Involvement and Participation of Civil Society in the Reform of the Justice System in Tunisia

Project Context

Seven years after the Revolution, Tunisia still faces fundamental reform challenges. The national consultation on the reform of the judicial system organized by the Ministry of Justice in 2013 clearly highlighted a lack of trust of citizens vis-à-vis the judicial institutions. This is partly due to the fact that the judicial system and criminal policy have been the cornerstone of the oppression that the pre-2011 regime has been implementing for decades.

With a prison overcrowding approaching 150%, a very low recourse to alternative sentences to incarceration and a probation system that has just emerged, Tunisian prisons are today the main place of socialization to crime and one of the main vectors of youth radicalization. The use of pretrial detention, including for minor offenses, remains common, favoring conditions of inhuman and degrading detention. The very repressive approach of the justice did not however have an impact on the reduction of the crime, but on the contrary it favored a high rate of recidivism notably for certain infractions

The involvement of civil society in the reform process remains essential in order to promote the State's commitment to the development, adoption, implementation and evaluation of measures aimed at the criminal chain in line with the Constitution and international human rights standards.

Project Objectives

  1. Increased access to legal information and legal aid for people in vulnerable situations and detainees;
  2. Improving the conditions of detention of prisoners in vulnerable situations;
  3. Promotion of alternative measures to incarceration and reintegration

Project Activities

  1. Dissemination of information on rights, including detainees;
  2. Providing legal advice and legal representation;
  3. Improvement of detention conditions (health services, training and reintegration programs, etc.);
  4. Promotion and development of alternative measures to incarceration;
  5. Support for the socio-professional reintegration of prisoners and former detainees
  6. Capacity building of justice actors;
  7. Advocacy and networking, including organisation of the Access to Justice Forum.
  8. Capacity building of the pool of lawyers-collectors.
  9. Organisation of workshops within the government working group for the reform of the judicial and penitentiary system
2nd December 2018
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