Libya

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Libya.

Libya became independent from UN trusteeship on 24 December 1951. In September 1969 the Libyan government was overthrown by the military under Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi. In March 2011 the Transitional National Council (TNC) was formed in Benghazi with the stated objective of overthrowing the Qadhafi regime and transitioning the country to democracy.

Anti-Qadhafi forces captured Tripoli, in August 2011. In mid-September, the UN General Assembly voted to recognize the TNC as the legitimate interim governing body of Libya. The TNC on 23 October officially declared the country liberated following the defeat of the last remaining pro-qadhafi stronghold and Qadhafi's death.

Parliamentary elections were held in July 2012, with The National Forces Alliance, led by ex-interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, winning 39 out of 80 seats reserved for political parties, while the Muslim Brotherhood party gained 17. Islamist leaders accused the new Parliament of being dominated by supporters of the former dictator, and declared it unconstitutional. Libya is now in a state of civil war, with rival militias battling for control of different parts of the country.

Libya has a mixed legal system based on Italian civil law and Islamic law. In 1971 separate sharia and secular courts were replaced with a single system integrating secular and Islamic principles.

A Constitutional Proclamation was promulgated on 11 December 1969, intended as a provisional measure. It was amended with the Declaration of the Establishment of the Authority of the People, which declared the Qurun to be the Constitution of Libya, on 2 March 1977. Libya has been governed on the basis of the 1969 Proclamation and a series of laws deemed to have constitutional weight. In 1988 the General People’s Congress adopted the Great Green Charter of Human Rights in the Jamahiriyan Era, which, inter alia, prohibited any punishment that would violate the dignity and the integrity of a human being.

Libya's Transitonal National Council passed a Constitutional Declaration on 3 August 2011, which has provisions providing that there shall be no penalty except by law, and any defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

A comprehensive online listing of the laws of Libya is not available.

© 2016 Dullah Omar Institute
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