ICJ calls on President of Republic to refrain from signing amended law of CSM | Tunisia News Gazette

ICJ calls on President of Republic to refrain from signing amended law of CSM

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) called on President Beji Caid Essebsi, to refrain from signing into law amendments to the law that regulates the country’s Supreme Judicial Council (French: CSM) passed on Tuesday 28 March 2017 by the House of People’s Representatives (HPR).

In a statement published, Thursday, the ICJ also urged Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, to act on the nominations by the Instance Provisoire de la Justice Judiciaire (IPJJ) with a view to filling the positions of the First President of the Cassation Court and its General Prosecutor.

The ICJ expressed concern that the amendments revising the country’s 2016 CSM law would weaken the effective functioning of the judiciary and the administration of justice in several respects

The amendments would strip the IPJJ President of the authority to convene the CSM’s first meeting and instead provide the Speaker of the Parliament with such power. This would constitute an inappropriate interference of the legislative branch into the management of the judiciary in clear violation of the principle of separation of powers and judicial independence, ICJ said.

The amendments would explicitly exclude any possibility of challenge or judicial review of such action of the Speaker of the Parliament. The ICJ considers that the judiciary must be able to review such decisions to ensure that they are not exercised arbitrarily or outside the law.

For Said Benarbia, Director of the ICJ Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) Programme, the ongoing crisis is political and not judicial.

Solving it does not require the introduction of legislative amendments that erode the rule of law and judicial independence, but rather the compliance with existing laws and the Constitution, the same source reads.

Source: TAP News Agency

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