World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


ICTJ welcomes Historic Passage

TUNIS, December 17, 2013 — The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) welcomes the historic passage of the Draft Organic Law on the Organization of Transitional Justice Foundations and Area of Competence Transitional Justice by the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly (NCA). In a nearly unanimous vote on Sunday, 125 of 126 deputies present voted in favor of the law. The law represents an important development in Tunisia’s transition to democracy.

While criticized as moving too slowly in some quarters, the NCA’s ability to pass the law indicates that Tunisia’s broadly peaceful revolution is still on track, despite difficulties and tensions. The Ministry for Human Rights and Transitional Justice deserves credit for its management of the process over two years, and the role of civil society should not be overlooked.

“This is a significant step for Tunisia,” said David Tolbert, president of ICTJ. “No one underestimates the challenges involved in steering this bill through the NCA. Nor should anyone underestimate how difficult the next steps will be in implementing what, by any measure, is an ambitious program. Passing the law was groundbreaking, but the hard work starts now.”

From 1987 to 2011, Tunisia was under the rule of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, whose government maintained power through oppressive security policies designed to quell opposition. Reports indicate that, under the regime, there were several thousand cases of detention based often on persecution of political and religious views and abuse and torture of prisoners while in detention, along with systemic corruption and economic marginalization.

The transitional justice law sets out a comprehensive approach to addressing past human rights abuses. It creates a Truth and Dignity Commission and addresses reparations, accountability, institutional reform, vetting, and national reconciliation. It also creates a Fund for the Dignity and Rehabilitation of Victims of Tyranny” (article 41) and special chambers with trained judges to deal with cases of human rights violations. Violations against women and children are at the core of issues to be addressed by the Truth and Dignity Commission.

A National Dialogue on Transitional Justice was launched on April 14, 2012, to ensure broad consultation with various groups in the country on the best approach to dealing with the legacy of the Ben Ali dictatorship. After a series of consultations with civil society organizations and political parties, a technical committee was created to supervise consultations and draft a transitional justice law to be submitted to the NCA. The committee, composed of twelve members (10 representatives of civil society organizations working on transitional justice and two representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice) led a participative consultation process and significantly helped in incorporating victims’ visions and expectations for a Tunisian model of transitional justice.

“The consultation process was key to making this law a reflection of a diversity of voices in Tunisia on how best to address past abuses,” said Rim El Gantri, head of ICTJ’s office in Tunisia. “ICTJ is proud to have been able to contribute to this momentous effort through our expertise and lessons learned in other contexts.”

The draft law was submitted to the NCA Speaker in January 2013. After months of discussions, NCA committees submitted their analysis and amendments to the draft law, which was ultimately passed on December 15, 2013.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>


World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>


Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news