Tunisia assembly opts for civil law over Sharia in constitution Amy Mathieu at 12:52 PM ET
[JURIST] Tunisian members of parliament rejected Islam as the main source of law for the country on Saturday as they voted to establish a new constitution. The Islamist-led party and secular parties overcame [Reuters report] intense debate about Islam's role in the country before beginning to draft the new constitution. The National Constituent Assembly adopted [SBS report] only 12 of the proposed 146 articles despite a January 14 deadline for the completion of the new constitution. The first clause of the constitution says Tunisia is "a free country, independent, with sovereignty; Islam is its religion, Arabic its language and the republic its regime." However, Article 6 makes the state the "guardian of religion", "protector of the sacred" and guarantor of "freedom of conscience". The Tunisian government [official website, in Arabic] employed heavy security in the capital Tunis during the parliament assembly to deter attacks from radical Islamists opposed to the adoption of the new constitution in place of Islam law.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.