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Tunisia. Lawyers: A Political Profession?

Abstract : On 14 January 2011, after 23 years in power and a month of popular protest demanding his resignation, President Ben Ali fled Tunisia. Images of Tunisian lawyers demonstrating in their robes in front of the Ministry of the Interior, broadcast around the world on television and the web, made people think these lawyers had played a fundamental role in the protest movements that led to the fall of the authoritarian regime, which had ruled the country since Independence (1956). Although such a brief causal account does not tell the whole story, the fact remains that, due to their right of defence in judicial procedures, lawyers, more than any other profession, enjoy a close relationship between their function and politics. The socio-historical approach taken in this chapter demonstrates the extent to which professional facts may assume a political dimension. The profession had already shown a greater ability than other social groups to resist the regimes of Ben Ali and Habib Bourguiba (‘the father of independence’), allowing it to benefit symbolically and materially from the fall of the Ben Ali regime.
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Eric Gobe. Tunisia. Lawyers: A Political Profession?. Richard Abel, Ole Hammerslev, Hilary Sommerlad, Ulrike Schultz. Lawyers in 21st Century Societies. Volume 1: National Reports, Hart, pp.657-673, 2020, 978-1-50991-5-149. ⟨halshs-02551329⟩

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