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Tunisia: The prosecutor’s career

Persons selected as prosecutors must be individuals of integrity and ability, with appropriate training and qualifications.[1] Accordingly, States must ensure that selection criteria embody safeguards against appointments based on partiality or prejudice, and that prosecutors have appropriate education and training.[2] 

Promotion of prosecutors must be based on objective factors and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures.[3] 

Prosecutors must enjoy “[r]easonable conditions of service … adequate remuneration and, where applicable, tenure, pension and age of retirement shall be set out by law or published rules or regulations”.[4] 

 

In Tunisia, prosecutors are part of the judiciary. This was already the case under the 1959 Constitution,[5] and remains so under the 2014 Constitution.[6] The 2014 Constitution also provides that the public prosecution service enjoys the same constitutional guarantees and safeguards as other magistrates.[7] Prosecutors are to enjoy the same immunities and, like judges, must act with competence, impartiality and integrity.[8] The High Judicial Council, once established, will be responsible for making decisions on the professional careers and on any disciplinary measures taken against prosecutors.[9]

Meanwhile, under the transitional regime pursuant to Law No. 2013-13, the career of the prosecutor is overseen by the IPJJ. Selection, decisions on appointment, promotion and transfer are made by the Prime Minister, on the advice of the IPJJ.[10]

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 1. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Persons selected as prosecutors shall be individuals of integrity and ability, with appropriate training and qualifications.

     Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Article F(a)(1).

    States shall ensure that:

    1. Prosecutors have appropriate education and training and should be made aware of the ideals and ethical duties of their office, of the constitutional and statutory protections for the rights of the suspect and the victim, and of human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law, including the Charter

  2. 2. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    States shall ensure that:

    (a) Selection criteria for prosecutors embody safeguards against appointments based on partiality or prejudice, excluding any discrimination against a person on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, social or ethnic origin, property, birth, economic or other status, except that it shall not be considered discriminatory to require a candidate for prosecutorial office to be a national of the country concerned;

    (b) Prosecutors have appropriate education and training and should be made aware of the ideals and ethical duties of their office, of the constitutional and statutory protections for the rights of the suspect and the victim, and of human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law.

  3. 3. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Promotion of prosecutors, wherever such a system exists, shall be based on objective factors, in particular professional qualifications, ability, integrity and experience, and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures.

     Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Article F(c);

    Promotion of prosecutors, wherever such a system exists, shall be based on objective factors, in particular professional qualifications, ability, integrity and experience, and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures

    International Association of Prosecutors Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, ”Article

    In order to ensure that prosecutors are able to carry out their professional responsibilities independently and in accordance with these standards, prosecutors should be protected against arbitrary action by governments. In general they should be entitled :

    (e) to recruitment and promotion based on objective factors, and in particular professional qualifications, ability, integrity, performance and experience, and decided upon in accordance with fair and impartial procedures;

  4. 4. UN Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, ”Guideline

    Reasonable conditions of service of prosecutors, adequate remuneration and, where applicable, tenure, pension and age of retirement shall be set out by law or published rules or regulations.

     Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Article F(b);

    Reasonable conditions of service of prosecutors, adequate remuneration and, where applicable, tenure, housing, transport, conditions of physical and social security, pension and age of retirement and other conditions of service shall be set out by law or published rules or regulations.

    International Association of Prosecutors, Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecutors, ”Article

    In order to ensure that prosecutors are able to carry out their professional responsibilities independently and in accordance with these standards, prosecutors should be protected against arbitrary action by governments. In general they should be entitled :

    (c) to reasonable conditions of service and adequate remuneration, commensurate with the crucial role performed by them and not to have their salaries or other benefits arbitrarily diminished;

    (d) to reasonable and regulated tenure, pension and age of retirement subject to conditions of employment or election in particular cases;

  5. 5. 1959 Constitution, Article 65.
  6. 6. 2014 Constitution, Article 115.

    The judiciary is composed of the Court of Cassation, appellate courts and courts of first instance.

    The public prosecution service is part of the judicial justice system, and benefits from the same constitutional protections. The judges of the public prosecution service exercise their functions as determined by the law and within the framework of the penal policy of the State in conformity with the procedures established by the law.

    The Court of Cassation prepares an annual report which it submits to the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, the Head of Government and the President of the High Judicial Council. The report is published.

    The law establishes the organization of the judicial system, its mandates, its procedures, as well as the statute of its judges.

  7. 7. 2014 Constitution, Article 115.

    The judiciary is composed of the Court of Cassation, appellate courts and courts of first instance.

    The public prosecution service is part of the judicial justice system, and benefits from the same constitutional protections. The judges of the public prosecution service exercise their functions as determined by the law and within the framework of the penal policy of the State in conformity with the procedures established by the law.

    The Court of Cassation prepares an annual report which it submits to the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, the Head of Government and the President of the High Judicial Council. The report is published.

    The law establishes the organization of the judicial system, its mandates, its procedures, as well as the statute of its judges.

  8. 8. 2014 Constitution, Article 103-104.

    Article 103. Competence, neutrality and integrity

    Judges must be competent, and should be characterized by neutrality and integrity. They shall be held accountable for any shortcomings in their performance.

    Article 104. Immunity

    Judges enjoy criminal immunity and may not be prosecuted or arrested unless their immunity is lifted. In the event of being apprehended committing a crime, a judge may be arrested and the Judicial Council he/she is affiliated with shall be notified, and shall decide on lifting the immunity.

  9. 9. 2014 Constitution, Article 114.

    The High Judicial Council ensures the sound functioning of the justice system and respect for its independence. The General Assembly of the three judicial councils proposes reforms and gives its opinions on draft laws related to the judicial system. Such laws must be reviewed by the General Assembly. Each of the three councils is responsible for making decisions on the professional careers of judges and on disciplinary measures taken against them.

    The High Judicial Council shall prepare an annual report and submit it, in the month of July at the latest, to the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, and the Head of Government. The report shall be published.

    The Assembly of the Representatives of the People shall discuss the annual report at the beginning of the judicial year in a plenary session, in dialogue with the High Judicial Council.

  10. 10. Law No. 2013-13, Article 14.
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