Participants in the seminar on “Court communication and administration” in Tunis
Participants in the seminar on “Court communication and administration” in Tunis

IRZ held a seminar on the topic of “Court communication and administration” in Tunis on 14 July 2022 in cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Justice. By organising this seminar, IRZ addressed the Tunisian judiciary’s current reform strategy, which, among other things, places a high priority on modernising the judiciary and its administrative structures and hence on improving efficiency in this area. The event is part of the Memorandum of Understanding on a Cooperation Work Programme 2022 between the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tunisia.

The German side was represented Mr Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice President of the Cologne Higher Regional Court (OLG), while Mr Hassen Miaadi, Communications Director and official spokesperson of the Tunisian railway company, was involved on the Tunisian side. Around 30 employees from the administration of various courts from the Tunis region joined with two experts to share their views on aspects of internal and external court communication.

The purpose of internal court communication is to ensure smooth administration and to maintain communication channels between judges and non-judicial staff. From an external perspective, courts must guarantee that their communication with other administrative authorities and judicial actors functions properly. The latter plays an import role in expediting court proceedings and workflows. Correct determination of the necessary staffing levels is another crucial aspect to make sure that the courts operate efficiently. 

While the Tunisian expert spoke on basic principles of communication science, the German expert fleshed out the theoretical part with numerous practical examples from the Cologne Higher Regional Court. Participants learned more about specific measures that are used to improve communication within the judiciary and received illustrative insight into the German experience from the viewpoint of the Cologne Higher Regional Court.

Overall, the one-day seminar was characterised by intense discussions and a lively communication. Participants were eager to share, which emphasised their considerable interest in an exchange of experience between German and Tunisian colleagues. Another event on this topic has been pencilled in for autumn 2022, involving other courts from a different region of Tunisia.