First meetings of the working groups supporting the modernisation of the judiciary

Participants of the working group meeting in Tunis.
Participants of the working group meeting in Tunis.

Four working groups were set up to explore the subject areas within the scope of an IRZ project funded by the Federal Foreign Office to support the modernisation of the judiciary in Tunisia in ​​criminal law and legislation technique. The first meeting of the Steering Committee of the working groups and the first working group meetings took place in Tunis on 8-9 May 2023.

The Steering Committee will assume a consulting role to assist the development of the guidelines in the various working groups and coordinate the work processes.

The project was launched in 2022 and is being implemented with various stakeholders from Tunisian civil society.

The four working groups will, among others, develop guidelines, manuals or recommendations on the following main topics of the project:

  • Development of a preventive criminal law policy
  • Increased efficiency in criminal proceedings
  • Codification and standardisation of draft legislation
  • Conformity and harmonisation of draft laws with international agreements / examination of draft laws

The aim of the first meeting was to jointly determine the respective focal points and detailed subject areas in the working groups and a timetable and organisational schedule for the creation of the guidelines and manuals.

Members of the working groups were lecturers from the law faculty of the University of El Manar and lawyers and judges.

Mr. Pascal Décarpes, EU expert in criminal law, took part as an IRZ expert.

The Tunisian team was highly committed and engaged in the discussions and in reforms in ​​criminal law and legislation technique. Additional working group meetings will take place in the following weeks and months to develop the guidelines and manuals or recommendations by the end of 2023.

Real estate and the promotion of investment in Tunisia

Five panellists discuss the role of the land registry in promoting investment in Tunisia.
Five panellists discuss the role of the land registry in promoting investment in Tunisia.

A one-day conference took place in Tunis on 30 May, 2023 to discuss the role of the Tunisian land registry in the purchase of real estate, organised by IRZ and the Tunisian Chamber of Notaries. Approx. 100 notaries and other legal practitioners met to explore a range of notarial aspects regarding the promotion of investment in the real estate sector.

The Tunisian land registry as a guarantor for investments

The conference was opened by Minister of State Properties and Land Affairs, Mohamed Rekik, who discussed the central role of real estate to encourage investment and the respective importance of the land registry. After the welcome address, the other contributions discussed notarial certification as a basis and guarantor for the promotion of investment, real estate jurisdiction and transaction security. The theme of the afternoon presentations was how to combat money laundering associated with the purchase of real estate and various taxes that can, and should, encourage investments.

In addition to the Tunisian experts, Mr. Wadii Rhouma (President of the Land Registry), Mr. Jaafer Rebaoui (Advisor to the Court of Cassation and Vice President of the Centre for Land Law and Urban Planning in Tunis), Mr. Kamel ben Mansour (Notary), Mr. Abdessalam Ben Hamouda (Tunisian Commission for Financial Analyses) and Mrs. Nour Alhouda Abid (Directorate General for Studies and Tax Legislation), Mrs. Monika Thull (notary public) as a representative from the Federal Chamber of Notaries and Mr. Harald Wilsch (District Auditor IV for Land Registry Affairs at the Munich District Court) also attended online to provide insights into the German land registry system. M. Thull spoke about notarial certification for real estate transactions in the German system and Mr. Wilsch explained transaction security for real estate investment in the German land registry procedure.

The development of the land registry in Tunisia

The conference was well attended with a great deal of lively participation. In particular, the lectures, which fundamentally tackled the theme of the land registry and real estate as the subject of investments, provoked some fascinating debates, which emphasised the need for ongoing discussion within the framework of meetings or conferences. We are planning a further event for the Tunisian judiciary for real estate courts.

Arbitration in the era of (digital) change

Participants focus on a presentation during the workshop on arbitration in Tunisia held on 25th and 26th February 2023.
Participants focus on a presentation during the workshop on arbitration in Tunisia held on 25th and 26th February 2023.

A workshop for legal practitioners was held in Tunis on 25th and 26th February organised by the IRZ and the Research Centre for Dispute Resolution and Enforcement Methods at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the University of Tunis El Manar (ReLèVe) on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Arbitration Code in Tunisia.

Arbitration for a more efficient legal system

The hybrid workshop was aimed at representatives of the respective institutions, stakeholders in the judiciary, law firms and the legal departments of Tunisian companies. The workshop was a summary of the situation regarding arbitration in Tunisia and Germany which formed the basis of these additional exchanges. Furthermore, the workshop explored topics such as the modernisation and digitisation of arbitration to achieve more efficient case law to bolster the process of reform in Tunisia. Arbitration is of particular importance in the Tunisian judiciary, as it contributes to ease the load and improve the efficiency of the judiciary as an alternative method of dispute resolution.

Challenges and opportunities

Professor Emeritus Mohamed Kamel Charfeddine gave an introductory lecture on the first day of the two-day event, followed by Attorney General Imed Derouiche and his thoughts on how to amend the Arbitration Code in Tunisia. Attorney Dr. Wolfgang Gruber, LL.M. then commented on the situation regarding arbitration in Germany and its development in recent years and decades. Attorney Dr. Rüdiger Morbach also presented his practical experiences on the topic “From electronic arbitration to a digital judiciary”.

On the second day, participants explored the structure of arbitration in Tunisia during a talk by Professor Noureddine Gara. Judge Asma Hasan made suggestions for potential changes. Dr. Rüdiger Morbach spoke about the state actors in arbitration, which then led to the issue of arbitration in terms of justice presented by Mr. Issam Yahyaoui from the District Court of Tunis. Dr. Nader Zaghal from the Faculty of Law at the University of Sfax led the workshop to study the challenges and opportunities in the Tunisian Arbitration Code.

The hybrid event also attracted a number of online attendees, with approx. 15 interested persons in addition to the 60 participants on site. Further events on the topic of alternative dispute resolution will be held in Tunisia in the future.