Gains for access to justice in Tunisia: regional chambers frequented more often

Access to justice is improving in Tunisia: An increasing number of appeals are being filed to the regional chambers of the country’s Administrative Tribunal (AT) and the judgement period set against the central chambers has been shortened. These positive developments were discussed during a meeting of regional chamber representatives from Kairouan, Sousse, Monastir and Sidi Bouzid, organized by the AT and Democracy Reporting International on 9 and 10 July.

More than 120 participants, including magistrates, municipal representatives, lawyers, members of civil society, students and scholars took part in the various working sessions of this workshop on “The Jurisdiction of the Administrative Tribunal in the Local Authorities Code”. The meeting allowed for fruitful discussions on the different responsibilities of the regional chambers as stipulated in the new legal framework for decentralization in Tunisia. The participants also developed recommendations on the way forward.

Statistics and participants’ testimonials confirmed that important progress has been made already.  Several attendees still voiced concern about specific provisions of the Local Authorities Code and the need to revise and clarify them, especially regarding the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. Participants also suggested to expand the advisory competence of the regional chambers, a view that was not shared by some representatives of the AT. DRI will consider offering a second workshop to allow for further reflection on this topic.

DRI supported the workshop in the framework of its project “Support to Democratic Governance in Tunisia”, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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