Tunisia's courts emerge slowly from shadow of Ben Ali


Under Mr Ben Ali's rule, courts were often used to facilitate corruption and smother dissent. The commission set up after his removal in January is part of government efforts to undo those wrongs.

However, democratic transition will require a judicial system able to function independently.

The transition will begin with the removal of officials implicated in the crimes of the fallen regime, said Habib Nassar, the acting director for the MENA region at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), a New York-based non-profit organisation that advises countries moving from dictatorship to democracy.

"This can be a sensitive process. You must be sure that you don't end up with hasty measures just to appease protesters or elements of the political class," Mr Nassar said.

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The National