What we did: We organized a moot court competition that centred around Article 49 of the Tunisian Constitution.
What we achieved: We brought the issue of Tunisian rights and freedoms under the 2014 Constitution to law students, outlining the limitations caused by the lack of a Supreme Court.
Who we did it with: Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, law faculties, students and leading practitioners of law from across Tunisia
Project name: Supporting the Application of Article 49 and Proportionality in Tunisia
Donor: Federal Foreign Office in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Core
In March 2021, under the project entitled ‘Working for a new era in protection of fundamental rights in Tunisia’, International IDEA organized a moot court competition that centred around Article 49 of the Tunisian Constitution.
The activity was the first of its kind, bringing together law faculties, students and leading practitioners from across the country to engage on legal issues that included the application of the principle of proportionality.
At the moot court, students had to plead in front of a jury made up of judges, lawyers, members of parliament and law professors. The 12 jury members hypothetically represented the Constitutional Court, and the former Minister of Justice Thouraya Jeribi chaired the event.
Women comprised more than 50 per cent of the candidates and the jury.
The success of the moot court exceeded all expectations and provided an opportunity to discover the intellectual capacities and skills of Tunisian law students, especially those from the regions.
The big surprise of the competition was the team from Kairouan, who, despite having the weakest marks in the written exams, were able to win the third prize thanks to the individual and collective oral performances.
Overall, the court competition allowed team members to deepen their knowledge of the limitations on rights and freedoms, and initiate this in the real world.
The competition also resuscitated the legal debate about the Constitutional Court in Tunisia and the question of a limitation on rights and freedoms in the absence of a Supreme Court.