US Department of State Human Rights Report: Libya 2012

"The Constitutional Declaration provides for an independent judiciary and stipulates that every person has a right to resort to the courts. The judicial system under Qadhafi was not independent. While the part of the system processing day-to-day, nonpolitically tinged cases functioned reasonably well, the judicial system, despite tentative efforts to reform it, remained largely ineffective in dealing with the complex issues arising from the end of the Qadhafi era. Thousands of persons in detention were held without access to a lawyer and without being informed of the charges against them. Moreover, few trials were held, and only a few investigations were initiated into alleged abuses by either pro- or anti-Qadhafi groups. Qadhafi’s parallel court system for political cases no longer existed, and the Ministry of Justice no longer directed the day-to-day operations of the court system. However, the courts still struggled to deal with sensitive and complex political cases. In addition, judges cited concerns about the overall lack of security in and around the courts as one of the reasons that they had not yet returned to work, further hindering the judiciary’s reestablishment. Detainees were also subjected to threats that they would be killed if released."

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