Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Human Rights Watch concerned about judicial independence in Tunisia

A Human Rights Watch report discusses the inclusion of a military prosecutor on the 45-member Supreme Judicial Council, a new body that will pick judges:
Membership for the General Military Prosecutor
The law provides for the membership of the general prosecutor of military justice as an ex officio member. But giving a senior military official influence over the civilian justice system is an encroachment on judicial independence. The general prosecutor is nominated by the Defense Ministry and then appointed by the president by decree.
Under the law governing military judges, the general prosecutor has a military rank. While article 5 of this law states that military judges and prosecutors are independent of the military hierarchy, control of the executive branch over the appointment, career advancement and dismissal of the military judges and prosecutors undermines their independence. Military tribunals conducted several trials against former figures of the [Zine El Abidine] Ben Ali government for the human rights abuses committed during the dictatorship, but these trials were marred by several problems and failed to ensure justice for the victims.

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