Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: February 8 2022
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, urged the Tunisian president to restore the Supreme Judicial Council, warning that its dissolution would seriously undermine the rule of law, the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary in the country.
On Sunday, the President of the Tunisian Republic, Kais Saied, announced the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council, a body charged with ensuring the proper functioning of the judiciary, respecting its independence, and appointing most judicial positions in the country. It was hailed upon its establishment in 2016 as a giant step towards consolidating the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the independence of the judiciary in Tunisia.
Bachelet said in a statement published by the media center of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, “Much remains to be done to bring justice sector legislation, procedures and practices in line with applicable international standards – but this has been a big step in the wrong direction. The dissolution of the High Judicial Council is in clear violation of Tunisia’s obligations under international human rights law.”
The Tunisian Internal Security Forces cordoned off the offices of the Supreme Judicial Council, and prevented its members and employees from entering the building, in conjunction with targeting members of the Council with campaigns of hate and threats online.
At the conclusion of her statement, the High Commissioner stressed the need to take all necessary measures to protect the members and staff of the Council.