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Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Managing Director; Hichem Dkhili, Head of the IRZ office in Tunisia; Christian Lange, parliamentary Secretary of State the BMJV; Mohamed Abidi, Head of Section for North Africa and the Middle East (IRZ) (from left to right)
Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Managing Director; Mohamed Zine Elabidin, Director of the Judicial Academy; Christian Lange, parliamentary Secretary of State at the BMJV; Selim Medini, Head at the Ministerial Office of the Ministry of Justice in Tunis; Ameur Mehrzi, President of the Tunisian bar association; Nabil Naccache, Head of the Criminal Law Department at the Tunisian Ministry of Justice (from left to right)
Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Managing Director during her welcome address on the opening of the regional office in Tunis
Participants during the opening event
On 24 January 2018, the regional office of the IRZ for North Africa officially opened in Tunis. As well as high-ranking guests from the Tunisian MInistry of Justice, ths event was also attended by Christian Lange, parliamentary Secretary of State at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).
The regional office is headed by Hichem Dkhili and will in particular analyse the current political and legal development, maintain continuous consultations with project partners and provide organisational support in implementing part of the planned local measures. The office will also provide assistance to projects in the partner countries Morocco and Algeria.
On 6 and 7 July 2017, the IRZ organised a second conference on the reform of the Tunisian criminal justice system. The event held in Tunis continued on from a conference held in April 2017 on the same subject. The conference was carried out as part of a Memorandum of Understanding on legal cooperation between the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) and the Tunisian Ministry of Justice.
The Tunisian penal code is currently being revised by a reform commission, composed of public prosecutors, judges and other experts. The focus here is on redefining perpetration, aiding and abetting and instigation, particularly in connection with terrorist attacks. Another priority is the introduction of alternative sentences.
The following experts took part on behalf of the IRZ:
Walter Selter, former Prosecutor General,
Dr. Arnd Weishaupt, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and
Christoph-Severin Haase, a public prosecutor who is currently working at the BMJV.
The exchange with German colleagues allowed the Tunisian participants to gain a deep insight into the German criminal justice system. As well as the topics of perpetration, complicity and sentencing regulations, the system of suspended sentencing was of particular interest to the Tunisian reform commission.
The IRZ and the BMJV will continue to support the reform efforts in the Tunisian justice system and provide advisory services
From 10 to 13 May 2017, the IRZ organised a study visit to Berlin for five representatives of the criminal procedure reform commission from the Tunisian Ministry of Justice. The trip took place within the framework of the institutional funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).
The reform of the code of criminal procedure is currently one of the biggest projects in the Tunisian justice system. In many cases, the extremely lengthy investigation process in this country leads to delays throughout criminal proceedings. Particularly when it comes to major and important cases, proceedings can take years.
For the Tunisian guests, therefore, this was a chance to get to know the German code of procedure and how it works and to work out any potential points of reference for the reforms in Tunisia.
In this context, the delegation was welcomed to expert talks at the BMJV, the focus being on the criminal investigation process and criminal proceedings in courts of law. During another meeting at the Public Prosecutor General’s Office in Berlin, the discussions dealt in more detail with the role of public prosecutors in the investigation process. International cooperation and the fight against terrorism were also discussed at the Public Prosecutor General's Office.
During exchanges with their German colleagues, the Tunisian guests were given a deep insight into the way the courts and public prosecutors work in Germany.
The IRZ and the BMJV will continue to support the reform efforts in the Tunisian justice system and provide advisory services.