The ICJ today repeated its appeal to the Government of Tunisia to facilitate a mission to examine the independence of the judiciary and the functioning of the legal profession in that country.
The ICJ expressed its distress that a mission scheduled for 16-22 June did not proceed when on 15 June an ICJ delegation member, Justice Alice Desjardins of the Federal Court of Canada was not permitted to enter the country.
ICJ Secretary General Louise Doswald-Beck said “This is exceptional. To my knowledge, it is the first time in decades that the ICJ has been refused entry on arrival”.
The ICJ acknowledges that the Tunisian Government has publicly committed itself to consitutionalism and democratic processes and asks the government to facilitate, as a matter of urgency, the ICJ mission. The ICJ has today again approached the Tunisian Foreign Minister, Habib Ben Yahia, to this end.
In the interests of fairness and balance, ICJ missions as a matter of practice, meet with representatives of all actors involved in the administration of justice including government, members of the legal profession and civil society. The ICJ is keen to hear the views of all such actors in Tunisia.
The ICJ is acknowledged to be an impartial and objective legal organisation of many of the world’s most eminent jurists. Since 1952 it has been dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights through the rule of law. For decades it has conducted missions with the routine co-operation of the host government. These missions have been the basis of ongoing dialogue with governments for improvements in the administration of justice.
The ICJ looks forward to an early opportunity to commence such a constructive dialogue with the Government of Tunisia.