Support to Constitution Implementation in Tunisia
Following the adoption of the Tunisian constitution in January 2014, a new parliament (the Assembly of People’s Representatives) was elected in October the same year. This was followed by the presidential elections through two rounds held in November and December. These events have been essential milestones in Tunisia’s transition, however, they do not indicate the consolidation of Tunisia’s democracy. Many constitutional promises have yet to be fulfilled, including the establishment of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Judicial Council, a human rights body, reforms or ordinary laws to reflect the new constitution such as the access to information law, as well as systematic de-centralisation.
Based on DRI’s interventions since 2011, DRI’s Tunisia project therefore aims to support the implementation of the constitution and focuses on three main areas: legal reforms, local elections and media. The project thus engages with members of parliament, of the judiciary, local partners of civil society and journalists in the following activities:
- Working sessions and roundtables with parliamentary groups, town hall meetings in all governorates on decentralisation and capacity development of members of the Judiciary
- Trainings for local partners of civil society on election observation and electoral preparations
- Briefings and trainings for journalists on legal reforms
- Development of channels and platforms for outreach
- Publications and regular analyses on relevant legal issues and a continuation of DRI’s six-monthly constitution implementation observer
DRI’s project has contributed to the development of expertise of judges and attorneys on the Supreme Judicial Council and legal acts’ compliance with the Constitution. Concerning the law on Constitutional Court and its implementation, DRI’s roundtables and working sessions with parliamentary groups have led to improvements in five points: general dispositions, competences and procedures, reviewing draft law, reviewing law, and state of emergency. DRI’s publications, and particular the Constitution Implementation Observer Report, have tracked and analysed the progress in the implementation of the Tunisian constitution over the last 6 months. The level of understanding and the ability to communicate and advocate of citizens and local authorities on issues of decentralisation were increased through town hall meetings and training of trainers.
DRI’s Tunisia project is currently funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).