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Tunisia: Presidential decree limits privileges of members of the Superior Council of the Judiciary

TUNISIA-ALGERIA-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY
Tunisia's President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 15 December 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisian President, Kais Saied, issued a decree on Wednesday, to "limit the awards and privileges" granted to members of the Superior Council of the Judiciary.

This came in a statement issued by the Tunisian Presidency, of which Anadolu Agency viewed a copy.

"Saied signed today a decree relating to amending the Basic Law of the Superior Council of the Judiciary. It stipulates to limit the grants and privileges provided to its members." the statement said.

As of 19:50 (GMT), there was no official comment from the Superior Council of the Judiciary on Saied's decision.

Recently, a controversy permeated in Tunisian human rights circles regarding the "independence of the judiciary", especially after President Saied's statements, in which he stressed that the judiciary is "one of the functions of the state", and alluded to the dismissal of the Superior Council of the Judiciary.

The debate on the independence of the judiciary has been raised since Minister of Justice, Leïla Jaffel, announced last October the preparation of a bill relating to the Superior Council of the Judiciary, which infuriated many judges.

READ: Ennahda accuses Tunisia authorities of controlling media

The judges considered the Minister of Justice's statements as interference in the judicial affairs, while President Saied refuted that, affirming that the preparation of this project will be carried out with the participation of the judges themselves.

During his recent speeches, Saied often talked about the judiciary; he often emphasised that the judiciary is "the State justice", it is independent and there is no authority over it except the law, there is no way to purify the country except through a just judiciary and judges above suspicions."

The Superior Council of the Judiciary is a constitutional body concerned with overseeing the proper functioning of the judiciary and the exploitation of judicial power.

Since last 25 July, Tunisia has been witnessing a severe political crisis after President Saied has taken exceptional measures, most notably suspending the Parliament, lifting the immunity of its MPs, abolishing the Body of Monitoring the Constitutionality of Laws, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the prime minister and forming a new government.

The majority of political forces in the country reject these decisions, and consider them a "coup against the constitution" and an infringement of rights and freedoms, while other forces support them and see them as a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution", which overthrew the former President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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