Meeting on Transitional Justice, Truth and Reconciliation in Tunisia

Tunis, 13 September 2011

On 13 September 2012, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and Al Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM) held the first two events in their project to Support the Democratic Transition in Tunisia through Transitional Justice in Tunis. The events provided an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss the course of transitional justice in Tunisia, and through this, to develop and launch a transitional justice, truth and reconciliation initiative.
The first event was held in the morning and engaged key Tunisian stakeholders, including: judges of the National Fact-Finding Commission to Investigate Abuses (the Commission on Human Rights Abuses) and members of the judiciary, legal professionals and academics and representatives of non-governmental organisations, political parties and victims’ families
The second event (the Civil Society Consultation on the TJTR Initiative), which was held in the afternoon, was open to the participants from the morning sessions and to a broader audience of interested individuals, including members of the media, academia and students. The afternoon event was focused on informing and consulting with a broader public on the conclusions and recommendations reached during the morning, which were likewise adopted by this broader group.
Together, the two events served as a valuable opportunity to clarify preexisting misconceptions about the nature of transitional justice within Tunisian society and to involve key stakeholders for the first time in central issues of transitional justice. By bringing together a diverse group of Tunisian individuals and exponents of key target groups, the events enabled a wealth of voices to be heard and fostered a sense of ownership among participants.

The main determination of the two events was the decision to establish the Tunisian Group on Transitional Justice (the TGTJ) under the framework of KADEM. The TGTJ will work throughout the country to provide correct information and raise awareness about transitional justice. Ultimately, the TGTJ will work to promote the establishment of a National Commission on Transitional Justice (the National Commission), whose mandate should cover violations that occurred prior to December 2010, which is the start date of the National Fact-Finding Commission to Investigate Abuses (the Commission on Abuses). In order to ensure continuity between the work of the National Commission and the Commissions on Abuses and on Embezzlement and Corruption, it was agreed that the National Commission should build on the work and evidence of these Commissions, as well as involve members of their staff.