Tunisia is undergoing comprehensive reform of its political and legal system, following the December 2010-January 2011 popular uprising.

The ICJ considers the adoption of the new Constitution in 2014 marks a significant step forward towards establishing the rule of law and protecting human rights in Tunisia. The Constitution establishes a more balanced separation of powers compared to its 1959 predecessor, recognizing the institutional and individual independence of the judiciary and establishing a High Judicial Council to oversee judges’ careers.

Nevertheless, the 2014 Constitution falls short of international law and standards in certain key aspects.{{1}} In particular, it does not affirm that international human rights treaties ratified by Tunisia are binding and have supremacy over domestic law,{{2}} and some provisions of the Constitution are not consistent with international human rights standards. Among other things, as addressed further below, provisions related to the irremovability of judge, the independence of the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the jurisdiction of military tribunals fall short of international standards.

This profile at the moment does not include a section on lawyers. It will be made available, as well as more in-depth assessment of some of the concerns raised in this profile, as the ICJ continues its research.


You can access the different interactive sections of this profile through the column on the right-hand side, or you can download the profile in PDF format.



[[1]]1. For a comprehensive analysis, see: International Commission of Jurists, The Tunisian Constitution in light of international law and standards (31 January 2014).[[1]]

[[2]]2. See 2014 Constitution, [expand title=”Article 20,”]

International agreements approved and ratified by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People have a status superior to that of laws and inferior to that of the Constitution.

[/expand] which provides that ratified international agreements have a status superior to that of laws, but inferior to that of the Constitution. In theory, international agreements could be applied by Tunisian judges, but this almost never happens.[[2]]

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