Position title: Constitutional Expert (Tunisia)
Position location: Tunisia and desk work
Duration: 20 days, 25 November 2016 – 30 June 2017
Deadline for applications: 25 November 2016
Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin. DRI promotes political participation of citizens, accountability of state bodies and the development of democratic institutions.
DRI has supported the Tunisian democratic transition since February 2011, contributing, among other things, to the process of drafting the Tunisian Constitution, developing the law on the Constitutional Court and supporting reforms of the justice system legal framework to ensure its adherence to the Constitution. In the course of these activities DRI cooperated directly with state institutions, academia and civil society.
Presently DRI is working on, among others, issues related to developing the legal framework for the administrative justice as well as on putting in place constitutional justice mechanisms. In addition to that, DRI plans to publish a number of publications regarding the implementation of the Tunisian Constitution and constitutional justice.
The Tunisian Constitution in its Chapter Five – Judiciary sets basic principles for ensuring rule of law, including establishing an independent judiciary. The Articles 115, 116 and 117 of the Constitution regulate three branches of the judiciary: justice, administration and finance.
Article 116 of the Constitution recognised the administrative judiciary as an independent organ composed of the Supreme Administrative Court, administrative courts of appeal and administrative courts of a first instance. The administrative judiciary has jurisdiction over any abuse of power by the administration as well as administrative disputes and it exercises advisory functions, in accordance with the law. At the same time, Article 116 of the Constitution requires that the new law on the administrative judiciary, following the principles stipulated in the Constitution, is adopted. The new law will replace the existing law of 1 January 1972.
Furthermore the Tunisian Constitution foresees the creation of a Constitutional Court (CC), which will replace the temporary Instance provisoire de la constitutionnalité des projets de lois. The law on the CC was adopted in 2015 (loi organique n° 2015-50 du 3 décembre 2015, relative à la Cour constitutionnelle). According to the Constitution, the CC is composed of 12 members. The members are appointed by the President of the Republic, the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (the Parliament) and the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) on equal shares, according to the procedures defined by the Constitution and the law. Similarly, the Constitution and the law define requirements that candidates must fulfil in order to be considered for the appointment. One of the procedural obstacles preventing the establishment of the CC was the creation of the Supreme Judicial Council. The elections to the SJC took place in October 2016 and it is expected that the first meeting of the Council will take place in the upcoming months. This in turn may open the way to triggering the process of designating the CC judges and it could be expected that the Court would be established in 2017.
DRI has already commenced working in both areas. A structured process of providing technical assistance to drafting the law on the administrative justice was agreed upon with the President of the Administrative Tribunal and partners. The first activities took place in October and November 2016 and follow up is planned for the remainder of 2016 and 2017.
Similarly, following its involvement in the process of developing the law on the CC, DRI is preparing to provide direct support to the CC once it is established. The exact scope of the support will be agreed upon with the relevant stakeholders based on their needs but it could include the provision of comparative experiences on the functioning of constitutional courts, trainings, etc.
Expected outputs of the assignment
Substantive support provided to the process of reforms of the legal framework for the justice system in Tunisia and the establishment of the institutional mechanisms of the constitutional justice as well as contribution to preparations of the DRI publications regarding justice, constitutional justice and analysis of the implementation of the Tunisian Constitution.
Process methodology and approach
The expert working as part of the DRI team will provide support to the Tunisian judiciary, academia, MPs and representatives of other institutions. The support will include the preparation of written analysis, papers, reports, publications, public presentations, working sessions and seminars. The expert will report to DRI’s Tunisia Country Director.
The following activities will be implemented:
Justice system reforms:
- Preparing written analysis, papers on comparative experience regarding the justice system with particular emphasis on the administrative justice (home-based);
- Running working sessions, seminars with judiciary, MPs, academia as per the needs (in Tunis).
- Preparing written analysis, papers on comparative experience regarding the constitutional justice substantives and procedural aspects (home-based);
- Running working sessions, seminars with the Constitutional Court judges, legal staff and academia (in Tunisia).
Contribution to preparing the DRI publication on justice, constitutional justice and analysis of implementation process of the Tunisian Constitution:
The tasks will include (home-based with missions to Tunisia):
- Preparing a workplan for publications;
- Preparing a concept and plan for publications outlining the questions, which will be addressed;
- Carry out research and prepare a draft publication or inputs to the publication following the plan approved by DRI;
- Follow up on fine-tuning the publications, revisions and modifications based on the consultations carried out with DRI;
- Participate in the events, seminars and working sessions in the course of research, validation and presentation of the publications to the public.
Home based with possible missions to Tunisia.
Tasks and deliverables of the consultant
Under the direct supervision of the DRI Tunisia Country Director, the Consultant will contribute to the three areas of intervention of DRI: justice system reforms, constitutional justice development and preparation of publications.
The actual planning of the expert’s specific tasks will depend on ongoing consultations with the Tunisian stakeholders.
- analysis, reports, questionnaires, short written advisory based on the needs, presenting comparative experience and written in French;
- programme and curriculum of the working sessions and seminars;
- other materials and presentations used during the events;
- Reports covering each task or series of tasks completed of not more than 4 pages prepared in English or in French.
Duration of the assignment
The Consultant will be contracted for the period from 25 November 2016 to 30 June 2017 with the total maximum number of 20 days. The working days will include home-based work and mission days in Tunisia.
- Justice system reforms – max. 4 days;
- Constitutional justice – max. 4 days;
- Publications – max. 12 days.
The actual allocation of the experts’ days may change based on the participatory planning with the Tunisian partners of the project.
- University degree in law;
- At least fifteen years of experience in working on constitutional and judicial issues,
- Knowledge of legal frameworks with a special emphasis on constitutional, parliamentary and judiciary law,
- Knowledge of good practices in the field of Constitution implementation;
- A relevant experience regarding the comparative process of constitutional reforms from several contexts;
- Thorough knowledge of and experience working on constitutional reforms in Tunisia;
- Knowledge of Tunisia’s legislation and political landscape would be an asset;
- Excellent proven writing skills as an author/co-author of publications, reports and analysis (in French);
- Fluency in French is required.
Interested applicants should send a CV to [email protected] with “Constitutional Expert” in the subject line.
Deadline for applications: 25 November 2016
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.