Dozens of judges protest outside HPR to demand withdrawal of legislative initiative on CSM | Tunisia News Gazette

Dozens of judges protest outside HPR to demand withdrawal of legislative initiative on CSM

Dozens of judges, all bodies together, rallied Tuesday outside the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) to demand the withdrawal of the government’s legislative initiative on the Supreme Judicial Council (French: CSM).

The House of People’s Representatives, on Tuesday morning, began the discussion of the draft Organic Law No. 2017-27 amending and supplementing the law establishing the Superior Judicial Council.

At the end of last Saturday’s meeting of the National Council of the Tunisian Judges’ Association, the magistrates have decided to stage a protest outside the HPR on the day of the discussion of the draft organic law amending and supplementing the law establishing the Supreme Judicial Council to protest against this governmental initiative.

Present at this rally, AMT President Raoudha Karafi said it was unnecessary today to examine the government’s legislative initiative in light of the rulings handed down by the Administrative Tribunal on Monday.

“We must comply with these decisions in accordance with the provisions of the law,” she said.

The Administrative Tribunal decided on Monday to suspend all decisions announced on behalf of the Supreme Judicial Council and the continuation of the mission of the Provisional Judicial Authority until the installation of the CSM.

Head of the Information and Communication Unit at the Administrative Tribunal, Imed Ghabri said the candidates proposed by the Provisional Judicial Authority to fill vacancies in the Council are admissible and the Prime Minister would have validated them, in accordance with the provisions of article 148 of the Constitution and article 74 of the organic law establishing the Supreme Judicial Council.

During this rally, Raoudha Karafi called on MPs “not to adhere to this legislative masquerade,” saying it represents in several respects a violation of the text of the Constitution.

The initiative was submitted to parliament for consideration despite the launch of a judicial initiative that had received the support of two-thirds of the elected members of the CSM, she regretted.

“The adoption of the initiative proposed by the government means the abolition of the rule of law,” she warned.

Several MPs, Samia Abbou, Ghazi Chaouachi, Mourad Hemaidi, Slah Barguaoui and Faisal Tebbini, joined the rally to reaffirm their support for the protesters’ position.

Since the announcement in November 2016 of the results of the elections of the Supreme Judicial Council, the first meeting of the Council has not been held to date due to divergences mainly concerning the quorum of the session and the appointments of judges to the CSM.

On January 20, 2017, three members of the Supreme Judicial Council announced the launch of an initiative to overcome the difficulties hampering the establishment of the Council.

Backed by 29 out of 41 members of the CSM, this initiative was proposed by the first President of the Administrative Tribunal, Abdessalem Mehdi Krissiaa, the President of the Real Estate Court, Radhouane Ouarthi and the Vice-President of the Court of Auditors, Noureddine Zaouali.

At the same time, the government had proposed a legislative initiative consisting of three articles to resolve the crisis at the CSM.

In a HPR plenary on January 24, the Minister of Justice stated that “the government will be obliged to propose solutions if the crisis of the CSM persists”.

The Parliamentary Committee on General Legislation adopted on March 14, 2017 the draft organic law amending and supplementing the law establishing the Supreme Judicial Council in its entirety.

Source: TAP News Agency

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