A step towards independent courts: Tunisia’s Supreme Judicial Council

On 23 October in thirteen governorates across Tunisia, judges, lawyers, academics and accountants elected members to the Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature (CSM), or the Supreme Judicial Council – an independent body that will guard the independence of the judiciary by overseeing its administration and appointments as well as advise legislators about judiciary reforms. Democracy Reporting International (DRI) trained citizen groups that were accredited to observe these elections on the role of the CSM as well as the organisation of the elections.

“The establishment of the CSM is a milestone in the democratic process of Tunisia,” said Selima Djait of DRI Tunisia. “It plays a key role in building the independence of the Courts, in line with the new Constitution.”

Fourteen thousand voters elected members among 179 candidates running for the 33 out of 45 seats of the CSM. The formation of the CSM is also important, as it has a role in the establishment of the Constitutional Court.

CSM composition (3)

DRI helps lay the groundwork

In trainings held between 22 September and 10 October in Tunis, Sfax, Gabes, Gafsa and Medenine DRI assisted 300 participants — 180 women — from six Tunisian citizen groups in understanding the role, composition and prerogatives of the CSM. The trainings also covered practical information about the organisation of the elections.

CSM observers

This activity was organised within the framework of the project ‘Support to Constitution Implementation in Tunisia – Phase II’ funded by the German Foreign Office.

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