Justice Needs and Satisfaction in Tunisia

HiiL has been studying justice in Tunisia since 2017. That year we conducted our first Justice Needs and Satisfaction (JNS) study to understand people's most pressing justice issues. In 2023, we released a second country-wide study of 5,008 individuals with the aim to advance people-centred justice programming and enhance access to justice throughout the country.

Tunisia is a priority country in HiiL’s mission to realise justice for all. Using a systemic and integrated approach known as people-centred justice programming, HiiL has been studying justice in Tunisia since 2017. That year we released our first JNS study.  In 2023, we followed up with a second country-wide study. The data from both reports provide a unique insight into the legal needs and resolution strategies of people seeking justice in Tunisia. With this data, policymakers, service providers, and justice sector innovators can (re)focus their efforts (and solutions) to address the most pressing issues affecting people’s daily lives.

The data and findings promote evidence-based decision-making in the legal sphere. Now justice institutions, practitioners, implementers, and donors can put people at the centre of their work, thus prioritising the justice outcomes that people seek.  

Key findings from the 2023 study:

  • One in three people in Tunisia experienced at least one legal problem in the past year. 
  • Roughly 23% of all legal problems are completely or partially resolved but only half of those resolutions are assessed as being fair.
  • The four most common categories of legal problems affecting Tunisians are related to neighbour relations, money disputes, issues around public services, and employment problems. 
  • The majority of legal problems never reach the formal justice system. When seeking help, 25% of Tunisians turn to family while 15% seek help from friends or neighbours. Only 7% of Tunisians engage a lawyer and 4% go to court
  • In total, people in Tunisia experience 5 million legal problems every year. This has a significant impact on social and economic development throughout the country. 

We welcome public officials and leaders at organisations across Tunisia to explore this data and to work with us so the data can inform our shared mission of realising SDG16 – equal access to justice for all.  Such progress towards people-centred justice has a crucial role in preventing and resolving conflicts. It also brings immense social and economic benefits because investments in responsive justice systems create strong economies too.  

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