Tunisia's "Revolutionary" Lawyers: From Professional Autonomy to Political Mobilization

Eric Gobe, Lena Salaymeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


On January 14, 2011, after twenty-three years in power and one month of popular protest demanding his resignation, President Ben Ali fled Tunisia. Lawyers, wearing their official robes, had marched frequently in the uprising's demonstrations. By engaging with and supporting the uprising, lawyers-both the profession in general and the bar's leadership-gained considerable symbolic influence over the post-uprising government that replaced Ben Ali's regime. This article outlines the various forms of political lawyering undertaken by Tunisian lawyers and their professional associations from Tunisia's independence to post-uprising transitions. We demonstrate that economic concerns, professional objectives, and civic professionalism contributed to the collective action of Tunisian lawyers before and after the uprising. Tunisian lawyers moved beyond the realm of their profession to adopt a role as overseers of the post-uprising government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-345
Number of pages35
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016


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