Including the closure of the courts.. Tunisian judges are considering a response to the president’s decision to dissolve their council

The Union of Administrative Judges in Tunisia warned President Kais Saied against any prejudice to state institutions and the elements of the independence of the judiciary. “.

This comes at a time when the Young Judges Association said it would propose closing the courts and “let Qais Saeed rule the way he likes”.

A statement issued by the Union of Judges, this afternoon, expressed its condemnation of what it described as the president’s repeated attempts to incite against judges, with the intent of influencing public opinion and deluding it that the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council is a popular demand with the aim of placing its hand on the judicial authority.

The statement called on Saeed to stop “chatting” judges and distorting them, and to respect the authority to which they belong, with the imposition of this on non-interference in the affairs of the judiciary in any way.

Warning and dangers

The statement of the Union of Administrative Judges clarified that the problems of the judiciary go beyond the council, and that the situation that the judiciary has reached today is the result of a political system that refuses to reform the judiciary and to invest in it.

The union also warned of the danger of what he called the president’s monopoly of all powers, and its repercussions on political, economic and social life.

Saeed had announced in the early hours of yesterday morning, during a meeting of the Ministry of Interior, that he had decided to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council, considering that it had become a thing of the past, in an exciting step that reinforced concerns about the independence of the judiciary.

The president said he would issue a temporary decree to the council. The dissolution decision comes after his stinging criticism for months of the judges, as he frequently repeated that he would not allow there to be a state for the judiciary, but rather there is a state judiciary.

He often criticized what he called the delay of the judiciary in issuing rulings in cases of corruption and terrorism, saying that there is corruption and that he is determined to reform the judiciary.

Security forces surround the headquarters of the Supreme Judicial Council in Tunisia (European)

close and condemn

Earlier in the day, security forces closed the headquarters of the Supreme Judicial Council, a move that its president denounced as “illegal”.

“Security forces prevented access to the headquarters of the Supreme Judicial Council,” Bouzacher said.

He added, “We do not know the source of these instructions, but we know that they are illegal and not based on legal justification,” noting that “this indicates that we have reached the stage of the executive authority’s seizure of state institutions using force.”

The head of the Supreme Judicial Council warned that it is a “dangerous stage for the judiciary, rights and freedoms,” stressing that the council “will continue to exercise its functions.”

In a related context, Bouzacher stated that he had received a call from the relevant security authorities at the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecution about the existence of a plan to target him.

He added, in a statement today to “Tunisia Africa News Agency”, that he was offered security protection, and he was included in the security base.

In turn, the President of the Judges Association, Anas Al-Hamaydi, announced the start of consultations between the judicial bodies, to take what he called the necessary struggle steps to protect the judicial facility and the sanctity of the courts.

In a radio interview, Al-Hamaydi warned of threats to judges, especially after President Saeed’s speech.

Bozacher: We do not know the source of these illegal instructions that are not based on legal justification (communication sites)

stop and hold

In the same direction, the Association of Women Judges issued a statement expressing its adherence to the Supreme Council of the Judiciary as a constitutional institution and one of the pillars of the state, stressing that every violation of the independence of the judiciary is a denial of constitutional principles.

The Association of Women Judges described President Said’s speech as an attempt to bring judges to their knees and weaken the judiciary.

As for the Young Judges Association, it said that there is no corruption within the Supreme Judicial Council, and challenged Saeed to publish any corruption files, suggesting that the courts be closed.

The Dean of the National Lawyers Authority, Ibrahim Bouderbala, said that he is awaiting the issuance of a presidential decree regarding the dissolution of the Judicial Council in order to interact with it.

He added that the decision will be dealt with positively, recalling that the Deanship of Lawyers had demanded a reconsideration of the restructuring of this council on correct grounds, not on the basis of what it called partisan quotas.

Tunisian President Kais SaiedPresident Said faces widespread criticism for imposing an authoritarian autocracy (Anatolia)

refusal and condemnation

In turn, the parliament, whose competences have been frozen, announced its rejection of the step that Saeed intends to take, stressing that any reform (of the judiciary) has its constitutional foundations and legal conditions.

The Presidency of Parliament said, in a statement, that it has been following up on the months-long abuse by Saeed against the Supreme Judicial Council, and the accompanying continuous incitement against judges.

The Democratic Current, the Republican Party, the Ettakatol, and the Dignity Coalition condemned Said’s declaration, and saw it as a step to undermine the independence of the judiciary and subject it to executive authority.

The Supreme Judicial Council is an independent constitutional institution, and its powers include the proper functioning of the judiciary and ensuring its independence, as well as disciplining judges and granting them professional promotions.

Crisis and criticism

Saeed faces widespread criticism for imposing an autocratic autocracy after collecting all power in his hands, and refusing to negotiate with the parties.

Since last July 25, the country has witnessed a political crisis when Saeed began taking exceptional measures, including freezing the powers of Parliament, abolishing the constitutionality monitoring body, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the government and appointing new ones.

Most political forces reject the president’s exceptional measures, and consider them a “coup against the constitution”, while other forces support them, seeing them as a “correction of the course of the 2011 revolution” in light of political, economic and health crises such as the Corona pandemic.

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