Tunisia: ICJ roundtable on strengthening accountability through the Specialized Criminal Chambers

On 13 and 14 March 2021, the ICJ and the Association of Tunisian Magistrates (AMT) organized a roundtable discussion in Tunis to assist Specialized Criminal Chambers (SCC) judges and prosecutors to advance accountability and justice in line with international law and standards.

Participants discussed in-depth the ongoing challenges to the fair and effective prosecution and adjudication of gross human rights violations before the SCC. They also examined joint approaches to address these challenges with a view to enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of the SCC proceedings and achieving accountability in turn.

At the roundtable, Said Benarbia, ICJ’s MENA ProgrammeDirector, underlined that SCC trials should enable victims to obtain redress and reparation, while ensuring the defendants’ right to a fair trial in compliance with Tunisia’s obligations under international law. Anas Hmedi, the President of the AMT, highlighted the key role that the SCC play in relation to the discovery of the truth, accountability and guarantees of non-recurrence of gross human rights violations in Tunisia.

Martine Comte, ICJ France Commissioner,stressed the importance of finding joint approaches and reinforcing coordination among the SCC to address the various challenges that that they are currently facing. Kalthoum Kennou, ICJ Tunisia Commissioner, called for the development ofjoint approaches to ensure victims’ participation at SCC trials and enhance support for the transitional justice process.

In light of the roundtable discussion, participants identified joint solutions and agreed to develop a set of recommendations targeting the High Judicial Council and its role in supporting the SCC and resolving the practical obstacles that might impede their work.

The roundtable is part of the ICJ’s efforts to enhance the SCC’s capacity to adjudicate the cases referred to them by the Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) in a manner consistent with international law and standards.


Valentina Cadelo, Legal Adviser, ICJ Middle East and North Africa Programme, e: valentina.cadelo(a)icj.org

Asser Khattab, Research and Communications’ Officer, ICJ Middle East and North Africa Programme, e: asser.khattab(a)icj.org

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