Members of the National Constituent Assembly are to discuss articles of the transitional justice draft law in the coming days after it had been officially approved by the Council of Ministers.
Consisting of 75 articles and divided into two main chapters, the draft law was presented to interim President Moncef Marzouki earlier this month. The first chapter of the draft addresses the main principles of transitional law such as uncovering the truth, reform, and reconciliation.
Chekib Derouiche, spokesperson of the Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, told Tunisia Live that the draft law calls for creating an independent board, known as the Council of Truth and Dignity. “The council will consist of 15 members, four of whom are human rights activists. Eleven others will be chosen based on individual nominations of experts related to the field of transitional justice,” he added. The board’s mission is to supervise the process of transitional justice in Tunisia.
Sihem Ben Sedrine, prominent human rights activist and director of Tunisian Center for Transitional Justice, stated that her association took part in writing the transitional justice draft law. “Over 20 associations participated in this project, including the Tunisian League of Human Rights and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women,” she said.
Ben Sedrine explained that the Council of Truth and Dignity aims at bringing justice back to those who underwent past abuses under the former regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, and holding those responsible for such violations accountable. ”It’s an urgent must… We are satisified with the draft law so far,” she said.
Following his visit to Tunisia between November 10 and 16, Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff encouraged the government’s efforts in a United Nations report that assesses its actions in promoting transitional justice. He praised the Tunisian authorities for establishing a legal framework aimed at repairing past violations. However, Greiff criticized the “lack of a comprehensive approach equally implementing all four elements [truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-recurrence], in a way that avoids fragmenting the process into efforts to redress violations that affect the victims of particular events or specific periods.”
Ben Sedrine told Tunisia Live that the Council of Truth and Dignity is to be created in January.