Victims of gross human rights violations must be provided with effective reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence by Tunisia’s Specialized Criminal Chambers (SCC), judges and prosecutors asserted during a workshop held by the ICJ and the Association of Tunisian Magistrates (AMT) on 3 and 4 April.
The workshop highlighted the need for the SCC to adopt restitution, compensation, rehabilitation and satisfaction measures to achieve to the fullest extent possible reparation for material and moral damage suffered by victims of gross human rights violations in Tunisia.
Participants further emphasized that SCC decisions should include recommendations on guarantees of non-recurrence, including on legal and institutional reforms.
The workshop was attended by more than 25 Tunisian judges and prosecutors attached to the 13 Specialized Criminal Chambers. Discussions involved also international experts and ICJ representatives.
“It is important that the SCC, consistent with international standards, adopt a comprehensive notion of victims and persons entitled to reparation,” said Philippe Texier, ICJ Commissioner.
“In this respect, reparative measures should focus not only on direct victims, but also indirect victims, including the immediate family or dependants of the direct victim and persons who have suffered harm in intervening to assist victims,” he added.
Federico Andreu-Guzmán, international expert, noted the non-derogable nature of the right to reparation under international law and that SCC should seek to ensure that all their decisions comply with this right.
“SCC decisions should include wide-reaching recommendations in order to guarantee that the violations will not be repeated,” said Said Benarbia, Director of ICJ’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
The workshop also offered the opportunity to participants to discuss a set of recommendations targeting the High Judicial Council and its role in supporting the SCC.
The recommendations, which were developed by a group of SCC judges and prosecutors following the ICJ’s roundtable of 13-14 March, aim to find joint approaches to address ongoing procedural obstacles before the SCC and will be subject of future meetings and roundtable discussions organized by the ICJ and the AMT.
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