Constitutions Tunisia

Solving Tunisia's legal conundrum: New report on the country's normative system (2011-2022)

DRI Tunisia has just released a report on the country's normative system during the country's democratic transition (2011-2021). Right after the fall of Ben Ali's regime, the break with the old 1959 constitution was characterised by instability in Tunisia's normative system. 

The introduction of a new constitution on 27 January 2014, a process supported at the time by DRI pool of experts, opened a new democratic chapter for the country but did not solve the instability and normative disorder. These lingering issues have sometimes caused hindrance or even crisis, questioning fundamental principles of the rule of law, such as the principle of legal security.

The report aims to identify unresolved questions causing instability and normative disorder and provide recommendations to address them.

The regime's fall in 2011 did not completely break with the existing normative system. The decree-laws of 2011 did not have the same legal nature as previous legislation, which caused a degree of confusion. The promulgation of the 2014 constitution did no settle the issue once and for all — many legal texts that go against the constitution's principles are still in force. This is due to an incomplete implementation of the 2014 constitution. 

The report recommends fully implementing the provisions of the new constitution, creating permanent constitutional institutions and bringing previous legal texts in line with the current normative order. 

Furthermore, this analysis comes at a high time, as Tunisia's political context is comparable to that of 2011: the country has embarked on a path of rupture with the 2014 legal and political order. A key example of this similarity is resorting to decree-laws since 21 September 2021, which will probably instigate similar legal problems and blocks as the 2011 decree-laws did.

The study is available in Arabic.

Read more of our publications on constitutional issues in English here.

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Rapport sur le sytème normatif tunisien_AR Download

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