Ben Sedrine: "with extension of its mandate, IVD could complete its mission" | Tunisia News Gazette

Ben Sedrine: “with extension of its mandate, IVD could complete its mission”

“With the extension of its mandate, the Truth and Dignity Commission (French: IVD) could complete its mission,” President of the Commission Sihem Ben Sedrine said on Tuesday.

The Commission should have completed its mission in May 2018, had it not encountered difficulties in accessing files held by the military and financial justice and the Ministry of the Interior”, she told a national conference on the theme: “Achieving the goals of transitional justice: the role of civil society and the state in the post-IVD.”

“The Commission has the full right to extend its mandate,” she said, noting that the Organic Law on the establishment of transitional justice and its organisation used neither the word “request” nor “alert” in referring to the means of extension of its mandate, but instead used the term “decision”.

According to Article 18 of the Transitional Justice Act, “the duration of the Commission’s activity has been limited to four years from the date of appointment of its members, renewable once for a single year following a reasoned decision of the Commission submitted to Parliament, three months before the completion of its mandate”.

“The biggest challenge now facing the Truth and Dignity Commission is the completion of its final report and the implementation of the recommendations that have emerged to prevent recurrence and initiate the reform of state institutions, she stressed.

“The implementation of these recommendations is entrusted to the executive, the judiciary, the legislative institution and civil society,” she said, calling, in this regard, on the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) to create, by January 2019, a committee in charge of monitoring the implementation of the recommendations contained in its final report, in addition to the creation of an institution responsible for the preservation of the national memory.

“The process of transitional justice has been initiated on the basis of a national decision that is both consensual and unanimous and cannot be interrupted by any State institution, even if it is the Parliament or the executive power,” said MP and former Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Samir Dilou.

“The process of transitional justice is a reflection of the process of democratic transition. It is precarious and full of pitfalls, “he added.

President of the Tunisian National Bar Association (French: ONAT) Ameur Meherzi warned against any attempt to jeopardize the process of transitional justice or make it deviate from its objective.

“The process of transitional justice, which is still in its infancy, may be compromised by some elements infiltrated in the state machinery seeking to stifle the truth,” he warned, regretting that this process has not yet produced tangible results at the judicial level.

First president of the Court of Cassation Hedi Guediri said the cases submitted by the IVD to the courts must be examined beforehand by the investigating judge before entrusting them to the specialized judicial chambers.

“The respect of the right to defence as a judicial principle requires a preliminary examination of these cases by the investigating judge. By submitting the cases directly to the judicial chambers, the Commission may compromise this right, he pointed out.

For him, “this approach should guarantee a fair trial for all parties”.

The national conference is organised by the IVD, in partnership with civil society organisations and with support from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Source: TAP News Agency

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