IRZ delegation visits Tunisia for talks on the penal system and social reintegration

Published: May 27, 2016

As part of the international legal cooperation between the IRZ and the Tunisian Ministry of Justice, IRZ Managing Director Veronika Keller-Engels and the Legal Advisor for North Africa and the Middle East, Mohamed Montasser Abidi, visited Tunisia on 25 and 26 May 2016. They were received by the Tunisian Minster of Justice, Omar Mansour, during the third round of talks between the German and Tunisian governments.

The meeting was to discuss the ongoing cooperation programme between the Tunisian Ministry of Justice and the IRZ. The programme covers several subjects and involves people from various legal professions, such as judges, lawyers and notaries. An important part of the cooperation programme is the established partnership with the prison authorities.

Minister of Justice Mansour expressed his wish to extend this partnership to cover more subjects and include more members of the legal profession. He also talked about how important it is to continue bringing the administration of justice up to date and for the positive experiences that have taken place until now to be developed in other areas of the law.

The Minister of Justice expressed his desire to include the new measures taken so far by the Ministry of Justice for supporting a humane penal system and probation services in the cooperation programme with the IRZ. One of these measures is open prisons for young offenders, enabling the inmates to continue their education and therefore improve their personal circumstances.

During their visit to Tunisia, the IRZ delegation also met Sabeur Khefifi, the Director General of the prison authorities. This meeting was about the cooperation between the IRZ and the Tunisian authorities, both at a bilateral level and within the framework of a twinning project supported by the EU. The future of the partnership, which will be developed in accordance with the reform plan over the years to come, was also addressed.

Veronika Keller-Engels and Mohamed Montasser Abidi also met with the first President of the Administrative Court, Abdelsalam Mehdi Grissiaa. This meeting dealt with how the Administrative Court can implement the reforms, which are firmly embedded in the new Tunisian constitution, and how the IRZ can support these reform efforts, which go hand in hand with the profound changes to the administration of justice in Tunisia.