Expanded Tunisia Program Supports Reform Efforts

August 2011

In support of Tunisia’s democratic transition following the January 2011 Jasmine Revolution, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has significantly expanded its work with the country’s bar association and its lawyers, judges and law students. Together with these partners, ABA ROLI is helping to ensure that transitional processes and law reforms are consistent with international best practices for women’s rights and gender equality, as well as for political and civil rights. Current programs promote judicial independence and reform, strengthen Tunisia’s legal profession and establish a platform for youth to debate key legal issues and participate in the transition.

As part of these efforts, ABA ROLI is assisting the Tunisian Bar Association (TBA) in building lawyers’ knowledge of election law and procedures in preparation for October elections for a constituent assembly, the body that will draft the country’s new constitution. ABA ROLI is also helping the bar association develop a practical handbook on election law and procedure and with establishing a hotline that will enable Tunisian citizens to obtain legal assistance with law-related election matters. 

The program is also working to strengthen the legal profession and legal professionals by helping the TBA to build its capacity and by offering continuing legal education for lawyers on transition-related issues such as fair trials. In addition, ABA ROLI supports the work of the Higher Institute for the Education of Lawyers to enhance its educational programs for new and experienced lawyers. ABA ROLI also assists judicial organizations, which are working to advance judicial independence and capacity. 

Our program in Tunisia supports the efforts of the legal profession and women’s legal organizations to promote the rights of women in the transition and to ensure that legislative and constitutional reforms reflect the input and interests of women. ABA ROLI is also working to enhance efforts that seek to engage young lawyers and law students in the transition process and longer-term rule of law reforms via the promotion of student constituent assemblies and a rights education program for law students to support ongoing youth engagement on human rights, constitutional and law reform issues.

For more information on our work in Tunisia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org

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