 in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[26] Article 31 of the Constitution of 1959 in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[27] Please refer to article 69 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013), http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[28] Jeune Afrique (November 4, 2011), “Tunisie: avocats et magistrates exigent l’indépendance de la Justice” http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20111104193433/ (accessed 14.07.2013).

[30] Amnesty International Briefing (5 June 2013) “Last opportunity for Tunisian lawmakers to enshrine human rights for all in Tunisia’s new Constitution”

http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/MDE30/005/2013/fr/10fae36f-a04f-4237-9767-b0ca42225178/mde300052013en.pdf  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[31] For further information please refer to “Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary” in United Nations Rule of Law  http://fr.unrol.org/doc.aspx?d=2248 (accessed 14.07.2013).

[32] Amnesty International Briefing (5 June 2013) “Last opportunity for Tunisian lawmakers to enshrine human rights for all in Tunisia’s new Constitution”

http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/MDE30/005/2013/fr/10fae36f-a04f-4237-9767-b0ca42225178/mde300052013en.pdf  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[33] Articles 103 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f and to compare please refer to article 66 of the Constitution of 1959 in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[34] Amnesty International Briefing (5 June 2013) “Last opportunity for Tunisian lawmakers to enshrine human rights for all in Tunisia’s new Constitution”

http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/MDE30/005/2013/fr/10fae36f-a04f-4237-9767-b0ca42225178/mde300052013en.pdf  (accessed 14.07.2013).

[35] Alexis Arieff (June 18, 2012), “Political Transition in Tunisia”, Congressional Research Service p.2.

[36] Article 75 of the Constitution of 1959 in Republic of Tunisia (2010) “Publication of the Republic of Tunisia”, Publication of the Official Printing Office of the Republic of Tunisia, http://www.tunisie-constitution.org/sites/all/downloads/constitution-tunisienne-anglais.pdf (accessed 14.07.2013).

[37] Please refer to Article 115 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[38] Please refer to article 141 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).

[39] Please refer to chapter VI in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f  (accessed 14.07.2013)

[40] Please refer to article 126 in “Projet de Constitution de la République Tunisienne” in « European Commission for Democracy Through Law » (June 20, 2013). http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-REF%282013%29032-f (accessed 14.07.2013).