This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.
The CRC was automatically incorporated into the national law of Tunisia following its ratification. It takes precedence over conflicting domestic law, and has been cited in a number of court decisions. Children may bring civil cases for damages, lodge criminal complaints, or bring cases before the family court, but only through their official tutor, who is the child’s father. In “matters of special urgency” and in case of “danger at home”, however, a child aged over 13 may bring an independent action for damages. The minimum age for a child to give testimony is also 13 years. Alternatively, complaints about child rights violations may be submitted to the Tunisian High Committee on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Although the 2014 Constitution envisages a Constitutional Court that can hear complaints about violations of fundamental rights referred to it by another court, the status of the Constitutional Court is unclear, and it appears that individuals are not permitted to seek redress directly before this Court.