Tunisia’s transition from dictatorship to democracy opened up new possibilities for criminal justice reform. While Tunisia’s new Constitution, adopted in 2014, guarantees key rights, challenges in implementation remain. Established in 2015, the ILF’s Tunisia program is helping bridge the gap between law and practice to improve the fairness of the criminal justice system.
Our Work in Tunisia
Expanding access to legal aid for vulnerable populations.
Reducing pretrial detention, torture and coercion.
Decreasing time between arrest and first contact with a lawyer.
Empowering women leaders in the criminal justice system.
One of our biggest successes in Tunisia has been our implementation of Law 5, which guarantees access to counsel during police interrogations. We worked extensively with local law enforcement to launch our early access program in 2016. By reaching clients at the earliest possible moment after arrest, we have succeeded in, protecting individuals' right to remain silent, mediating disputes, reducing unnecessary and unlawful pretrial detention, offering sentencing alternatives, and reducing unnecessary burdens on the court system.
Improving Justice Systems
It is not uncommon for Tunisia's Court of First Instance to hear up to 300 cases per day, leaving judges with little time to consider and deliberate. Well-trained defense lawyers are essential to maintain efficiency and equity in the justice system.