HiiL Launches Justice Data Report on Tunisia

The voices of just over 7500 Tunisian citizens from all over the country were heard as we launched our latest justice data report in Tunis on 9 May. The first copy of the report was presented to H.E. Minister of Justice Jeribi, in the presence of the Dutch ambassador to Tunisia, H.E. Hans van Vloten Disselvelt, senior judges, prosecutors, the president of the Bar Association, leading academics, ministry officials, and representatives of the media.

In his address to the meeting Minister Jeribi commended the efforts by HiiL for this very important study. The first step in any reform, he said, is to have a sound diagnosis of the reality on the ground. We need to have the accurate data and dashboards in order to be able to design the efficient and effective tools for reform. He also emphasized the importance of making real change, in ways that benefit citizens.

The report is available from our website in Arabic and English. A French summary is also available.

For our French readers:

Les voix de plus de 7500 tunisiens de tous les coins du pays ont été entendues durant le lancement de notre dernière rapport sur les données judiciaires à Tunis le 9 Mai.
La première copie du rapport a été présentée à son
H.E. Ministre de la Justice Jeribi, en la presence présence de l’ambassadeur Néerlandais en Tunisie son H.E. Hans van Vloten Disselvelt,des juges supérieurs,des procureurs, du président du barreau, des académiciens et des représentants du ministère et des médias.

Dans son interlocution, le Ministre Jeribi a félicité les efforts de HiiL pour cette recherche combien importante. Il a dit que la première étape dans n’importe quelle réforme est d’avoir un diagnostic approfondi de la réalité sur terrain. On a besoin de données fiable et des dashboards pour élaborer des outils efficients et effectives nécessaires pour bien mener les réformes.
Il a aussi insisté sur l’importance de faire des changements réels utiles pour les citoyens.
Le rapport est disponible en Arabe et en Anglais. Un résumé en Francais est aussi disponible.

For our Arabic readers:

تم سماع أصوات ما يزيد عن 7500 مواطن تونسي من جميع أنحاء البلاد في احدث تقرير حول الاحتياجات في مجال العدالة ومستوى الرضا والذي تم اطلاقه في تونس في 9 أيار / مايو. وقد تم تقديم النسخة الأولى من التقرير إلى معالي السيد غازي الجريبي، وزير العدل، بحضور سفير المملكة الهولندية في تونس هانس فان فلوتن ديسفلت، كبار القضاة والمدعين العامين، عميد المحامين، كبار الأكاديميين، ومسؤولي الوزارة، وممثلي وسائل الإعلام

واثناء كلمته خلال اللقاء أثنى الوزير الجريبي على الجهود التي بذلها معهد لاهاي للابتكار القانوني- العدالة الخلاقة لإنجاز هذه الدراسة الهامة جداَ. واعتبر إن الخطوة الأولى في أي إصلاح، هي أن يكون هناك تشخيص سليم للواقع على الأرض. واضاف ان هنالك حاجة إلى أن يكون لدينا بيانات دقيقة ومنصات الكترونية من أجل أن نكون قادرين على تصميم أدوات فعالة وفعالة للإصلاح. كما شدد على أهمية إحداث تغيير حقيقي بطرق تفيد المو اطنين

.التقرير متاح من موقعنا على الانترنت باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية. كما يتوفر موجز باللغة الفرنسية

Some highlights

The data tells us that four out of ten Tunisians encountered one or more serious justice problems in the past 4 years. This highlights a high demand for effective, accessible and efficient journeys to justice. The most prevalent justice problems occur around matters that relate to basic livelihood: employment, public services, and social benefits. People obviously need the law to protect their ability to work and sustain their families, to use basic public services or to receive vital social benefits. Legal problems in these areas are not only frequent, but are also very impactful.

Men report a higher prevalence of problems around employment, land, and police problems, while women report a higher prevalence around problems relating to social welfare, neighbours, and family. The most serious justice problems reported by youth concern employment, crime, and harassment by the police. There is a clear need for adequate and timely legal information and legal advice for Tunisian citizens who encounter legal problems. Although Internet penetration in Tunisia is relatively high and the country has one of the most developed telecommunication infrastructures and the lowest prices in North Africa, the Internet remains an untapped source of legal information and advice. This can be an area in which innovative approaches can be developed to provide legal information.

For more than half of the legal problems, attempts are made to resolve the dispute through some sort of self-action, i.e. asking the other party for compensation, contacting a public office, taking some action to remove the cause of the problem, etc. Around a quarter of significant proportion of legal problems are presented to courts for resolution. In general, the users of justice are not fully satisfied with the quality of the justice journeys and the quality of the outcomes of such journeys. They indicate a lack of ‘voice’ in the procedures and seeing that their concerns have been taken into consideration. Procedures are seen as complex and unclear. There is a desire for a fairer distribution of the outcome for the different parties. People also report high costs, in terms of time, stress and emotion. In one area the procedures score very well: costs in terms of money are considered low.

The data also shows that people use the help of family members, friends, colleagues and employers to deal with their justice problems. There is also a culture of collaborative problem solving. Almost 60% try to solve the problem themselves. A third even contacts the other party independently. Hypothetical questions also show that many trust they would be able to solve simple problems they might encounter.

Tunisia is undergoing profound change and its justice system needs to reform as well. But not everything can be tackled at once. Resources are not unlimited. For this reason, focusing on the most prevalent justice problems that affect most people can be helpful. Our data suggest that significant results can be achieved if the focus of the stakeholders is directed towards innovating and improving justice journeys for employment, public services, and family justice. We also see that Tunisia has a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem for legal and justice innovations. This should be put to use.