8 January 2013

Tunisia: 'The Independence of Justice Won't Happen in a Hurry' Says Justice Minister

Tunis — "Justice is not yet independent and its independence won't happen in a hurry, especially as it has been subject to other powers for decades" affirmed on Monday Justice Minister Noureddine B'hiri at a questioning session held by the Constituent Assembly.

"Power forces and pressure are still impeding the reform process," he said, adding that the independence of justice is not only dependent on political will but should come also with the independence of the Bar, bailiffs, court clerks and experts.

He expressed conviction that the judicial power should be totally independent to build up democracy, saying it is necessary to clearly establish the principle of judges' independence when drafting the new constitution to prevent any interference of the executive and legislative powers in the judicial power affairs.

He also spoke of the independence of the public prosecutor's department from the Ministry of Justice which should be looked at as part of drafting the new constitution, expressing hope that the draft law providing for the setting up of a provisional judicial authority will be adopted as soon as possible.

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