Transitional Justice Approaches in Tunisia after the Revolution: The De Jure and the De Facto Constitutional TJ Approaches

This study investigates the approach adopted by Tunisian policymakers after the 2011 revolution regarding transitional justice (TJ). It uses the justice-balance approach, suggested by Olsen, Payne, & Reiter (2010) to be the most effective approach to reduce human rights violations and boost democracy, as a benchmark model both on the de jure and de facto levels. After explaining this benchmark and building the Tunisian TJ index, I find a significant gap between the constitutional texts produced to govern TJ after the revolution and the policies generated to apply them. However, both of them are mostly compatible with the justice-balance approach, as they both adopt a mix of trials and amnesty tools, combined with truth-revealing mechanisms. Still, nearly all the adopted mechanisms, except for national consultations, suffered either from a partial or non-transparent application. This approach raises concerns around the de jure/de facto constitutional gap in Tunisia after the revolution.