Tunisia: Civil Society Calls for Judicial Reforms and Denounces Smear Campaigns Against CSM

Tunis/Tunisia — Seventeen organisations and associations active in the field of human rights have called on the Supreme Judicial Council (CSM) and the judiciary to carry out the necessary reforms in order to guarantee more celerity in the treatment of major cases brought before the justice.

In a joint statement published on Thursday, the associations stress that the reforms must go in the direction of consolidating the role of the various control apparatuses including the General Inspectorate at the Ministry of Justice. This is likely to ensure that all those suspected of judicial corruption are held to account, the same source said. The CSM is called upon to fully assume its role in this sense.

The signatories also call for the right of the citizen, in general, to be informed about the outcome of cases that concern public opinion as well as the progress of the reform of the sector.

They denounced the smear campaigns carried out on Social media pages targeting the president of the CSM and some of its members, with the aim of dissolving this constitutional authority.

While affirming their attachment to the council, the signatories consider that the reform of this authority is a vital issue in order to remedy the shortcomings noted in its composition, its mechanisms and its working methods.

They also consider that the legal decrees relating to the CSM are not a priority in this transitional period and compromise the independence of the judiciary, an achievement guaranteed by the constitution.

The declaration is signed by the Association of Tunisian Magistrates, the Tunisian League of Human Rights, the National Union of Tunisian Journalists, Lawyers without Borders, the Organisation against Torture in Tunisia, the Centre for Support to Democratic Transition and Human Rights, Yakadha for Democracy and Civic State and the Tunisian Association for the Defence of Individual Liberties.

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