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Tunisia Young Magistrates' Association to go on strike

February 15, 2022 at 5:18 pm

Judges and lawyers gather to protest President of Tunisia, Kais Saied’s decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council in front of Palais de Justice in Tunis, Tunisia on 10 February 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

A statement issued by the Tunisian Young Magistrates Association condemned President Saied’s “controlling of the popular will and misrepresentation of it, besides his attempt to change the system of government, and restructuring of the judiciary without conducting a referendum, relying on the support of the security establishment.”

The governing body of the Tunisian Young Magistrates Association, which convened at its headquarters in the Courthouse in Tunis, considered the interim council as a “chaotic entity” that is not based on any legal or constitutional text.

The body was very surprised by the President’s adherence and insistence on exercising the functions of the legislative authority, in violation of the principle of separation of powers and also his attempt to take over the authority of the judiciary, despite the increased warnings, internally and externally.

The governing body affirmed that the presidential decree did not include any reform of the judiciary; rather it came as a “destroyer” of the functions of the authority and guarantees of being independent, which led to the interim body being only a committee to supervise the judiciary, affiliated to the Presidency of the Republic.

The Tunisian Young Magistrates Association also called on all judicial structures and judges to “depend on unity and respond decisively to the presidential decree, considering it as non-existent, and taking the utmost possible action in resisting it”.

READ: Protests by Tunisians call for independence of the judiciary

The Association also warned against the involvement by judges appointed in their legal capacity and retired judges of the crime of backing the coup against the Supreme Judicial Council. It also warned of the danger of taking a false oath (swearing-in) before the President of the Republic, relating to respecting the Constitution, a matter that may be seen as a stigma in the history of the Tunisian judiciary.

The governing body of the Association decided to communicate with various international judicial associations and organisations to condemn this attitude, which demeans the status of the Tunisian judiciary by taking over the legitimate rights of judges and which offends the global judicial system. An example of these communications is to submit a detailed report on violations to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), which may form the basis of a complaint before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights regarding the violations committed against the Tunisian judges by the President, where he has accused them repeatedly of corruption, mocking them and endangering their lives.

Tunisia president Kais Saied dissolves top judicial council - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Tunisia president Kais Saied dissolves top judicial council – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]