Libya: 5th Periodic Report, 2009-2010

TitleLibya: 5th Periodic Report, 2009-2010
PublisherAfrican Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Publication Date1 January 2011
TopicsEconomic, social and cultural rights | Freedom of expression | Freedom of information | Freedom of speech | Right to life

The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamhiriya, while
submitting this 5th
periodic report to the African Commission on
Human and Peoples’ Rights in due regard of Article (62) of the
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights for 1981, it is
thereby putting before members of the solemn Committee,
African Union member states and NGOs interested in human
rights in Africa, this Report which throws light on the peoplebased human rights system as envisaged in the First Statement
of the 1st of September (Fateh) 1969 Revolution, the declared
institution of the power of the people in 1977, the Great Green
Charter of Human Rights in the Era of the Masses in 1988, and
the executing Freedom Promotion Act no. 20/1991, being two
underlying documents drawn from the fundamentals of the
Third Universal Theory as conspicuously unfolding in political
rights, the right to practice direct democracy “the power of the
people”, the right to employment (right to paid labor) and

Thus the Report addressed, inter alia, rights provided for in the
African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights for 1981, falling
in six (6) parts as follows:
First: Civil and Political Rights: can be summed up as the
right to life, to physical and moral integrity, to freedom, to
power exercise, to expression and opinion, to movement and
residence, to equality and to prosecution.
The Report has elaborated on the right to life and how to
maintain and preserve human psyche. It has reflected on the
clear Libyan legal response to this issue in conformity with
human rights. It also made reference to the right to physical and
moral integrity with emphasis on the Libyan legal position in
forbidding, prohibiting and incriminating torture in all its forms,
and deeming it punishable. Moreover, the Report has tackled the
political right of Libyan citizens, males and females, being the
right to participate directly in the decision-making process via
basic people’s congresses with no parliamentarians or
representatives. People’s committees selected from these
congresses undertake to carry out decisions made. The Report
indicated that the right to expression and opinion shall be secure
for all citizens with no objection or opposition thereto, and that
the basic people’s congresses are but the political frame for
constructive and instrumental dialogue in putting forward issues
and problems relating to all segments of the society who are the
members of these conventions. As for the right to movement
and residence, it shall be guaranteed for all sons of the Mass
society in concert with principles of international Law.
Concerning the right to equality, the Report underlined this issue
in terms of equality before the Law and as regards public
positions and functions for men and women, whereas
concerning the right to prosecution, it was referred to, similar to
the other rights, in accordance with the Great Jamhiriya’s

Second: Economic Rights
Included in this part of the Report is the right to intellectual
property, labor, and health care. The Report took up these rights
from two perspectives: the first is relevant to legislative
procedures specifying legal justification of the given rights, and
the second relates to procedures applicable for their fulfillment.
A noted output is that the right to labor was enacted and is
substantiated within the frame of work relations in the Great
Jamhiriya, markedly free of exploitation and bondage and based
on partnership and appreciation of the real value of the level of
effort. As for property right, one of the main remarks is that the
level of effort according to the Libyan Law and in compliance
with the masses’ theses is a recipe for property acquisition. With
regard to right to labor, the Report contained a battery of
practical procedures to ensure this right including employment
programs, job opportunities and training, service and production
loans, basic and pension security. Besides these three economicspecific rights, the Report highlighted the right of producers to
have their own syndicate pursuant to the people’s perspective.
Another crucial issue is the right to wealth so that all Libyans
are entitled to share their country’s wealth.

Third: Social and Cultural Rights
Among the rights covered in this context are health and social
care rights, as well as the collective right of people to
environmental health, to education for all, to housing and health
Laws, legislation, practical procedures, statistics and data were
exponentially adequate to demonstrate action on the part of the
Great Jamihirya for the effectuation of the above rights; health
to all, education to all, housing to all, environment to all, wealth
to all. It can thus be safely admitted that the base of equality
among all sons of the community as well as the masses’ leanings
were distinctive qualities of this report as far as the said rights
were concerned.
Fourth: Judicial Organization
In its fourth part, the Report touched upon judicial organization
to specify mechanisms of litigation right and how far terms of
fair and impartial trial are provided. It underpinned that the
Libyan judicial regime is clear, transparent and compatible with
standards of human rights, stressing the fact that Libyans, males
and females, are treated as equal before the Law.
Fifth: Right to Establish Non-Governmental Organizations
(NGOs) and Syndicate Action
In this part, the Report addresses the right to establish NGOs,
unions, syndicates and vocational associations. In this
connection, the Report details these rights and their application
conditions in terms of the law. It is well observed that the
syndicate business is typically related to the masses’ regime
based on the power of the people. Unions, vocational
associations and syndicates are components of the People’s
General Conference (meeting point of conferences, people’s
committees, unions, syndicates and vocational associations). At
the grassroots level, their members are those of basic people’s
congresses and vocational conferences.
Sixth: Interest in Community Classes
The Report, in its sixth part, portends that Libyan legislation has
ensured particular care for categories like women, children, oldaged people and the disabled as exemplified in human and
ethical treatment accorded to them under the umbrella of law in
pursuance of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural
rights. In this respect, the Great Jamihiraya takes the lead in
Africa as perhaps one of the very few countries in the world that
devotes special care for and develops unfailing interest in the
above mentioned strata.

This Report is tantamount to the validation of principles and
rules enunciated in the African Charter of Human and Peoples’
Rights. In its Article (62), the Charter emphatically reiterates the
concern of the Great Jamihirya to fulfill its commitments and t
prove to African brethren its paramount interest in protecting
human rights. The Report brings to light legislative and
executive procedures in application of the said principles.
Hosni Al Waheeshy Al Sadeq
Secretary of Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Part I: Civil and Political Rights
Part I: Civil and Political Rights
Civil and political rights are considered among the oldest in the
human rights system, being the rights relevant to humans’ life
and relationship with the society and the State. Hence was the
communities’ concern with their protection as natural rights and
accordingly their visualization of a set of legal principles and
rules, with institutions in place to ensure their respect and
maintenance against breaches. This 5
periodic report thus was
presented by the Great Jamhirya to the African Commission on
Human and Peoples’ Rights within the context of discharging its
obligations vis-à-vis civil and political rights enshrined in the
African Charter of Human and People’s Rights for 1981.
Below is a presentation of the efforts made by the Great
Jamhirya towards protecting and promoting these rights during
the following period of the 4
periodic report.
First: Right to Life
The right to life is one of the basic rights and underlying
parameters of human rights. No declaration, law, charter, or
divine religion is devoid of special reference to the right to life.
It had been mentioned in Article 4 of the African Charter of
Human and Peoples’ rights for 1981, and earlier in the Universal
Declaration on Human Rights for 1948 as well as in the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for 1966
(Article 6).
As we put this report to you, it is important in this context to
stop at the right to life and how it is dealt with in Libyan
legislation to figure out to what extent it is in agreement with the
African Charter of Human Rights for 1981 as well as with the
provision cited in its Article 62 on the member states’
commitment to give effect to its provisions.
Determinants of the right to life are represented in the
inadmissibility of arbitrary executions (beyond the realm of law)
and the inadmissibility of infringing on this right (punishment for
murder), or in other words killing in any form be it an action
leading to a crime or punishment for a murder crime does
constitute an issue subject to substantive and procedural rules of
criminal law. The relevant Libyan law complies with these rules.
However social response embodied in legally-formulated
punishment for murder is derived from social core values
reflecting the culture and faith of the community concerned. The
Muslim Libyan community acknowledging in Article 2 of the
Declaration on the Establishment of the Power of the People for
1977 that the Holy Qoran, the legislation (Sharia’a) governing the
community, has approved retribution for the murderer as the justly
deserved penalty to the credit of the victim for violating his right
to life and also in conservation of his relatives’ rights. In this
regard, the Qoran reads ” If anyone killed a person- unless it be for
murder or for spreading mischief on earth- it would be as if he
killed all people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he
saved the life of all people.” (Surat Al Ma’ada Verse 32).
Replacing the penalty with sentence of life imprisonment is
however possible if pardoned by the blood-for-ransom retaliator.
The power of amnesty is exclusive to the victim’s relatives as
Allah the Almighty Has Said “And if anyone is killed wrongfully,
We have his heir authority to demand retribution (Kesas) or to
forgive; but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life
for he is helped by the Law”. (Surat Al Israa’a- Verse 33).
This view actually shapes the faith of the Muslim Arab Libyan
community regarding death penalty and the right to life. This
was reflected in the Libyan Penal Code and Human Rights
Charters of the Jamhirya, rendering capital punishment on
retributional basis a social value.
The Libyan Penal Code was dwelt on making human life the
most cherished of these rights; therefore a highly critical penal
legislation was enacted based on Islamic Shari’aa and related
Human Rights Charters endorsed by the Libyan community.
Interest in the right to life went so far as to prohibit pre-natal
murder of fetus in his mother’s womb and during neonatal
period and until his death. Further, the Libyan Law declined to
sanction the so-called euthanasia for reasons of having mercy on
hopelessly ill persons to end their sufferings. This comes in
affirmation of the right to live as sacred.
The 1988 Great Green Charter of Human Rights in the Era of
Masses, in turn, had promoted the right to life, citing in its
Article 8 that the sons of the mass society “revere and maintain
human life”. It rather envisaged rudimentary limitations for
death penalty by stating “that execution is exclusively for the
one whose life inflicts injury or induces wrongdoing, being the
same determinants quoted in the Holy Qoran, as well as in the
Freedom Promotion Law no 20/1991.
This position that sanctions capital punishment in specific cases
and in accordance with the Law (as cited in the Penal Code and
Criminal Procedure Law) is finely tuned with the International
Law on Human Rights which has not, as some may believe,
abolished it altogether but rather mandated that it should not
involve arbitrary verdicts or be judged as beyond the scope of
the law (Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights for 1966). The Libyan stance is in full harmony
with the prerequisites stated in Article 4 of the 1981 African
Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights regarding the right to life.
The Libyan Law approves death sentence as penalty for
committing particular types of murder crimes, notably murder
with premeditation, or those grossly or brutally perpetrated, or
still crimes targeting large numbers of people. Other murder
crimes such as manslaughter or those committed without
premeditation or in protection of honor or money, are not,
according to Libyan Law, punishable by execution; lighter
penalties are rather imposed for reasons of not involving
criminal danger by the offender and therefore the latter neither
poses a threat nor is proved corrupt at the community level.
Death penalty in the Jamhirya is definitive both substantively
and procedurally and is not arbitrarily carried out. Its eventual
abolition remains the aspired end of the Jamhiriya society.
Pending this aspiration comes true, death sentences will
continue to be applicable to those who constitute danger or
corruption to the life of the community (Article 8 of the Green
Second: Right to Physical and Moral Integrity
This right was provided for in the majority of international
human rights instruments, starting with the Universal
Declaration on Human Rights for 1948, passing by the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights for 1966,
the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights for 1981, and
the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment for 1984. What really matters in this
Report is the crux of Article 4 of the 1981 African Charter of
Human and Peoples’ Rights considering human right to physical
and humanitarian integrity as one of the basic human rights.
Human right to physical and moral integrity is the prohibition of
violability of his body whether by beating or torturing, etc (right
to physical integrity), as well as of cruel, degrading or inhuman
treatment (right to moral integrity).
Pursuant to the International Law on Human Rights, this right,
similar to the right to live, is among rights that cannot be
restricted or prejudiced under any circumstances or for any
justification even in cases of emergency, war and threatening
public security (Article 4/2 of the International Covenant on
Human Rights)
The Jamhirya is a party to all international instruments ensuring
protection of the above mentioned human right to physical and
moral integrity. Having faith in human value and worth, the
Libyan people, in Article 2 of the Great Green Human Rights
Charter in the Era of Masses for 1988, had endorsed that the
Jamhiriya society “prohibits penalties that prejudice human
dignity and are detrimental to human entity as much as it
prohibits doing physical or moral harm to the prisoner and
condemns his trading or making experiments on him.”
In application of this principle, the Freedom Promotion Act no
20/1990 provides for “physical integrity as the right of all
humans and forbids carrying out scientific experiments on the
living human body unless done on voluntary grounds.”
In this respect, the Libyan Penal Code provides for guarantees
ensuring human right to physical and moral integrity. Beating is
incriminated and deemed punishable. This is applicable to
simple and gross abuse, insult and verbal abuse, cruel and
inhuman treatment. This also has relevance to prisoners whose
torture or offence shall be incriminated by the Law (Article
385/penalties). This legal status is perfectly in commensurate
with the International Law on Human Rights, with particular
emphasis on the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights
regarding which we are in the process of reporting on measures
and procedures pursued by the Great Jamhiyria for the
realization of rights articulated in it.
Third: Right to Freedom
International declarations on human rights stipulate that every
individual has the right to freedom, and ban bondage or slavery
of any person. The Libyan people subsequently confirmed the
citizen’s right to freedom guided by Omar Bin Khatab when he
was quoted as saying: “When did you enslave people while they
were born free?” Article 2 of the Green Charter concedes “that
sons of the Jamihirya society hold sacred human freedom and
prohibit its restriction.” Articles in the Green Human Rights
Charter provide for the citizen’s freedom to movement and
residence as well as to institution of unions, syndicates and
associations in protection of professional interests. Furthermore,
every human is entitled to private performances and personal
relations, which no one has the right to interfere with unless
involving an affair that is harmful to the community or in
contravention with its values.
Given the fact that while power-freedom conflict forges as one
of the most intractable problems facing humanity, the power-ofthe-people regime has made a breakthrough in this concern by
doing away with the rulers’ tyranny vis-à-vis the ruled, thus
considering all as rulers in people’s congresses.
Fourth: Right to Exercise of Power
Since human rights defamation in the exercise of power has led
to barbaric actions that were proved abusive to human
conscious, the Great Jamhiriya was keen to confer on citizens
the right to exercise power and directly run the public affairs of
the country through a political system based on direct
democracy and not through representatives of the people. This
right was incarnated in highly cherished legal foundations,
primarily the Declaration on the Establishment of the Power of
the People. Since 1977 of last century, the direct power of the
people has been the basis for the political regime in Libya.
Power is exclusively for the Libyan people to be exercised via
basic people’s congresses, people’s committees, syndicates,
unions and vocational associations.
The Libyan people’s direct exercise of power in the absence of
representation was substantiated as a fait accompli through basic
people’s congresses amounting to (468) in number at the level of
the Jamhirya.
This right was provided for in a background document, namely
the Declaration on the Establishment of the Power of the People
in 1977 and emphasized in the Great Green Charter of Human
Rights in the Era of the Masses which the Libyan people
assembling in basic people’s congresses had agreed to release in
1988 where the first of its principles had read: “The Libyan
people exercise popular power directly and without
representation at the level of people’s congresses and
committees.” The Libyan people asserted their right to directly
exercise power through the Freedom Promotion Act no 20/1991,
the rules of which are deemed fundamental and void of all that
is in contrast. To guarantee this right on the grounds, a basic law
no 1/1375 regulating the modus operandi of the people’s
congresses and people’s committees was issued.
The Declaration on the Establishment of the Power of the
People and subsequent codes secure the right of the people to
directly exercise their power and to partake in the management
of public affairs. This legislation has defined mechanisms for
enforcing this right in reality and ensuring effective exercise of
the power of the people while banning any restriction likely to
limit this practice and safeguarding the citizen on proceeding
with it. It is not applicable thus in the Great Jamhriya that a
citizen be punished for expressing his opinion via the basic
people’s congresses or in other direct democracy institutions.
On the Libyan people exercising power in a direct way, all
categories were spared the sufferings other peoples in the world
had to go through, and who are still struggling for a minimum
level of participation. By virtue of having the power of the
people in place, the participation of all citizens in public affairs
is safeguarded and the culture of democracy is further
Fifth: Right to Expression and Opinion
Freedom of opinion and expression is one of the major human
rights in which interest has been largely developed at present,
thanks to multiplicity of means of accessing information that
served to call forth human need to think, brainstorm and take
action regarding issues and ideas brought up by such media.
Cases in point are different newspapers, audio-visual broadcasts
and modern means of communication spearheaded by the
The right to expression was adopted in international human
rights instruments as a basic human right entitling all persons to
freedom of expression and opinion as well as to elicit, receive
and broadcast news and ideas by any means. This is an
indication of the right every person has to sound out his opinion,
express his viewpoint and disseminate these opinions and ideas
via respective mass media, including the right to freely access a
wide spectrum of information and to transmit them in written or
printed form or in a technical mould, however in terms of
showing respect for the rights of others and ensuring protection
of national security, public order and disciplinary norms.
The Great Jamhirya has attended to the citizen’s right to express
his opinion by including this right and the related practice of its
concretization in its baseline documents.
The historic declaration of the power of people in 1977 of last
century contains what is beyond expression in its traditional
concept, when it conferred on the citizen in Libya the right to
express his opinion on public affairs put forward to the basic
people’s congress. This was confirmed by the Great Green
Human Rights Charter in its Article 5 providing for “the
sovereignty of every individual in the basic people’s congress to
guarantee his right of expression in the open air”. The Charter
also stressed on shunning violence in imposing ideas and
opinions. Article 19 of the Green Charter ensures for every
citizen the right to creativity, freedom of thought, research and
The Freedom Promotion Act provides for the protection of the
citizen on exercising his freedom to express his opinion. Its
Article 8 stipulates for the right of every citizen “to express his
opinion and ideas and to speak them out in people’s congresses
and through mass media.” The Act also banned “Invoking calls
for ideas and opinions clandestinely.”
In practice, legislation governing and regulating media and press
conditions allow every citizen to publish all that he wants to in
newspapers, magazines and books; he as well has the right to
express his opinion vis-à-vis issues projected in audio and visual
At the radio level, the Law has ensured for the Libyan citizen
the right to participate in the discussion transmitted live in the
radio of the Jamhirya. The Libyan citizen also has the right to
participate in local broadcasts found in all municipalities
As for the TV, the Libyan citizen now watches a considerable
number of Libyan and satellite-borne channels. Besides visual
channel 1 of the Jamhirya, there is also channel 2, youth, and
sports Libya channels, El Hedaya, Al Badeel, Al Motwaset, Al
Tawasel and others.
Expression in the Press is widespread through various daily
newspapers at the national and vocational levels. Below are
some publications issued in the Jamhirya; for example:
The New Dawn (Al Fajr Al Jadeed) – the Sun Newspaper – Al
Jamhiyria Green March (Al Zahf al Akhder) – Ouya – Quryna
Al Asala  Al Batnan – News of Tobruk (Akhbar tobruk)
El Shalal (Waterfall)- Ajdabiya News  Benghazi News
Al Jamahir, Al Shatt (the coast newspaper), Ghardabaya al
Sharara- Al Jabal News- Almargib Al Jufra newspaper  Drdnil
Tripoli , the Coast Valley (Wadi el Shatte’e) Five Points (Al
Neqat al Khams) Marj Newspaper Valley of Life (Wadi el
Hayah – Message of the Desert (Resalat al Sahra’a), acacus
Green Flag newspaper – Western Mountain (Al Jabal al Akhdar)
Aljafarah – Tripoli Advertising – Al Ghat – Sirte – Nalut 
Al Biyt Magazine (House Magazine)  Alamal Magazine
(Journal of Hope) – Companion Magazine (Al jalis) – Journal
of Cultural Affairs – Journal of Media Research – Theatre and
Cavalry – Heritage of the People  Green March (azzahf
alakhder) – Journal of Arab Culture – Ovannin – The
Conference (Al Motamar) – Spaces
Professional Newspapers
Islamic Da’wa newspaper – Al Fateh Journal – Newspaper of
Justice (al Adala) – the producers – Money and Business –
Journal of Youth and Sport – Volunteer – Fighting Echo (Sada
as Mokafaha)_ Print  Mezan (Libra) – Garyounis – Raya
newspaper -the Student (AlTaleb)
D. Professional Magazines
The Domain (Al Majal) –The Complex (Al Mojamaa) Journal
of Real Estate – Platform (Al Menbar) – The Good Example (Al
Oswa al Hasana) Communication (Al Tawasul)- Al Refqa 
Customs – The Four Seasons – N Magazine (nun) – Journal of
Human Sciences – Torch Magazine – and hold fast
(Waetasumu) – Studies.
Sixth: Right to Movement and Residence
The right to movement and residence is one of the rights closely
related to human freedom, and it is deemed one of the basic
rights, given its relevance to the right to citizenship and
This right was noted in all international human rights
instruments such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights for 1981 we are
talking about.
Humans have the right to move and reside wherever they want
inside or outside borders. Some constraints on this right were
mentioned in the International Law on Human Rights, (Article
4/2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
for 1966 placing restrictions in specific cases such emergencies,
wars and others relating to State public security conditions.
The Libyan legislation did not prejudice this right in its content
but rather abided by its determinants. The principle cited in the
1988 Great Green Human Rights Charter stressed that “sons of
the mass society are free – in times of peace– to move and
reside”. The Freedom Promotion Act no 20/1991 as well
covered its in-house and off-shore dimensions, stating that
“every citizen is free – in times of peace – to move and choose
his domicile. He may leave and return to the Great Jamhirya any
time he wishes.”
According to these two texts, it has been decided, in principle
that, in times of peace, there will be no restrictions on the right
to movement and residence inside and outside the country. This
merely indicates that in times of war and under exceptional
circumstances, this right may be subject to limitation. Also it
may, summarily and in specific judicial cases, be restricted if
crimes necessitating investigation and trial were committed.
The Libyan position regarding this right is an embodiment of the
stipulation contained in Article 12 of the African Charter of
Human and Peoples’ Rights for 1981 citing that “each person
has the right to free movement and choice of his domicile within
the State concerned provided commitment to provisions of the
Law is observed”, and that “each person has the right to leave
any country including his own, as much as he has the right to
return to his country. This right shall not be subject to any
constraints unless otherwise provided in the Law and believed
necessary for national security, public order, health and public
Seventh: Right to Equality
Right to equality is one of the basic civil human rights. Human
dignity is the origin of human rights and is only viable by
ensuring that all people are equal before the Law and that there
is no discrimination on the basis of gender, color, religion,
nationality or social security.
This right was enunciated in all international human rights
instruments including the African Charter of Human and
Peoples’ Rights for 1981, subject of the Report which, in its
Article 2, provides for “the right to indiscriminate treatment in
enjoying rights determined in the Charter”, and in Article 3 in:
1) endorsing “equality before the Law” and 2) stipulating for
“equality in terms of protection before the Law”.
The right to equality is multi-faceted. It is the right of the
individual to be treated without discrimination no matter the
reason. He shall be entitled to be treated as equal before the Law
in taking its relevant provisions as reference whether regarding
rights and obligations, or protection, or labor and civil service.
Libyan right-specific declarations and charters corroborated and
assured this right. In the First Statement of the 1969 Revolution,
it was noted that “all people are equal where no one shall be
disadvantaged or subdued”. In the Declaration on the
Establishment of the Power of the People, the right to political
exercise of power is warranted for all citizens without
discrimination for any reason whatsoever. Defending homeland
is the responsibility of all citizens without discrimination.
Concerning the 1988 Great Green Human Rights Charter in the
era of the masses, the stipulation of its Article 21 is evident in
approving gender equality, stressing that sons of mass society,
men and women, are equal vis-à-vis whatever is deemed
humane since differentiation between men and women in terms
of rights implies unjustifiably flagrant injustice. The provision
cited in Article 17 of the same Document is a precursor to the
principle of non-discrimination reading that “sons of mass
society reject differentiation between humans for considerations
of color, sex, religion or culture.”
These mass humanitarian leanings have been duly instated in the
Freedom Promotion Act no 20/1990 as well as in many other legal
provisions such as the Libyan Administrative Law on civil service
functions, the Criminal Law on incrimination, punishment and
trial, the Fiscal Law on determination of taxes and charges, the
Civil Service Law regarding public posts, the Law on the power of
the people in the course of regulating exercise of this power, and
people’s selection of congresses and committees as well as the
National Service Law and the other social and economic laws
including the Law on Child and Family, etc… The general rule
underlying Libyan legislation is founded on facts that all are equal
before the Law and in protection of the Law; and that treatment on
discriminatory basis is categorically rejected and punishable
administratively and criminally. Therefore, Libya is committed to
apply and effectuate provisions of Articles 2 and 3 of the 1981
African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Eighth: Right to Prosecution
Human right to have access to justice for fairness against
violation of basic rights is considered one of the inherent wellestablished principles in international instruments concerned
with human rights. Each person has the right to present his case
before an independent fair tribunal to claim his rights and to
contest the charge pressed against him. A human is innocent
originally speaking unless proved guilty by a public court in the
course of which necessary guarantees for his defence shall be
The right to have recourse to natural justice is a human right on
the grounds that it ensures equity meaning that one goes to the
court fully assured of holding on to his right and that he will not
be suppressed. All states have pledged to respect this right and
safeguard it for their citizens, and ward off any and all measures
interfering with its realization.
The citizen’s right to bring his case before a fair judge and a
public, independent, impartial legally-established court is,
honestly and precisely, a sacred respectful right in the Jamihriya
that is set forth in background documents and ordinary codes.
Baseline documents, primarily the Great Green Human Rights
Charter and the Freedom Promotion Law undoubtedly assert
that judicial provisions in Libya are intended, inter alia, to
guarantee individual rights and freedoms. The Green Charter in
Article 7 states that “the mass society shall guarantee the right to
litigation and independence of the Judiciary and that the accused
shall be entitled to a fair and impartial trial”, since judges are
independent and overruled solely by law and conscious.
Individuals are supplied with all safeguards including
assignment of attorneys by the community if this is not
personally affordable.
The Libyan Supreme Court, being the highest-level in Libya,
and competent to oversee law enforcement and interpretation,
reaffirms human right to fair trial and that litigation should be
left open to individuals, being a natural human right established
to the entire satisfaction of human conscious and dictated by
rules of optimal justice. No doubt, principles laid down by the
Supreme Court is a sublime legal value-added to the Libyan
judicature, with Article 30 of the Supreme Court Law no (6) for
1982 citing that legal principles thrashed out by the Supreme
Court is binding to all courts and all other authorities in the
Respecting ordinary legislation, procedures related to the right
of prosecution are adequately provided through the Civil
Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Law, judicial
administration principles and Judicature Act. In pursuance of the
above laws, every citizen whose basic rights are subject of
breach, shall have the right to access justice whether this
violation was relevant to material or moral injury or to criminal
crime by other individuals or the State or non-State legal
persons, also failure to execute any court judgment is deemed a
criminal crime. The Judicature Act ensures distribution of courts
according to domestic or specific realm of competence, thus
rendering exercise of the right of litigation smooth and simple.
Moreover, human right to appear before natural justice is
established as a principle in the Libyan judicature; also
exceptional courts for trying particular persons in a
discriminately privileged manner do not exist.
Second Part: Economic Rights
Part II: Economic Rights
Economic activity represents one of the major factors impacting
on human rights either in the affirmative or in the negative.
States accordingly develop considerable interest in keeping this
activity under control by putting in place sufficient guarantees in
protection of economic human rights believed to be the basis for
decent human living and means of subsistence. Among the most
protected of these rights according to the African Charter of
Human and Peoples’ Rights are rights to property (Article 14),
to labor (Article 15), to wealth (Article 21) and to development
(Article 22).
In fulfillment of its international commitments as party to this
Charter, the Jamhirya undertook to adopt an array of legal and
practical procedures for the effectuation of these rights and
freedoms within the domestic legal system as follows:
First: Legal Procedures
Besides basic laws providing for the protection of these rights,
the Libyan legislator has been enacting in commensurate with
the development and requirements of the international
community, thus his legislation were mostly up-to-date
especially during 2008 – 2010 and running parallel with these
prerequisites as part of the transformation of the Libyan
community into one that is in control of its power and wealth
which represents the best guarantor of its rights:
1- Property Right: is a sacred right guaranteed for all sons of
the community. It is inviolable unless for public interest and
necessarily with fair compensation in accordance with
provisions of effective laws. Article (12) of the Great Green
Human Rights Charter in the era of the masses confirmed
protection of property right, reading: “The sons of the mass
society are free from feudalism. Landholding is not exclusive.
Everyone has the right to exploit land as usufructuary in terms
of occupancy, agro-business and pastoral activity during lifetime
and his heirs’ life within the limits of his level of effort and
satisfaction of his needs.
Article (2/11) of the above mentioned Charter also underpinned
the sanctity of production ownership, citing that “The mass
society is one of partners not of employees. Ownership as the
outcome of effort is deemed sacred, protected and inviolable
unless for public interest and in return for fair compensation
What actually distinguishes the Libyan economic system from
other systems is the fact that the former, besides being founded
on liberalization of human needs, it premises this liberalization
on the protection of human effort and therefore the output of this
effort is considered a cherished sacred property.
Article (12) of Freedom Promotion Act no (20) for 1991
stipulates that “Private property is sacred and inviolable if it
fathoms a legitimate reasoning and is free of exploitation of
others and aloof of their material or moral impairment. It is
forbidden to be put to use in contravention with public order or
disciplinary morals. Expropriation is only admissible for
purposes of public benefit and in return for fair compensation”.
Within this framework, Article (1) of Law no (11) for 1992 on
some provisions on real estate property stipulates that “Housing
is an essential need for the individual and the family. Its
ownership is sacred and inviolable. No one shall be denied
ownership of his dwelling place except in cases determined in
the law and in the manner it sees appropriate.”
Article (11) of Law no (17) for 2010 on real estate registration
and State properties stipulates that “Applications to substantiate
ownership shall be submitted to real estate registration
departments or offices within the jurisdiction of which the
subject real estate of the persons concerned or their
representatives is located.”
Article (48) of Law no (17) mentioned above states that “All
dispositions establishing, conveying, changing or removing
indigenous rights in-rem as well as final judgments proving any
of which shall be registered. Failure to register the above
mentioned rights, the latter shall not be established, or conveyed
or changed or removed among persons concerned and third
parties. Unregistered dispositions as well shall have no effect
other than personal undertakings among those concerned.
Art. (52) of the above mentioned Law states that inherited real
estates shall be registered in the name of heirs only on
presenting the legal notification issued by the competent court to
determine heirs, indicate their respective shares and register
inheritance right.
In turn, Law no (9) for 2010 on Investment Promotion has
approved guarantees for the investor be he national or foreigner.
To this effect, Art. (23) of the same Law noted that “the
nationalization, expropriation, forced seizure, confiscation,
sequestration, placing in custody or freeze of the given project
or subjecting it to procedures having the same effect shall be
only admissible by virtue of law or legal judgment and in return
for fair compensation.
Within the framework of indemnifying the citizen in the event
of expropriating his property for public interest purposes, the
General People’s Committee issued decision no (294) for 2010
on defining real estate valorization bases and controls in effect
at real estate offices as well as decisions no (195/2006 –
108/2006- 66/2006) on the formation of committees entrusted
with estimation of damages and related compensation
2- Labor Right: Labor Law no (58) for 1970 regulated working
relations between workers and different employers. Upon the
issuance of the Green Book and the Great Green Human Rights
Charter, these relations have developed into partner rather than
employee relations, with this statement ensuring wide-scale
protection of human effort, signaling a landmark transformation
in adjusting work relations and securing their protection against
exploitation. The Libyan legislator thus has adequately attended
to this right and issued many laws, decisions and operational
procedures in application of the articles of the Charter.
The most critical of these laws and documents is the Great
Green Human Rights Charter with its Art. (11) stating that:
“The right to work is one of the basic human rights. The mass
society guarantees labor right. Labor is the obligation and right
of every individual. “As for the Freedom Promotion Act, it
emphasizes the right of every citizen to work and to freely
choose the work he deems suitable and to enjoy its output as
provided for in Articles (10) and (11) of this Law.
The new Labor Law issued on 22/11/2010 under the title of
“Working Relations Law” assuredly furthered and effectuated
guarantees of economic human rights. Perusing this Law,
features promoting protection of human right to work can be
recorded briefly as follows:
1- The Law applied equality of treatment between workers of
public and private sectors in terms of right to labor, freedom
of worker and equality of employment, thereby doing away
with discrimination between types of work, between workers
and with regard to benefits accorded to each sector;
2- The Law duly regarded labor right as human right to effort
output, thus preventing exploitation by one another;
3- Based work relationships chiefly on economic unity to help
create a productive rather than a consumer community
thereby underscoring freedom of society, its control over its
destinies and ensuring its self-reliance. (Art.12)
4- Expanded leave approvals taking into account social and
health conditions of workers;
5- Adopted the principle of equal pay for Libyans and
6- Codified household service and prevented exploitation of
domestic servants;
7- Applied equal work remuneration. Art. (21) stated that
financial return of work of equivalent value should not be
determined on the basis of sex, ethnicity, religion or color;
8- Supported insurance of women workers’ rights by stressing
the inadmissibility of women employment in businesses not
suiting their nature and status and allowing them latitude to
do the job they like;
9- Mandated that the employer take the necessary action to
apply medical insurance for workers and employees;
10- Established an advisory council to be entrusted with
determining work remuneration in view of economic
developments (art.19), a procedure for protection of
individuals’ pensions;
11- Established employment offices and rendered it obligatory
that these offices monitor women looking for job
opportunities to help them with their quest; (art.6)
12- Stressed on financial incentives for workers and employees;
(art. 146)
13- Attended to adequately train workers and employees and
enable them to follow up on scientific developments;
14- Mandated guaranteed services and transactions for the
employee during his service period by the department
concerned assigning persons to carry out these services;
3- Health Care, Insurance Rights and Right to Work
The principle of social justice in all areas has been and still is
the goal of all peoples. To achieve this end is the way to a
civilized developed community that is up to meeting its
aspirations and honoring its obligations. At the Jamhirya level, a
set of measures have been taken and means employed to
improve health conditions of all citizens without exception, and
several laws and regulations were issued to this effect. Each
time basic people’s congresses happen to spare flaws of previous
laws and work on updating favorable ones as is the case
regarding Health Law no (106) in 1973 and Social Security Law
no (13) for 1980.
Early this year, Law no (20) for 2010 on health insurance was
issued, guaranteeing for every worker living in the Jamhirya the
right to treatment of different types gratuitously through
payment of subscriptions by public and private employers in
favor of their staff in medical insurance institutions and
contribution to the subscriber quota. This is mandatory for
The legislator did not disregard unemployed citizens or very
limited-income earners. Article (3) of the above mentioned Law
stipulates that: “The State shall undertake to pay full medical
insurance premiums for the following categories:
1) Widows, orphans and those in need with no guardian;
2) Those who have no income;
3) Limited – income categories;

The legislator has not left in the purview of executive bodies the
delineation of medical insurance services but rather overtly
made it optional for the citizen to exercise his right to medical
examination and treatment in all clinics, centers, or with
practitioners, specialists and experts, and to access services
extended by family doctors, lab analyses and tests, x-rays,
hospitalization, and surgeries, follow-up sessions and delivery
operations for pregnant women and necessary medication and
others which the patient needs throughout stages of illness.
The State has directly taken charge of financing health services
such as those related to primary health care, health sensitization
and enlightenment, combat of communicable and endemic
diseases, vaccinations, chronic psychological and mental
illnesses for gratis to all citizens.
The Law (20/2010) stressed that authorities concerned should
duly extend medical services in compliance with established
professional and ethical standards as well as approved scientific
methods, taking into account medical progress achieved in this
The Jamhirya thus has taken all measures necessary to increase
leverage of health care for citizens in general and workers in
particular by offering high-quality services in this field and
sparing the citizen the burden of defraying costly treatment
expenses. Only those who are able can pay nominal fees and the
State shall pay for those who cannot afford.
4- Law on Income Taxes
Within the framework of safeguarding economic rights of
individuals, Law no (7) for 2010 on income taxes was issued to
expand the cover of protection regarding rights of limitedincome categories by citing exemption from income taxes of
mostly vulnerable brackets. In this perspective, the above
mentioned Law provides in Article (33) for considerable
exemptions reaching (14 cases).
Law no (9) for 2010 stipulated in Article (10) for tax
exemptions in favor of investment projects.
5- Investment Law
The new Law treated as equal national and foreign investors in
terms of privileges and rights with a view to rehabilitate and
develop Libyan cadres and raise their level of efficiency as well
as transfer and domesticate knowledge and achieve adequate
development (Article 3) of the said Law, which is an application
of Article (22) of the Charter.
The Law is set to scale up and diversify per capita income,
exploit raw materials available and enable citizens to avail
themselves thereof, (Articles 3+5+7) of the given Law.
All the above mentioned laws were aimed to introduce Articles
(14, 15, 21, and 22) of the African Charter in the Libyan Law of
relevance as a guarantee for economic rights that the State of
Libya was committed to protect in front of the international
Further the Great Jamhirya went so far as to pursue practical
procedures in affirmation and in support of protecting these
rights, as made clear in the following item:
Second: Practical procedures pursued by the Great
Jamhirya to give effect to economic rights and freedoms as
articulated in the Charter:
As mentioned before, reports outlined that the Great Jamhirya
has not only pursued legal procedures to effectuate these rights,
but also took practical steps to make laws on economic rights
functional as part of a process putting in place economic and
social decisions and structures that can be summed up as
1- Property Right:
Within the context of promoting property right, the General
People’s Committee issued decision no (294) for 2010 on the
formation of committees for assessment of indemnities and
application of procedures relating to compensation in return for
expropriation of individual property for public interest, and in
this respect, the amount paid in compensation was raised.
2- Labor Right
Libyan state organs have applied a host of practical procedures
to ensure labor right as follows:
A- Employment Programs and Creation of Job
Providing job opportunities for job seekers is a priority issue for
all world countries. The Great Jamhirya focused its efforts and
resources on economic and social development programs, and
harnessed massive budgets amounting to billions of dinars for
the implementation of development-driven programs opening
work avenues, not only for citizens but also for nationals of
neighboring countries and African Union member countries.
During 2007, for example, (43.122) job seekers were employed
and (2385) were directed to training to remain afterwards in
workplaces when their training period is over. Also 40762
incoming labor from all world continents were employed in
2007. This number rose during the first quarter of 2008 to reach
(68208) by more than 80% increase and is expected to rise
further upon the signing of contracts of giant economic and
social development programs.
3- Training
New trainees numbering (18432) for the training course 2007-
2008 in addition to (38.432) trainees in advanced training
centers amounting to (97) in number, have been enrolled. The
number of medium-level training centers reached (384) with
(80574) trainees, of whom (26761) were registered for the
training course 2007 – 2008.
Albeit efforts made in the area of training in different and
specialized training centers, off-shore training to raise efficiency
and transfer technology was elementary and therefore (1977)
trainees, males and females, were dispatched overseas to train in
technical and technological fields.
4- Service and Production Loans
Easy loans were granted to youth and also to surplus labor in the
administrative body willing to diversify in terms of service and
production projects as well as small and medium industries
through loan funds and specialized banks. An employment fund
was also established incorporating the diversification fund to
which the necessary budget was allocated. Moreover, a monthly
grant for job seekers was cashed pending their employment and
loans taken out for their service and production enterprises.
Loans processed have totaled (43.695.044) million Libyan
dinars covering (68) projects with a 5-year grace period and
20% exemption of loan and its interest, as well as exemption of
all machines, equipment and raw materials from all customs
duties and taxes plus exemption from income tax for five years.
These loans amounted to 6596, 7 billion Libyan dinars in 2008
whereas in 2009, they were worth 44357, 8 billion Libyan
The Agrarian Bank has contributed to the lending program for
job seekers by approving during 2006-2007 to process (403)
loans worth 170 million dinars to the benefit of (1073) job
seekers and in 2008 – 2009, this number of loans was largely
The Rural Bank performs a crucial role in developing remote
and rural areas and creates job opportunities for residing
workers to help them settle down. The number of loans granted
in 2007 was (19.558) with a total value of (86.457) million
dinars from which (5837) men and (4502) women have
benefited, (4045) of whom on partnership basis, and (4274) as
male and female job seekers.
The Development Bank offered individuals (681) loans with a
financial value worth (172,713,849) million dinars during the
period from 1/1/2007 through 30/11/2007 that contributed to the
employment of (3682) citizens.
Real estate loans have amounted to (1278, 8) million dinars in
the last quarter of 2009 in addition to social advances reaching
an amount of (3192.1) million dinars in 2009.
5- Basic and Security Pensions
The Great Jamhirya has devoted overriding interest to the
provision of full-fledged social protection and care as endorsed
in the Social Security Law no (13) for 1980 which is believed to
be one of the most up-to-date and distinctive laws in the area of
social security, having emphasized in Article (1) that “Social
security is a right the community guarantees for all citizens. It is
also protection for non-native residents.”
The same Article has made it clear that social security involves
a system specifying any measure that is intended to provide
protection and care in cases of old age, disability, illness, work
injury, occupation maladies, loss of guardian, disruption of
livelihoods, pregnancy and birth-giving, family burdens as well
as in cases of disasters, emergencies and death. Social security
also covers social care to those who are not sponsored be they
children, boys, girls, people with special needs, the disabled, the
elderly and juvenile delinquents. It also relates to industrial
security measures and procedures, handling with care cases of
work injury and occupation maladies, rehabilitation of patients,
the injured and the disabled. Family is well attended to through
extension of material and moral assistance based on mentioned
above legislation.
Law no (16) for 1985 on basic pension for citizens (Article 1),
the right to basic pension without paying subscriptions in return
by those eligible for it, or in other words the protection system
in this manner is a pension rather than remuneration system, i.e.
the beneficiary of a basic pension fund obtains money that is
enough to secure for him a decent life even though he does not
pay any subscriptions.
Basic pension entitlement is extended to several brackets
defined in the law such as: the elderly, the disabled, widows,
orphans, families of the provisionally imprisoned, those
executing court judgments as well as families of the lost, the
absent, the captive, and the released after serving their sentence
until they get back to work, as well as returnees from the
Diaspora and others.
Basic pension for those entitled to it was increased to more than
double the amount pursuant to the decision of the People’s
General Committee no (277) for 2006 along with the
contribution to upgrade the level of limited-income families to
lead a fairly good life, by distributing wealth in cash money to
each family and buying its members investment equities in
production and service companies within the framework of
wealth possession as will be explained later.
Women also are entitled to all rights including employment and
profession. Discrimination against women is banned in the
Libyan Arab Jamhiryat in accordance with effective laws
ensuring equality with men regarding all that is humane. This
was corroborated further in the provision of Article (91) of
Labor Law no (58) for 1970 stating: “Without prejudice to the
provisions of the following articles, all regulatory provisions
respecting employment of workers without discrimination in the
same work, are applicable to juveniles and women”. Article (95)
of the same Law provides for “the inadmissibility of employing
women in hard or hazardous work” Article (31) of the same Law
stipulates that “differentiation in wages between men and
women if conditions and nature of work were the same is not
allowable”. As previously pointed out, the items cited in the
Great Green Human Rights Charter stresses in Article (21) that
sons of mass society, both men and women, are on an equal
footing vis-à-vis whatever is deemed humane since
differentiation between men and women in terms of rights
involves groundlessly flagrant injustice”.
Freedom Promotion Law no (20) for 1991 also laid emphasis on
the principle of gender equality with Article (1) noting:
“Citizens, males and females, in the Great Jamhirya are equal in
rights, and their rights are inviolable”.
6- Right to Establishment of Syndicates
Syndicate freedom is guaranteed by virtue of laws in force in
the Great Jamhirya, one of the countries that ratified
international conventions on this freedom, which are:
• International Labor Convention no. (87) for 1948 on
Syndicate Freedom and Protection of the Right of
• International Labor Convention no. (98) for 1949 on the
Right of Organization and Collective Negotiation;
• Arab Convention no (8) for 1977 on Syndicate Freedoms
and Rights;
• Arab Convention no (11) for 1979 on Collective
National legislation has stipulated for syndicate freedom. In
Article (6) of the Great Green Human Rights Charter: “Sons of
the mass society are free to establish trade unions, syndicates
and associations in protection of their professional interests”.
Freedom Promotion Law no (20) for 1991, in Article 9, cites:
“Citizens are free to establish syndicates, trade unions,
vocational and social associations, and charity societies and to
accede thereto in protection of their interests or for the
realization of the legitimate purposes for which they were
The Jamihriya, as a party to these conventions, is committed to
submit annual reports on legal and practical procedures it
applied to make these conventions operational as far as the
Libyan domestic law was concerned. Its presence is also
particularly impressive before the Experts Committee affiliated
to and at conferences of the International Labor Organization
7- Right to Wealth
The Jamhirya has developed several programs to enable citizens
to benefit from the wealth of their country without
discrimination and in a manner that ensures that the society is
not divided into classes.
The call echoed by the Leader and which he has often
emphasized in his statements that is aimed to distribute oil
revenues accrued to the citizens in the form of amounts of
money or services, has forged as a platform for action adopted
by people’s congresses with a view to pursue procedures
enabling citizens to benefit from these riches.
In practice, the first step towards wealth distribution was by
enumerating limited-income families and offering them
residential, agrarian and production loans and investment
portfolios. The second stage was to support their modest
economic situation and help them lead a better life. The volume
of these portfolios starting 2007 to date could be put as follows:
– Number of investment portfolios up till 30/6/2010 was
– Paid cash distributions to citizens from 2007 through
30/6/2010 were:
A. 2007 500.000.000 million Libyan dinars
B. 2008 699.000.000 million Libyan dinars
C. 2009 849.000.000 million Libyan dinars
Total Value: 2.616.000.000 million Libyan dinars
Part III: Social and Cultural
Part III: Social and Cultural Rights
First: Right to Health and Health Care
Health Law no “106” for 1973 in Article 1 provided for “Health
and medical care as an established right of citizens that the
State undertakes to provide”. Article (50) of the same Law
cites that: “Medical treatment and its affiliates in hospitals,
sanatoriums and treatment units, with their different types
and names that the State creates, shall be an established
right of every citizen and all are on an equal footing”.
Within the framework of making these articles functional, major
accomplishments of the Great Jamhirya in the area of health had
materialized over the past decades as reflected in higher average
life expectancy of 72 years for both sexes, while maternal
mortality rates were brought down to 23 deaths for every
100,000 live births, and infant mortality rates to 17.6 deaths for
every 1000 live births, and under-five children to 20.1 deaths for
every 1000 live births. Along this line, the Jamhirya is steadily
heading towards the achievement of the Millennium Health
Goals, having become free of contagious diseases (such as small
pox, polio, tetanus, leprosy, cholera and yellow fever). The
Jamhirya is among the leading candidate countries to be
declared free of measles.
Concerning health resources:
• There are 10,414 doctors, 3,169 dentists, and 1049
pharmacists, along with 38,387 nursing staff and 16075 health
technicians, thus achieving the indicator of 19 doctors, 68
nurses, 6 dentists and two pharmacists operating in public
utilities for every 10,000 citizens.
• The Medical Specialization Board is a substantial source for
providing doctors and assistant specialists where 5180 trainees
in 12 fields of specialization are trained by 593 trainers. This
Board had previously awarded medical specialization
certificates to 428 doctors.
• In the field of health utilities, (1424) facilities in the area of
primary health care have been implemented at a rate of (2.6)
facilities for every 10,000 citizens. The number of hospitals
amounted to 97 containing 20689 beds, putting the general rate
at the family level for every 10,000 citizens at (38) beds.
• As for medical infrastructure, advanced radiology equipment
were supplied, 40 computerized tomography scanners, 20
machines for magnetic resonance imaging, 9 instruments for
angiography and 5 for radiotherapy.
Health Services Extended to Citizens during 2009:
• Frequency rate at primary health care facilities and poly
clinics for 2009 is estimated at 2.7 times per capita. Public
hospitalization covered 624,973 cases, 158,364 delivery
operations and 121,000 surgeries.
• At the level of health services, the compulsory vaccination
coverage percentage ranged between 95 – 100%. Further,
99.88% of deliveries were performed with medical care at
different health facilities.
• In the area of artificial kidney services, dialysis services were
extended to 2487 patients in 38 dialysis centers using 897
dialysis machines. Also 46 renal transplantations were
Second: Health Environment
The Great Jamhirya attaches paramount importance to
environment health preservation especially against a backdrop
of variegated environmental phenomena threatening mankind.
To face this, the Jamhirya has adopted an array of legal and
executive procedures to help preserve the environment and
provide a space for the citizen to live soundly.
1- Executive Procedures
A. National Program for Environment Health
This Program is aimed to achieve a set of aspired national
policies for the protection and health of the existing
environmental situation and the rectification of wrongdoings in
order to ensure besides preservation of natural resources,
rationalization of their consumption and securing of their sound
investment, redress of different environmental pollution
problems and elaboration of effective and sustainable
development programs. The Program offers a package of
proposed environmental projects with targeted implementation
according to specific time frames, based on allocated resources
in defined areas of phased action, hence is their formulation in
packages to form file groups serving various dimensions and
domains of the environment. At a later stage, projects will be
either directly supervised, managed and operated by the
Environment General Authority, or put to tender for
implementation, management, operation or investment by other
parties be they public, private or national or if necessary, with
foreign participation. Projects were designated as follows:

1- Environmental Waste Management Project
2- Environmental Pollution Control and Monitoring Project
3- Nature Protection and Desertification-Combating Project
4- Environmental Education, Sensitization and Culture Project
5- Legislation and Domestic Laws Updating Project
6- National Plan for Response to Environmental Accidents and
Disasters Project
7- Hazardous Pesticides Resistance Project
8- Coastal Region Environmental Management Project
9- New and Clean Energy Project
10- Integrated Environmental Management Project
B- Rodent Control
Recognizing the danger of rodents and related health,
environmental and economic problems, the Environment
General Authority has set up a national committee to develop a
national plan for rodent control which, in effect, conducted its
work as follows:
1- Enumeration of and research on rodents;
2- Development of a training program in the area of
controlling rodents with the help of specialized professors
from national universities and research centers;
3- The Libyan Program for protection of sea turtles
Sea turtles belong to reptiles living in seas and oceans millions
of years ago and are always in need of going out to land in
specific seasons to lay their eggs on the beach sands. However
due to increased human pressure on this marine living creature
over the past decades whether by poaching or in connection with
different sources of pollution, it is threatened with extinction
worldwide. Therefore, the Libyan Program for sea turtle
protection was devised to:
1- Follow up on the activity of sea turtle nesting in particular
2- Protection of the largest number of nests possible and
insurance of the exit of small turtles from the sea;
2- Legal Procedures
In this respect, the Environment General Authority has
developed legal procedures and measures in execution of
provisions of Law no (15) for 1375 Hij on environment
protection and improvement as represented in the following:
– Draft Executive Regulation on environmental impact
assessment of Projects;
– Draft Executive Regulation on hazardous substance
– Draft Executive Regulation of Law no (2) on protection
against radiation;
– Draft Executive Regulation on agricultural pesticides
– Draft Executive Regulation on integrated medical waste
– Draft environmental requirements relating to air;
– Technical conditions pertinent to oil waste and fuel
– Draft national plan in response to environmental
With regard to the training and rehabilitation of technical cadres in
the area of environment, the Environment General Authority
recognized that interest in environment is basically associated with
capacity-building and gearing of human resources for conduct of
work and accomplishment of tasks relevant to environment
protection and improvement at different levels with special
emphasis on human development in terms of the environment.
Accordingly, the Authority devoted special interest to training and
rehabilitation processes for staff operating in the field of
environment, taking into consideration the significance of this
approach in keeping with global scientific developments on the
basis of annual training plans and programs covering staff
working in the Authority and other environment-related sectors.
Third: Right of Education
Education in Libya is the springboard for the formation of
intellectual, cultural and conscious-specific components for the
preparation of the individual to become an effective citizen in
the society. Hence was the interest in education institutions and
the promotion of their human and material constituents which
are part of overall development efforts at the community level to
cope with global scientific and technological advancement.
The educational policy in the Jamhirya hinges on setting
technical frames, building humans and preparing generations to
take their responsibility. It is also essentially linked with
principles of justice and equal opportunity and its relation with
these values is determined by the nature of the people-based rule
regime and philosophy which the educational philosophy
contributes one of the major tributaries of this regime.
The educational policy is designed to achieving interdependence
and integration of components of the educational system, its
tracks and different types; from basic to university education
and from public to vocational education.
1- Legislation Regulating Education in Libya
The Constitutional Declaration issued by the Revolutionary
Command Council on the 2
of Shawal 1389 Hij corresponding
to 11/12/1969 cited in Article 14 that “education is a right and
obligation of all Libyans. It is compulsory until the termination
of the preparatory stage which the State is responsible for
providing by building schools, institutes and universities as well
as cultural and educational institutions on gratuitous basis.
Cases permitting the establishment of private schools shall be
regulated by the law”.
Article (2) of Law no 134 for 1970 on education has put forward
best means and ways of disseminating education all over the
country within the limits of the general plan of the State and
ensuring equal opportunity for all citizens in fields of education
according to the needs of the country.
Along with the State’s increased interest in education and
leveraging economic and social standards of the individual, the
Compulsory Education Law no (95) for 1975 was issued to
underpin in Article (1) that “primary and preparatory education
is compulsory for all children, boys and girls. In Article (2), it
set the compulsory age at 6 years old. The Law advised the
parent to register his son on reaching this age in the primary
school and to make sure of his continuing and attending school
regularly until the end of the preparatory stage. The Great Green
Human Rights Charter of 1988 further promoted this right,
sanctioning that education and knowledge are a natural right of
each human who is entitled to choose, without direction or
compulsion, the type of education that suits him and the
knowledge that he finds appealing.
Freedom Promotion Law no (20) for 1991 stipulated in Article
(23) that “each citizen shall enjoy the right of education and
knowledge as well as choice of the branch of science that suits
him. Monopoly or forfeiture of knowledge for any reason shall
be forbidden”. Article (9) of Law no (5) on Childhood
Protection states that “basic education shall be a right
guaranteed by the society for its sons – normal or with special
needs- who can afford it; it shall be compulsory and the child
shall not be denied this right.”
Rules regulating education assert that it is the right of every
citizen, male or female, and that it is compulsory up till the age
of 15.
Law no (5) for 1987 on People with Special Needs stipulate in
Article (14) that basic education shall be a right and obligation
for people with special needs so long they reached the age
determined for this stage. Their elderly as well shall be entitled
to benefit from literacy programs, provided that, on planning
subject matters in both cases, disability conditions should be
duly observed. Article (16) of the same Law noted that “the
person with special needs, who completed his basic education
successfully, shall have the right to continue his education.”
Law no (18) for 2010 on education states in Article (1) that
“education shall be the right of all and that the State shall be
concerned with making it accessible to citizens under the
sponsorship of public and private educational institutions,
following up on its efficiency and controlling the quality of its
outputs. The State further tends to encourage and expand private
education which is also compulsory for citizens until the
completion of the basic education stage.
Decision no 1386 of the 14
Session on the Draft Declaration on
Child Rights under Principle 7 stated that” the child shall enjoy
the right to education. Education shall be gratuitous and
compulsory at least in its early stages”.
Article (13) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights stipulates that “States parties acknowledge
in this Covenant the right of every individual to education and
are in agreement as to the essentiality of directing education to
the development of a full-fledged humane character and the
ascertainment of his dignity as well as to the promotion of
respect for human rights and basic freedoms.
It can be safely admitted thus that Libyan legislation has
incorporated the right of all members of the society, males and
females, in villages, the countryside and cities, to education
which is compulsory and for gratis.
2- Indicators to Development of the Educational System
Libya moved forward by leaps and bounds as far as education
was concerned and achieved successes marked with massive
accomplishments in its bid to keep up with advanced societies
and contribute to the scientific and technological advancement
the world is today witnessing through building human cadres
capable of sharing in the foundation of the society of
knowledge, creativity and innovation and furnishing education
opportunities for all social categories, males and females, in
different geographic regions, rural and urban.
Prompted by the general objectives of the educational system in
the Great Jamhirya and in implementation of the decisions of the
basic people’s congresses and directives of the Revolution
Leader on guaranteeing human rights, several themes were
included in the Libyan syllabuses, most notably;
– Teaching the Green Human Rights Charter in the mass
education syllabus. The Charter emphasizes human rights and
non-discrimination between males and females or due to color
or ethnicity.
The education sector also has attended to the establishment and
maintenance of school and university buildings and utilities with
adequate budget earmarked for the building of “179” schools in
administrative divisions as well as “23” university campuses in
different parts of the Jamhirya.
In continuation of the educational process, the Sector was dwelt
on making available laboratories, equipment, school and office
furniture for all educational institutions and satisfying their
school health needs.
Work is in progress in the final stages of the National Computer
Program intended to supply (4300) computers for installation in
educational institutions, whereby the Jamhirya is believed to
have taken wide strides in this direction.
The People’s General Committee on Education and Scientific
Research has embarked on a number of applicable procedures
and programs with the aim of developing exams and evaluation
and measurement methods and making them more transparent
and accurate, including expansion of the e-exam experience
while enabling students to check their results via the internet and
local area connection.
The Education Sector also was interested in training mentors
and upgrading their level of efficiency through the institution of
the General Center for Training Teachers and the development
of training and rehabilitation plans and programs with the
necessary budget needed for their implementation.
The People’s General Committee on Education and Scientific
Research fostered private education and expanded its
domestication by laying down plans and programs to help serve
this purpose.
The Sector meanwhile took good care of post-graduate students
and programs at home. It also undertook to nominate, dispatch
and watch over post-graduate students abroad, remove obstacles
on their way, resolve problems they face and allot sufficient
budgets for universities and higher institutes implementing postgraduate programs.
The People’s General Committee on Education and Scientific
Research has paid special attention through the National
Authority for Scientific Research to scientific researches and
studies undertaken by universities and higher institutes as well
as research centers affiliated with the Authority.
The Sector also paid special attention to school and university
activity by developing plans and programs and appropriating
necessary funds for their implementation plus meeting related
It furthered cooperation relations with sisterly and friendly
countries as well as Arab, regional and international
organizations through giving effect to scientific and cultural
cooperation agreements, exchanging teaching staff and
scholarships and benefiting from programs in advanced
One of the developments undergone by the Education and
Scientific Research Sector is the introduction of the Education
Office for Students with Special Needs which was established
upon the decision of the People’s General Committee no (665)
for 2009 to implement the National Merger Project and give
effect to Law no (5) for 1987 on People with Special Needs and
its Executive Regulations.
A decision was issued to the effect of steering schools to deal
with students with special needs in their bid to incorporate into
educational institutions under the Merger Program. There are
currently (507) schools under steering. The Program is also
dwelt on raising the level of awareness in the schooling
environment, covering all categories; students, administration,
teachers and the society in general. A national register for
merging to enumerate students with special needs was
The Assistant Teacher Program was approved to prepare (250)
assistant teachers under training to support students with special
needs in public education and to help merge persons with mental
needs (moderate and average).
3- Figures and Statistics Featuring Education Status Quo in
the Jamhirya
Libya is one of the pioneer countries globally speaking in
scoring high rates of school enrolment and distribution of
educational opportunities between men and women in all stages
of education. Below are indicators of this performance:
Table shows rates of basic education enrolment
of Libyan students of age category (6-11)
Part 1: (12-14) Part 2: of population according to census
During periods from (1973 – 1995) and (1995 – 2006)
Year Percentage% / 1995 Percentage% / 2006
Stage/Gender Males Females Total Males Females Total
Part I  
Part II 

Both Parts  

Table shows number of students (males and females)
In the first and second parts
(First Part from 6 – 11 years, Second Part from 12 – 14 years)
Number of students for the academic year (2008 – 2009)
Males Females Total
Part I      
Part II   

Total of the two

Number of Students Enrolled in Basic Education in Mixed Schools
for the Academic Year (2008 -2009)
Males Females Total
Gender-based Numerical Distribution of Students Enrolled in the
Basic Education Stage for the Academic Year (2009 – 2010)
Males Females Total
Basic Education

Gender-based Numerical Distribution of Students
Enrolled in the Secondary Education Stage for the
Academic Year (2009 – 2010)
Males Females Total
Secondary Education


Gender-based Numerical Distribution of Students Enrolled
In the Basic Participatory Stage for the Academic Year
(2009 – 2010)
Males Females Total
Basic Participatory Education

Gender-based Numerical Distribution of Students Enrolled
In the Secondary Participatory Stage for the Academic Year
(2009 – 2010)
Males Females Total
Secondary Participatory Stage


Numerical Distribution of University Students
For the Academic Year (2008 – 2009)
Libyans Non-Libyans
Males Females Total Males Females Total

Numerical Distribution of University Teaching Staff
For the Academic Year (2008 – 2009)
Libyans Non-Libyans
Males Females Total Males Females Total
• The number of male and female teachers in the basic
education stage for the academic year (2009-2010) totaled
• As for the number of teachers (males and females) in the
secondary education stage, it has reached for the academic
year (2009-2010) a total of (28401), some with schedules
amounting to (23844) in number and (4557) as substitutes.
• The advancement of the educational process in the
Jamhirya is further evidenced in the number of people
enrolled in literacy and adult education classes for the
academic year (2009-2010) where the total number was
put at (3318) distributed as (306) males and (3012)
females who receive education in schools in different
administrative divisions in the Jamhirya.
Fourth: Housing and Utilities Sector
Providing a decent healthy dwelling for each family is one of
the main goals of the Development Program and is considered to
be a human right of the Libyan Arab individual. The Housing
and Utilities Sector has been over past decades subject of
considerable interest on the part of planners and specialists.
As a point of departure, the importance of dwelling and the
State’s desire to contribute to making it available on easy terms
versus increased demand on housing as a result of normal
population growth as well as social and cultural changes the
society is experiencing, the Housing Program targeted
appropriate housing policies to reduce the current deficit and to
face future needs through the building of new residential units
that are adequate, systematic and spatially distributed in a good
manner to meet anticipated upward housing requirements. The
Program is also slated to provide building materials and
implement integrated utility projects involving water supply and
sanitary drainage systems, gas, paving roads and building
Housing programs in this stage are designed to reducing deficit
in the housing stock as the State was committed to defray all
administrative, contractual and financial expenses, which
resulted in implementing thousands of residential units during
this stage. The general housing policy is built around the fact
that the State is the guarantor ensuring provision of habitat for
all individuals in the society. For social rights to become
effective, the platforms and goals of the housing and public
utility policy as well as the executive steps taken by State organs
to make it a success can be stated as follows:
General Policies and Goals
1- Considering abode as an essential need of the individual and
the family. Every citizen has the right to have his own dwelling
either from self-funded savings or through taking out a real
estate loan or others. The State is obliged to provide for people
who cannot afford it the proper healthy house to live in by
financing it from the Public Treasury.
2- Conduct demographic, social, economic, environmental and
health-related studies in connection with housing and urban
development to specify residential needs, provide necessary
services for densely-populated areas and eliminate underdevelopment and shanty town phenomenon in these areas,
while helping their inhabitants by offering them more suitable
housing and creating integrated new villages and cities.
3- Develop urbanization studies on looking for new sites to
provide job and housing opportunities and have national natural
planning of third generation studies focused on furnishing
housing locations that ensure high-standard living and
improved residential conditions matching with future needs and
4- Develop plans, make available lands for construction
purposes, and correlate the implementation process of these
plans with urban development projects rendering basic services
(potable water and sanitary drainage) alongside a formidable
infrastructure of roads and utilities.
5- Address increased demand on housing through medium and
long-term plans that take account of the current deficit as well
as normal population growth needs together with replacement
and compensation conditions in terms of housing stock.
6- Design cities taking into consideration the culture, customs
and traditions and living conditions of the Libyan people as
well as the number of family members depending on the
environment and available potential.
7- Broaden the scope of cost-reducing studies to cover all related
aspects without any additions or margins on housing cost that
may cause it to grow higher. Housing should also be treated as
a subsidized commodity that is tax and charge-exempt.
8- Draw up a plan recommending dependence on the national
element in housing construction and boosting national
companies and the private sector. The plan underlines
sustainable rehabilitation and training programs for national
manpower on re-planning basis to ensure promotion of the
building and construction activity.
9- Encourage creditworthy public and private companies to
provide infrastructure and public utilities to proposed plots and
prepare them for building construction and either sell them as
ready- for-construction plots or build on them for investment
10- Reactivate cooperative housing activity and support housing
societies by designating lands suitable for construction and
securing necessary funds for loaning their candidate owners.
11- Motivate the private sector and individuals and enhance
their role in implementing some of the housing plan targets
through creation of a suitable environment for carrying out real
estate and housing investment activities.
12- Allot and register lands suitable for construction for
investment companies in the field of housing and sort out the
percentage of their contribution to the financing and
implementation of public benefit networks in observance of
conditions of remote areas.
13- Exempt investment companies, public and private, national
and foreign, in the field of housing from taxes on profits for a
period of five years to be calculated from the starting date of
implementation and three years after sale, whichever is shorter,
with the conditional undertaking to employ national manpower.
14- Conserve the existing housing stock and intensify
maintenance and renovation works and amelioration programs
as well as develop residential buildings and complexes and their
utilities and services to upgrade the housing environment.
15- Devise programs and plans for the operationalization of
infrastructure in areas of water, sanitary drainage, roads,
electricity, gas, communication and other civil services
throughout the Jamhirya while developing existing facilities
and services and sustaining periodic maintenance of enterprises
already implemented.
16- Give incentives to foreign investors and the private sector
and activate their role in implementing projects of sea water
desalination and wastewater treatment stations on the basis of
construction, operation and ownership contracts.
17- Supply cities and compounds built along the banks of the
great industrial river with its water and implement new
integrated water desalination station projects with due
consideration to quantitative and qualitative needs and
integration with other water resources.
18- Increase quantities of potable water and purify it in
conformity with approved standards and specifications. Expand
the process of granting real estate loans by establishing
financing funds and other specialized real estate or housing
banks and providing adequate capital, while taking into account
the financial potential of citizens on determining premiums to
pay off loans alongside abidance by approved building terms
and plans.
19- Allow commercial and specialized banks to offer real estate
loans to companies undertaking to provide housing to its
candidate owners (company housing), and extend credit
facilities such as medium and short term loans to financing
companies investing in the field of housing
Practical Procedures to make the Housing and Public Utility
Policy a success
The Jamhirya took measures to improve services extended to the
citizen in the following manner:
A) Real estate loaning through the Saving and Real
Estate Investment Bank and commercial banks;
B) Establish public companies to invest in housing;
C) State appropriations for public housing;
Within this framework, the following achievements were
– The number of existing units implemented in previous stages is
estimated according to 2006 census at 951402;
– Expenditures allocated for housing projects and utilities in
different areas for the past period have reached approximately
4.160 billion dinars. Implementation processes were conducted
by the General Organization for Housing and Utilities, the
Housing and Utility Project Implementation Agency, Saving
and Real Estate Investment Bank, the Agrarian Bank (AgoHousing) and the Municipality Management and Development
– In the field of utilities, a number of wastewater treatment
stations were installed in addition to more than 7500 km long
sanitary drainage networks. Several wastewater and rainfall
pumping stations were constructed.
– Several water supply systems were applied with lengths of
water supply networks and their main and sub-lines reaching
more than 35 thousand kms, and more than 1000 underground
and elevated water tanks, in addition to sea water desalination
and underground water units to provide drinking water to
citizens in all cities and villages of the Great Jamhirya.
– Projects of integrated utilities covering 41 cities in different
administrative divisions and others of basic utilities for the
remaining cities and compounds were implemented including:
1- Water supply systems for urban purposes (including
provision of water from the sources, distribution networks,
underground and elevated tanks and pumping stations, etc…);
2- Sanitary drainage systems (including networks for collecting
and transport of wastewater, pumping stations and wastewater
treatment stations, etc…)
3- Rainfall drainage systems;
4- Road networks (including digging roads and building
5- Electricity and lighting networks (including 11 kilo volt,
transfer stations and street lighting)
6- Communication networks;
7- Gas supply systems (including gas tanks and distribution
networks… etc)
8- Implementation of basic utilities for cities, villages and
residential compounds numbering 141, including:
1- Water supply, sanitary and rainfall drainage systems as well
as road, electricity and lighting networks.
2- Development of under-urban regions in some cities of the
3- Training and rehabilitation of 30,000 national elements who
are graduates of intermediate institutes and raising the
efficiency of 600 trainees for off-shore training, and around
600 trainees annually for in-house training.
4- Updating maintenance systems for managing and operating
public utilities in cities (wastewater, gardens and parks, solid
waste and cleanliness of cities).
Part IV: Judicial and Legal
Section 1: Judicial Organization
In this part, we will address the nature of the judicial
organization in the Great Jamhirya, later we will move on to
court types and levels and other judicial bodies. We will then
take up terms of appointment of members of the judicial bodies.
Finally we will come across some critical developments of the
Libyan judiciary.
1- Nature of the Judicial System in the Jamhirya
The Libyan judicial system is built around the notion of the
unity of the judiciary. The Libyan legislator has declined to
adopt the concept of the dual judicial system as is the case in
many countries of the world which basically apply the Latin
system to their litigation system. In the Great Jamhirya, only one
judicial system is in place that is comprised of: Summary
Courts, Courts of First Instance, and Courts of Appeal and on
top of all these courts is one Supreme Court.
Judicial organization is dwelt on multiplicity of courts in
response to two basic considerations; First: the vast geographic
extension of the Libyan Region; Second: the desire to achieve
quality justice by placing courts nearby litigants’ domiciles.
These courts examine civil, commercial and criminal disputes
and personal status cases.
There are specialized circuits to examine some cases; for
example the Department of Constitutional Jurisdiction at the
Supreme Court that is exclusively competent to look into the
constitutionality of laws to verify their conformity with basic
laws; the Administrative Judicial Circuits at the Courts of
Appeal exclusively competent to rule on requests of revoking
illegal administrative decisions and determine due compensation
as well as examine administrative matters relating to contracts.
All courts run their affairs in accordance with the Code of Civil
and Commercial Proceedings and Code of Criminal Procedure
alongside some additional provisions in the Administrative Law,
Supreme Court Law, and Code of Personal Status Procedure.
The Libyan Judiciary is currently regulating a battery of
laws, namely:
1- Judicature Law no 6/2006 regulating all functional affairs of
the members of judicial bodies. These bodies are: Courts,
Public Prosecution, Department of State Litigation, People’s
Law Office, and Law Department.
2- Supreme Court Law no 6 for 1982 amended by Law no
17/1994 regulating status of judges of the Supreme Court and
modality of forming its circuits and running its affairs fully
independently from the rest of the judicial bodies;
3- Law no 87/1971 on Department of Litigation defines
competence of the members of the Department;
4- Law no 88/1971 on Administrative Judicial System
regulates competence of Administrative Judicial Circuits at the
Court of Appeal, laying special emphasis on requests for
rescinding final administrative decisions and determining due
5- Law no 4/1981 on People’s Law Office regulates
competence of Office members in rendering free defence for
citizens in lawsuits they file or in actions brought against
6- Law no 6 for 1982 on Law Department defines its
jurisdiction in giving legal opinion vis-a-vis all cases
submitted to it from State administrations and reviewing bills
and regulations.
All members of these judicial bodies enjoy the same immunities
and privileges enjoyed by the judges. Within the framework of
supporting women in mass society, women vigorously obtruded
all judicial bodies now accounting for 40% of the total number
of their members.
Below is a brief illustration of respective judicial bodies:
First: Courts and their Jurisdictions
In accordance with Article 21 of Law no 6/2006 mentioned
above, Courts are formed as:
A. Summary Courts
B. Courts of First Instance
C. Courts of Appeal
D. Supreme Court
A- Summary Courts
A Summary Court is a first instance court and is competent
to decide on some civil and commercial cases not exceeding a
maximum of 1000 dinars in value and mostly personal status
cases. It is also competent to examine contraventions and
misdemeanors and appeal judgments issued by Courts of First
Instance under its judicial circuit.
Summary Courts number (135), spread in all cities and
villages, thus reflecting judicial decentralization and the
principle of bringing litigants nearer to justice.
B- Courts of First Instance
The Court of First Instance is competent to examine all civil and
commercial suits of high value as well as litigations with no
specific value. It is composed of three sitting judges, each of
whom is no less than grade one. It shall look into contestations
filed by persons concerned regarding judgments issued by
Summary Courts, and in this case, it consists of three judges, at
least two of whom are no less than grade one. It maintains the
general jurisdiction of examining cases, or in other words
decides on all disputes and crimes, unless otherwise provided
for (Article 16 of Judicature Law).
The Court of First Instance has an Accusation Chamber
administered by a magistrate judge. It is competent to consider
referral of felonies previously referred to it by the Public
Prosecution to the Criminal Court or to issue a writ declaring
that there is no point in litigating. It is thus authorized to
complete investigations as an accusation and referral power.
Judgments issued by the Court of First Instance are contestable
before the Court of Appeal which is a higher court (Article 307
Code of Proceedings).
Verdicts issued by the Court of Appeal are contestable before
the Supreme Court within certain limits. The number of Courts
of First Instance is (24) spread throughout the Great Jamhirya.
Each court is composed of a chairman and a number of judges.
C- Courts of Appeal
At the level of Appellate Court, litigation is devoted to two
degrees of appeal. It is competent to examine the following
1- Contestations lodged by persons concerned regarding
judgments issued by courts of first instance other than cases of
appeal against judgments issued by summary courts;
2- Crimes punishable by death penalty, life imprisonment or
3- Challenges regarding administrative decisions of
government agencies;
Each court of appeal is composed of a chairman and three
counselors. Its judgments are contestable before the Supreme
Court (Article 336 Code of Proceedings). There are currently
(7) Courts of Appeal in the Great Jamhirya; in Tripoli,
Benghazi, Musrata, Al Gabal Al Aghdar, Al Zawya, Sabha and
Al Khoms. The specialized Tripoli Court of Appeal was
abolished and its jurisdiction transferred to the Tripoli Court of
Appeal. The State Security Court, headquartered in the City of
Tripoli and as an Appellate Court, is competent to examine all
cases cited in Chapter 2 of the Penal Code.
D- Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is at the helm of the Libyan judicial
organization. It is basically competent to monitor proper law
enforcement by lower level courts regarding different civil and
commercial cases as well as personal status, penal and
administrative affairs.
The Supreme Court is composed of a chairman and an adequate
number of counselors.
The current organization of the Supreme Court is based on the
combined circuit system. As original mandate suggests, the
Supreme Court is a court of laws, before which final judgments
issued by trial courts are challenged, and accordingly it does not
examine facts of the case. However, in the event of repealing the
verdict, the suit is returned to the court issuing the judgment for
a second opinion and decision by judges other than those who
issued the first verdict.
Nevertheless, the legislator has entrusted the Supreme Court
with examining some cases directly as a trial court, stipulating
for its exclusive jurisdiction to look into challenges filed by
persons of vested interest in regard of matters at variance with
the Constitution in any crucial legal issue pertaining to the
Constitution or its interpretation that might have been raised in a
case examined by the court system, as well as in cases of
conflict of jurisdiction, be it positive or negative, among courts,
and court verdicts of death penalty. Further, if the Supreme
Court was to reverse its opinion on a previously declared
principle, it is differently formed into the so-called combined
circuits that will be comprised of (22) counselors.
Second: Public Prosecution and its Jurisdiction
There is a prosecution office for each type of court (Summary
Court, Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal) to
investigate into and dispose of all crimes and to proceed with
litigations according to the Code of Criminal Procedure. All
these prosecution offices report to the Prosecutor-General at the
level of the Great Jamhirya. The Public Prosecution is assigned
the duty of executing verdicts and supervising prisons.
The Law mandates the presence of the Public Prosecution
before Administrative Judicial Circuits at the Courts of Appeal
and Civil Status Circuits at Summary Courts and Courts of First
Instance in protection of public order and for submission of
legal opinion memorandum. The Code of Civil and Commercial
Proceedings requires that the Prosecution intervenes in any and
all personal status cases involving foreigners as well as in
nationality cases. It also permits the Prosecution to intervene in
cases related to minors, incompetent persons, persons in
absentia, charity endowments (Waqfs), donations, benevolent
testaments (wills), as well as in connection with cases of conflict
of jurisdiction among courts, lack of competence due to absence
of jurisdiction, contestation against court magistrates and
prosecution members, reconciliation to avoid bankruptcy and
other lawsuits relating to public interest, public order or public
disciplinary morals (Articles 107 and 108 of the Code of
Cassation Prosecution: The Supreme Court has a parallel
prosecution that is affiliated with it but does not report to the
Prosecutor-General. It is known as the Cassation Prosecution. It
performs the role of prosecution before the Supreme Court and
gives opinion on all challenges filed before the latter. Its
members are (61) in number.
Third: Litigation Department
The Litigation Department acts, by force of law, on behalf of
public legal persons (the State- government agencies – public
institutions – public organs – public interests) regarding lawsuits
filed by or actions brought against them. Public persons
according to the Libyan Law are not immune against justice.
Persons with vested interest may litigate to claim a right or to
revoke a State procedure or to be compensated for injury
inflicted as a corollary.
It also acts on behalf of public companies which are owned
either to the State or to any public legal person, provided that
this should be agreed between the chairman of the Department
and entities concerned. It has (10) branch offices all over the
Jamhirya. It was organized by virtue of Law no 87/1971. Its
functions are distributed among its members upon the decision
of the chairman or the competent branch office, as appropriate.
Fourth: People’s Law Office
People’s Law is an unprecedented flagship idea in the area of
legal defence without remuneration of citizens before courts in
suits filed by and actions brought against them or in litigations
in which they accused. This accounts for an underlying
characteristic and advantage of the mass regime.
This idea is considered one of the main guarantees for achieving
justice. Justice cannot be established in the absence of a lawyer
to defend the accused or claim the rights of people before courts.
This idea moreover is closely related to human rights. The right
of defence is a basic and crucial human right. The presence of
an attorney on gratuitous basis by the side of the accused
ensures and facilitates protection of human rights from this
Besides the right of defence, the People’s Law Office was
assigned another job, namely sensitization of the people and
extension of legal advice and consultancy when requested with a
view to enlighten the masses vis-à-vis their legal rights, interpret
laws and elucidate their provisions to them without
The People’s Law Office is one of the judicial bodies. Having
recourse to this judicial body is not obligatory but rather left to
the discretion of the person concerned who may either choose an
attorney at his own expense or to defend himself by himself.
The People’s Law Office is headquartered in the City of Tripoli
and has (7) branches in each of the Appellate Court circuits,
with (25) affiliated offices in cities and villages of the Great
Jamhirya for the purpose of facilitating citizens’ access to
defenders needless to move to metropolitan cities.
It has field offices in all reform and rehabilitation institutions to
enable inmates to seek legal defence without remuneration if
necessity calls for it, so that they will not have to face difficulty
accessing justice, given their status in these institutions and their
inability to frequent lawyers’ offices in villages and cities. As
mentioned above, this Office is deemed a judicial body and its
members are eligible to have the same privileges and
immunities enjoyed by members of the other judicial bodies.
Fifth: Law Department
It is a central Department with no branches. It gives legal
opinion and advice on cases put to it by public legal persons and
public companies. It develops and reviews draft laws due to be
issued as well as draft conventions to which the Jamhirya is a
party. Besides exercising oversight of legal advisors in the State,
it examines disciplinary actions in respect of top level
management staff as well as financial contraventions as the
Supreme Disciplinary Council is placed in this Department. It
further participates in all financial disciplinary sessions and
undertakes to discipline both contract editors and summoning
officers and attend to their entries in legally established registers
before they are permitted to take up their jobs. It finally
examines grievances and settlements of persons concerned
regarding their functional affairs.
To evolve an integrated image of the judicial business in the
Jamhirya, the table below shows a statistics indicating members
of the judicial bodies and another traces the number of cases
examined by these bodies:
Judicial Body No. of Males No. of
Court of Appeal and
Court of First Instance
Public Prosecution  

Litigation Department  

People’s Law Office  
Law Department 

The following is the statistics indicating cases and legal actions
at stake at the said bodies:
Judicial Body No. of Cases under examination for 2009
Court of Appeal and
Court of First Instance

Public Prosecution 

Litigation Department  
People’s Law Office  
Law Department 

The number of Supreme Court judges is 68 and the number of
Cassation Prosecution members is 61
Terms of recruitment of members of the judicial bodies:
The Judicature Law in Article (43) stated terms of recruitment
for judicial positions as follows:
1- To be fully competent and enjoy the nationality of the Great
Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamhirya;
2- To be holder of university degree (bachelor) in Islamic Law
(Sha’ria) or the Law from one of the Faculties in the Jamhirya;
or equivalent foreign certificate provided that in the latter case,
he passes an exam to be regulated by the Secretary.
3- To successfully pass the rehabilitation program at the
Judicial Institute;
4- To have good repute;
5- Not to have been previously convicted as a felon or in
connection with a dishonor or dishonesty misdemeanor even if
6- Not to have been sentenced by a disciplinary council to
dismissal or transfer to a non-judicial function;
7- To be physically fit, healthy and free from disabilities that
may prevent his functionality in the best way in accordance
with conditions and controls decreed by the Council;
8- The age of counselors should not be less than 40 sidereal
years, judges than 30 years and the rest of the members of
judicial bodies than 21 years;
9- Not to be married to a non-Arab or he may be exempted
from this clause upon a Council decision;
Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies
The Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies manages judicial
affairs in their entirety under the chairmanship of the SecretaryGeneral of the People’s General Committee on Justice. Its
membership is composed of the President of the Supreme Court,
the Prosecutor-General, the Secretary-General of the People’s
General Committee on Justice, Head of the Judicial Bodies’
Inspection Department, Chairmen of the Litigation Department,
the People’s Law Office, and the Law Department and the most
senior chairman of the Courts of Appeal, all are members of
judicial bodies, each whose grade is no less than chairman of the
court of appeal.
Council Jurisdiction
Pursuant to the Judicature Law mentioned above, the realm of
competence of this Council has typically featured in designing
judicial policies as well as in the appointment, promotion,
transfer, secondment, and disciplining of members of the
judicial bodies and running their functional affairs including
examination of suits they file to challenge decisions issued
against them. Other assignments are more specifically listed as
1- Give opinion on all cases pertinent to judicial bodies as well
as study and propose legislation on promotion of judicial
systems in place;
2- Ratify judicial provisions which laws sanction the
essentiality of their ratification;
3- Issue penalty-pardoning decisions;
4- Consider as null final administrative decisions on any of the
functional affairs of members of the judicial bodies that fall
within the jurisdiction of administrative justice and
compensation claims arising from it;
5- Disputes regarding salaries, pensions and remunerations
payable to members of the judicial bodies, as well as
allowances and material and moral incentives;
6- Establish courts of all types and degrees except for the
Supreme Court that was established and regulated by virtue of
a respective law, being the only tribunal of this kind in the
Great Jamhirya;
7- Establish inclusive and summary prosecution offices as well
as branch offices for the Litigation Department and the
People’s Law Office;
Substantial Developments of the Judicial Action
It is beneficial before finalizing talk about the judicial system to
project some of the developments that were brought forth in the
area of judicature in view of their unflagging significance:
First: The Judicature Law sanctioned many guarantees,
immunities and privileges. It also underpinned guarantees
already established in previous legislation, having introduced
multiple benefits and developments. The most crucial points
stated in the given Law can be summed up as follows:
1- It conferred judicial immunity on all members of the Judicial
Bodies after it had been previously confined to judges and
members of the public prosecution;
2- To ascertain accuracy of judicial action, first instance circuits
have come to be composed of three judges instead of one
magistrate judge;
3- Financial incentives were accorded to members of the judicial
bodies, doubling their salaries alongside authorizing the
Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies to determine allowances
and remunerations;
4- The social security system for members of the judicial bodies
was changed to determine their pensions on the basis of the
maximum value of the salary bracket of the grade in which
they were rated even though recently reached or according to
the last salary paid. This system is different from the other
social security systems applicable to the rest of State civil
5- All members of the judicial bodies are covered under the
medical insurance system as per contract with the Libyan
Medical Insurance Company consistently with the advanced
insurance system including free treatment in Libya and the
Arab world for staff and their families without deducted
amounts in subscription;
6- Extending the age of retirement from 63 to 65 years old;

– To raise the professional level of judges and members of
the judicial bodies, a higher institute was established with the
aim of organizing rehabilitation courses all the year round for
members of the judicial bodies to modernize their profile and
their real time monitoring of developments in the area of
judicial action;
8- The new Law provides for the creation of a social solidarity
fund to serve social and humanitarian purposes;
9- The Law decides on continued payment for three years of
the salary of the judicial body member in the event of suffering
a work injury plus a financial compensation with a subvention
up to 100,000 dinars in case of death;
10- Establish legally independent social clubs for members of
the judicial bodies, the revenues and financial resources of
which are to be employed in improving conditions of the
judicial bodies;
11- The Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies issued a code of
conduct for members of the judicial bodies in compliance with
the UN Convention against Corruption which the Jamhirya has
signed and ratified. The Convention renders it imperative to
issue codes of conduct for public officials tasked to enforce
laws as drawn from the Bangalore draft of the Code of Judicial
12- The Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies issued the Judicial
Inspection Regulation that commissioned experienced judges
in office to discharge the obligation of inspecting members of
the judicial bodies, thus ensuring independence of the judiciary
and delegating judicial staff only to exercise control over
judicial action.
13- Law no 5/2010 was issued to amend some provisions of the
Contract Editor Law, assigning the role of inspection of their
functions to the Judicial Inspection Department on the grounds
that the official contracts they draft are executive orders that
have the same effect of judicial rulings.
Second: Recommending further the principle of reconciliatory
justice (conciliation and arbitration). It is taken for granted that
all countries of the world have become well-disposed to attach
due importance to dispute-settlement through negotiation and
reconciliation. Reconciliation certainly leads to accelerated
resolution of disputes and relief of burden on courts, not to
mention satisfaction of parties and sparing them the grudge of
dispute. To this end, the Jamhirya took precedence in issuing
Law no 74/1975 that vested the people’s committees in the
jurisdiction to conciliate and arbitrate between citizens,
entrusting the people’s committees in basic people’s congresses
with the competence of examining disputes regarding civil and
commercial articles and personal status as well as criminal
procedure articles falling within the jurisdiction of the summary
court to be addressed in a popular and social perspective and
how this can contribute to the smooth settlement of disputes
away from court corridors. The Law thus defines simplified
procedures for these committees to pursue in commensurate
with the nature of litigations subject of their examination in a
manner that encourages citizens to have recourse to.
The Law substantially signifies reconciliatory justice by
requiring conditionally that the subject lawsuit falling within the
jurisdiction of summary and first instance courts in civil and
commercial articles and those pertinent to legal expenses, be
submitted first to conciliation committees and so that if
individuals fail to take this course, the Court will turn down
their litigation.
In order to effectuate and cement the idea of reconciliatory
justice, this Law needs reconsideration. As a consequence, Law
no 4/2010 was issued with new more developed concepts of
reconciliatory justice compared to the previous Law and has
gone so far as to expand the competence of conciliation and
reconciliation committees to include even criminal cases. The
Law as well declines to associate reconciliatory justice with the
administrative structure of the State. It rather renders competent
non-governmental committees to be formed in every congress or
residential quarter. These committees are to be made up of
persons who are best known for their efficiency, fairness,
impartiality, social prestige and experience in dispute
Section II: Legal and Judicial Protection of Human Rights
Since its inception, the Great Al Fateh Revolution has devoted
special interest to the enactment of legislation on the protection
of citizens’ rights and the harmonization of its related laws with
international treaties and instruments it abides by. Besides
enacting laws to protect rights and basic freedoms of
individuals, control mechanisms and organs were introduced to
ensure respect for effective laws and oversee their application.
In this part of the report, we tackle legal protection as item 1,
judicial protection as item 2 and control mechanisms as item 3
as follows.
First: Legal Protection:
1) Basic Laws: This protection is discernable through
overriding interest the Great Jamhirya has developed in
human rights and basic freedoms in a number of basic
and ordinary laws alongside its ratification of and
accession to many international human rights
conventions. Aspects of this protection are dealt with in
this regard as follows:
A- Declaration on the Establishment of the Authority of
the People on 2 March 1977:
This historic declaration has firmly established the natural right
of the citizen to determine his own fate and participate directly
in the exercise of ruling power from the political and
administrative sense of the term, citing in Item 3 that “power is
but for the people and no one else. The people will exercise their
power through people’s congresses and people’s committees.”
Therefore the people are authorized to enact laws and choose the
executive tool (people’s committees) at their different levels.
B- The Great Green Human Rights Charter in the Era of
the Masses:
The Charter contains an array of generic rights and freedoms as
enshrined in international and regional declarations and
conventions such as civil, political, economic, social and
cultural rights, adding other rights and freedoms that were not
mentioned before, for example human right to live in a world
free of atomic, germicidal, and chemical weapons and means of
mass destruction; human right to sovereignty and exercise of
power directly without representation; human right to exploit
land for personal benefit; human right of not being employed by
others but rather to own his production to which he has
contributed his effort as long as the given activity is incomeyielding in tandem with the partners–not-employees principle.
In this respect, it is worth mentioning that the Great Green
Human Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses is singular in
characteristics that distinguish it from other instruments and
positive laws on human rights and basic freedoms:
– It is not limited to the Solemn Declaration on Human Rights
and Basic Freedoms, but is resolutely dedicated to provide
adequate conditions and put in place appropriate mechanisms to
enable humans to verily enjoy their rights and freedoms. In
assertion of the human right to exercise power and determine
one’s own fate, it takes forward to means securing this right as
exemplified in people’s congresses and people’s committees.
Also in assertion of human right to labor, it recognizes his full
freedom to choose the type of work suiting him whether
individually or in partnership with others and to enjoy the output
of his effort; and in affirmation of human right to exploit land
for personal benefit in terms of occupancy, agro-living and
pastoral activity, it has freed him from the yoke of feudalism by
stating that “land is the property of no one”.
– It has not been exclusively bound to the Declaration on Human
Rights and Basic Freedoms but is persistently after
harmonization and adjustment of these rights and freedoms in
concert with the concept of humanization and dignity of
humans. Having approached the right of freedom as sacred, it
confines imprisonment as a penalty to those whose freedom
poses threat or constitutes corruption to others, prohibits all
degrading penalties detrimental to human dignity and sets the
target of penalty to be social reform as represented in
rectification, rehabilitation and advice. Meanwhile the Green
Charter has made it clear that the ultimate aim of the mass
society is the abolition of death penalty, thus it condemns
appalling implements of execution such as electric chair and
poisonous gas injection.
– In emphasis of the sacredness of human rights and basic
freedoms, the Green Charter provides for rights and freedoms
in absolute terms and without conditions or restrictions. It has
not left in the purview of the ordinary legislator to define these
rights, the modality of their exercise or means and ways of
enjoying them. The Charter notes: “The sons of the mass
society are free in times of peace to move and reside, that
citizenship in the mass society is a sacred right that may not be
dropped or withdrawn, that sons of the mass society are free to
set up trade unions, syndicates and associations in protection
of their professional interests and that the mass society ensures
the right of litigation and independence of the judiciary,
maintaining the right of the accused to stand fair and impartial
– The Great Green Human Rights Charter was exclusive in
stipulating for the right to compose a family and deems it a
cherished right in the bid to ensure the formation of a coherent
family in terms of parenthood and siblings. The human is
created to be raised by his mother and his nature is only suited
to her true care and breast-feeding. The child is the produce of
his mother’s upbringing. As its provisions were based on this
right and that principle, the Charter has specifically been
guided by bedrock concepts articulated in the Green Book that
regards the family as the cradle of human, his origin and social
umbrella. Accordingly, it fine-tunes with the African Charter
of Human Rights that singled out, unlike all regional and
international instruments, in highlighting these core values in
the Item on Obligations in Chapter 2 of Part I.
– Perhaps the most remarkable input of the Great Green Charter
is its inclusion of the right of peoples to liberation and
advocacy in due regard to the subdued and the persecuted, as
well as the right of incitement of peoples to face injustice,
arbitrary practices, exploitation and colonialism. It further
provides for the right of peoples to security and peace and to
shun wars and terrorism and the right of nationalities to live
according to their own choices.
– Finally the Charter states that the resourcefulness of rights and
freedoms enunciated in it is not derived from the will of the
State but rather takes root in sublime ideals and rules of natural
law, citing rights as the endowment of Allah the Almighty.
C- Freedom Promotion Law no.20/1991:
Guided by international instruments and covenants on human
rights and basic freedoms and based on the Great Green Human
Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses, this Law has been
issued to have its articles expressly pinned, in detail, on
fundamental principles embraced in the Green Charter, noting
that such rights are not subject to prescription or prejudice and
may be waived. The Law stresses that its provisions are
fundamental and nothing that is in contravention with it may be
issued. It rather mandates amendment of whatever is deemed in
2-Ordinary Legislation (Civil, Commercial and Criminal)
A battery of civil, commercial and criminal laws regulates
relations among individuals and between the latter and
government and private agencies. These laws are principally
inferred from French and Italian codes alongside some Islamic
Law (Shari’a) stipulations. Albeit the fact that these laws are
relatively modern if compared to those applicable in other
countries, it has become necessary to reconsider them in keeping
with national and global developments.
Therefore, committees, numbering 14, were formed to
reconsider key legislation and review laws (civil – commercial –
proceedings – criminal procedure – Penal Code – labor and civil
service – State financial system – administrative structuring –
foreign investment – education – health – judicature – oil and
others). Several laws were issued to this effect, including:
Commercial Law that fell in 1660 articles and Laws on Labor
Relations, Investment, Education, Health, Financial Leasing,
Real Estate Registration, Taxation, Customs, Illegal Migration,
and Nationality. The General Organization for Investment was
also established. A good many of laws are still under study.
Most important reasons justifying reconsideration of
legislation are:
1- The Jamhirya is in the process of economic restructuring
according to a newly-developed program for wealth
distribution to all Libyans based on the statement that
people are partners in power, wealth and weapon, in
addition to preliminary procedures required for accession
to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
2- The Jamhirya was committed to the other states and
international organizations by ratifying or acceding to a
number of international conventions including but not
limited to:
Fighting terrorism and transnational organized crime,
trafficking in persons, smuggling illegal migrants,
trafficking in arms, combat of corruption and narcotics, and
others which demanded reconsideration of provisions of
criminal law and legislation regulating transactions with
foreigners especially that the territories of the Jamhirya are
markedly vast and sprawling.
Criminal Laws:
These laws include the Penal Law and its complementary laws as
well as the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure were issued in
1954 and since then, interesting developments have been coupled
with human rights. Committees were formed to develop a draft
penal code ensuring protection of human rights
Updates of the penal system are currently being introduced as
manifest in the following:
* Commutation of death penalty for its eventual abolition;
* Curbing of freedom-restricting penalties and their substitution
by financial penalty such as fines;
* Expansion in reconciliation bids for simple and medium-level
crimes (contraventions and misdemeanors) by paying an amount
of money to the victim or to the State in lieu of prison
* Adoption of the idea of alternative sanctions by employing the
convict instead of jailing him;
* Affiliation of reform and rehabilitation institutions (prisons) to
the People’s General Committee on Justice in administrative and
technical terms so as to have them placed under direct judicial
supervision to prevent abuse in treating prisoners.
All complementary laws were incorporated into the new draft
Penal Code for smooth reference.
As for Code of Criminal Procedure, it deals with rules regulating
functions of res judicata officers, evidence collection,
investigation and trial procedures as well as trial and detention
guarantees for the protection of human rights in the Great
International Human Rights Treaties and Instruments
Based on its irrevocable faith in the sacredness of human rights
and basic freedoms, the Jamhirya has ratified international
conventions on human rights in their different domains.
The Libyan legal system is chiefly built around the domestication
of international or regional covenants and instruments ratified by
the basic people’s congresses or to which the Jamhirya accedes,
once they are published in the official gazette and thus should be
respected. The national judge also is committed to their
application as part of the national legislation (Article 1 of the
Libyan Civil Law). This indicates that the mere ratification of the
subject convention or covenant necessitates its regard as internal
legal rules that courts are obliged to apply to disputes under
examination. Moreover, each person with vested interest may
seek effectuation of its provisions before the national judge to
exclude national legal provisions that may be in contravention
with it. This goes for the African Charter of Human and Peoples’
Rights to which the Great Jamhirya had been a party since 1986,
as well as the Protocol establishing the African Court for Human
and Peoples’ Rights ratified by the Jamhirya in 2003. Given the
critical importance of judicial cooperation in protecting human
and peoples’ rights, the Great Jamhirya has concluded a host of
judicial cooperation agreements with the other states to facilitate
execution of judicial writs and rulings whether issued by Libyan
Courts or by courts in other states party to these agreements.
Human Rights Organizations:
In the Jamhirya, there are organizations concerned with human
rights and interested in protecting, monitoring and tracking
related violations and attempting their redress. These
organizations are set within their realm of competence to
energize nationally, regionally and internationally-agreed human
rights. These organizations are represented in the following:
1- Legal Affairs and Human Rights Secretariat at the
People’s General Conference Secretariat:
It is a higher administrative agency above ministerial level
and its structure consists of all departments directly
concerned with human rights such as the Human Rights
Department and the Legal Affairs Department. These
Departments are institutional constituents of the Secretariat of
the People’s General Conference and are concerned in the
first place with following up and implementing all human
rights policies contained in the Libyan legislation.
2- Human Rights Committee at the People’s General
Committee led by the Secretary-General of the People’s
General Committee on Justice and with the membership of
heads of sectoral legal offices. It receives, examines, verifies
and responds to human rights observations and complaints.
3- At the Non-Governmental Society Level
Civil society in the field of human rights in the Great Jamhirya
is complementary to the role of State institutions in enhancing
the community and improving the performance of its individuals
towards building human as a point of departure to creativity in
the light of freedom and practice of direct democracy (power of
the people). On the basis of entrenching religious parameters
calling for righteous action and recommending cooperation for
benevolence and piety, civil work historically takes root ever
since the rise of Islam, most notably is the Hold Fast Society
(Waetasmou) operating under the supervision of Dr. Aisha
Moamer El Qaddafi and the Qaddafi Institution for Charitable
Societies and Development under the supervision of Dr. Seif El
Islam Moamer Qaddafi that has launched national, regional and
international human rights initiatives, and others.
The Revolution recognized the centrality of civil action, thus
issuing early after its inception Law no 111/1970 on Societies
detailing in 7 parts how these societies were formed and striking
the balance between founders of these societies and the
administration powers, naming the judiciary as the competent
authority vested in separating between the two sides.
The Libyan legislator issued the Civil Societies Law no 19/2001
which granted citizens the right to establish civil societies,
conferring jurisdiction to issue licenses for creation of these
societies on one of the following three entities namely the
Secretariat of the People’s General Conference, the People’s
General Committee and the Research National Authority.
Purposes of these societies diversified covering nearly all
aspects of life such as human rights, youth, women and child
care, attention to people with special needs, the physically
disabled and psychiatric patients as well as interest in
developing treatment for patients of chronic diseases, like
societies for combating cancer, prevention against radiation,
renal failure, renal transplantation, intensive care and others.
This enumeration does not normally involve trade unions,
syndicates and vocational associations because these
institutions, though by the book, are considered as civil and
attend to the professional interests of their candidate members;
they still constitute part of the political fabric of the Libyan
Second: Judicial Protection
Under this item, we will first present basic principles governing
the Libyan Judicial System and second will review Libyan
judicial efforts in protecting human rights:
1- Basic Principles governing the Libyan Judicature
The Libyan judicial system provides for a set of guarantees to
ensure rights and freedoms:
1- Independence and impartiality of the Judiciary;
2- Ensuring right of litigation;
3- Gratuity of justice;
4- Separation of judicial bodies;
5- Multiplicity of litigation degrees;
6- Magistrate judge and multiple judges;
7- Publicity of sessions;
These basic principles are correlated with human rights and we
will address them more clearly as follows:
1- Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary:
The Great Green Human Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses
cites in its ninth principle that “The Mass Society ensures
independence of the Judiciary”, similar to the stipulation in
Article 31 of the Freedom Promotion Law no 20/1991 to the
effect that judges are independent and not subject to any
authority. While in office, they are not susceptible to any
influence. Claims of otherwise or attempt to do so is a punishable
crime pursuant to articles (274-276) of the Penal Code.
Courts are not permitted to establish legal rules to become vested
in the power to enact. In order to assert the judges’ independence
from the executive body that appoint them, the above mentioned
Judicature Law has decided on a number of guarantees ensuring
that judges are not liable to relief of office. It has also developed
some provisions on their appointment, secondment, transfer, and
discipline as well as the other remaining functional affairs since
the Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies, composed of senior
members of these bodies, is exclusively designated to perform the
aforementioned functions.
However, independence of the judiciary means also noninterference in its affairs by any entity from outside since
legislation has entrusted monitoring of judicial action to a judicial
body comprised of a number of judges of higher degrees, or the
so-called Inspection Department. Inspection is carried out by
examining the performance of the inspector every year at the
Inspection Department Headquarters or the competent branch, as
appropriate, or by the inspector moving to the workplace of the
member subject of inspection.
In all cases, the inspector is provided with a copy of the legal
work performed by the member subject of inspection, while the
latter may present to the inspector first-hand positive level of
effort to indicate his efficiency. This work or level of effort is
subject to evaluation affirmatively or negatively and no member
of the judicial body will be entitled to promotion unless he is
reported to have been evaluated at least by above average grade.
The judge applies justice in balancing legal interests of
adversaries. The Judicature Law presupposes the impartiality of
the judge; however he is to be prevented from examining the case
once proved to be of vested material or moral interest or if he is
bound in kinship up till the fourth grade with any of the
adversaries, or if he has had prior opinion on the subject case
under his examination. The Libyan Law has adopted this
principle to ensure smooth conduct of justice and maintain its
networking with public order, which the judge is automatically
committed to it, even without plea on the part of the adversaries.
2- Ensuring the right of litigation and equality before court:
The Great Green Human Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses
stipulates in its ninth principle that “Mass society guarantees the
right of litigation and the independence of the judiciary and that
the accused has the right to a fair trial”.
This principle applies to foreigners as well. The foreigner who
goes to court, will be entitled to enjoy the same rights of the
Libyan citizen except for free-of-charge defence unless he is
financially unable, then he is to benefit from defence gratuity in
the same way the national does.
The Freedom Promotion Law no 20/1991, in Article 1 notes:
“Citizens, males and females, in the Great Jamhirya, are free and
equal in rights, and their rights are inviolable”.
Pursuant to Libyan legislation, defence tools are employed by
three entities namely:
A- People’s Law Office: a group of members of the judicial
bodies who are paid by the State and enjoy the same privileges
accorded to judges be they financial, functional or immunities.
They take the responsibility of defending individuals in all cases.
B-Litigation Department: defends the State and public legal
persons in suits filed by or against them. Its members enjoy the
same privileges of the judges.
C- Private Law: This is practiced by attorneys who work for
themselves as professionals as per the law as is the case in other
countries where the same validation determined for attorneys is
3- Gratuity of Justice
The judges are paid their salaries from the Public Treasury and
not from the adversaries. Therefore it can be safely admitted that
going to court is gratuitous. If litigants are charged judicial fees in
return for their having recourse to courts, it is thereby meant to
assure seriousness of the case. There is the legal aid system that
allows those financially unable, be they nationals or foreigners, to
litigate without remuneration, including exemption from fees and
attorney fees in observance of a set of substantive and formal
terms defined in the Judicial Fees Law, even though these judicial
fees are nominal as the suit-filing fees, in the early stages, do not
exceed 19 dinars no matter its value.
4- Separation of judicial bodies
To ensure soundness of judicial performance, each judicial body
is tasked an independent function other than those assigned to the
other bodies. While the sitting judge issues judgment, the Public
Prosecution conducts investigation and institute lawsuits, the
Litigation Department defends the State in suits filed by or
against it since the legal system does not recognize that the State
is immune against prosecution except in areas of state
sovereignty. The People’s Law Office defends individuals on the
basis of gratuity of defence whether for those who are unable or
able, a system that is applicable nowhere in any country in the
– Multiplicity of litigation degrees
It is considered one of the underlying principles in the Libyan
judicial system. The lawsuit is instituted before the Court of First
Instance; the convict may then challenge its judgment before the
Court of Appeal to which the dispute is brought anew for decision
by final judgment which may be contested still before the
Supreme Court. The mission of this Court is to monitor
enforcement and interpretation of the law, as well as soundness of
litigation procedures. Its rulings are unimpeachable. Its principles
are binding to all courts and administrative bodies.
6- Magistrate Judge and Multiplicity of Judges
The Libyan legislator adopts the magistrate judge system for
summary courts whereas the multiplicity of judges system is
applicable to inclusive circuits in the Courts of First Instance as
well as to Appellate Court in examining challenges against
judgments issued by Summary Courts in order to ensure
transparency and guarantee that the case was examined by more
than one magistrate judge. This is also the case with the Courts of
Appeal and the Supreme Court.
The purpose of multiplicity of judges is for the new judge to avail
himself of the experience of senior judges. This multiplicity
opens avenues of dialogue, enriches discussion, and help reach
the truth. It is also in agreement with the principle of decision
collectivity, which results in avoiding individual abusive practices
and authoritarian decision-taking.
5- Publicity of Sessions
One of the most crucial litigation guarantees is the publicity of
sessions i.e. conducting legal proceedings in public sessions
where every person has the right to attend. Article 25 of the
Judicature Law stipulates that “Court sessions shall be held in
public unless ordered by the Court to be in camera in observance
of public morals or in preservation of public order.
Pronouncement of judgment in all cases shall be in public
Third: Guarantees for Implementing Judicial Rulings
The Libyan legal system recognizes a set of guarantees certain to
ensure protection of citizens’ rights and basic freedoms and deter
any excesses or aggressions against them.
Guarantees for Implementing Civil Judgments
The Code of Civil Proceedings included more than 400 articles
dealing with judicial enforcement. As enforcement means using
the State power in executing judgments by coercive force in favor
of the party with an executive order, formidable guarantees have
been listed in a series of procedures to be pursued to make sure
human rights are not violated due to enforcement. Attachments
performed regarding movable or real estate property mean taking
it by force from its owner to implement the right of the party
requesting enforcement. Therefore the latter should follow
procedures set forth in the Law of Proceedings such as notifying
the executive order and requesting its enforcement. The Law has
defined funds that are not be subject to attachment and permitted
application of this procedure without exceeding quarter of the
salary and but stipulated that it was not allowable regarding
residence (if it was the only residence).
Guarantees for Implementing Criminal Judgments
The convict in a crime is the one who has infringed upon the
sanctity of the community and broken its laws which its
legislative authority had enacted, thus mandating his penalty.
Crimes perpetrated by those criminals such as murder, theft,
narcotics crimes and terrorism seriously threaten and undermine
the security and stability of the society for representing assault on
lawfully-protected rights.
However we should not be in oblivion as to the fact that this
criminal is a human whose human rights must be duly respected;
as perhaps he may not have been responsible for the conditions
that led to his commitment of crime and that it may be in the
interest of the society that this criminal becomes a righteous
person after serving his sentence. This has prompted the Libyan
legislator to call prisons “reform and rehabilitation institutions”,
thus delegating the power of supervising these institutions to the
Public Prosecution and oversight judges in addition to
transferring the judicial police competence to the People’s
General Committee on Justice.
Hence the following part is dwelt on the issue of oversight of
reform and rehabilitation institutions:
A- Inmates’ Treatment in Reform and Rehabilitation
Law no 5/2005, replacing Law no 47/1975 on prisons, regulates
the affairs of reform and rehabilitation institutions in the Great
This Law identifies reform and rehabilitation institutions as
places of reform and education intended to rectify and put right
the conduct of convicts serving freedom-restricting sentences and
rehabilitate them to be righteous members of the community,
which thereby the Law has transcended penalty purposes to
materialize in reform and rehabilitation, mindful of public and
private deterrence in conjunction with modern criminal policies.
Having classified reform and rehabilitation institutions into key,
local, special open and semi-open institutions, this Law provides
for inmates’ categorization and distribution according to the
degree of crime committed and meanwhile mandates that
depositing any person in a reform and rehabilitation institution
should be upon a written order, signed and sealed, by the Public
Prosecution. It forbids that the subject convict be retained after
the expiry of the period specified in the order.
Within each institution, the Law requires that inmates be divided,
in terms of treatment or subsistence, into two fully-separated
categories; the first includes the provisionally detained, traffic
crime and sinful offence convicts, sentenced elderly people who
are past 60 years in age and convicts who are under 21. The
second category covers the rest of convicts.
The Law mandates as well that provisionally detained inmates are
to be accommodated in separate places in the given institution.
They are also permitted to stay in paid furnished rooms.
The Law permits that inmates buy or meet their needs from
outside the institution unless otherwise indicated as opposed to
health or security contingencies.
It decides that if the sentence period the subject convict is serving
in the institution exceeded four years, he will have to pass
through a transitional period before his release to observe
progressive ease of constraints for his eventual reintegration in
the society.
The Law permits sheltering pregnant inmates in social care
institutions in lieu of reform and rehabilitation institutions upon a
decision by the doctor concerned with regard to food, activity and
sleep, until she gives birth and for 40 days after delivery and the
inmate will be also entitled to keep her baby until he/she is two
years old.
Concerning other rights of inmates, the Law confers on them the
right to work and get paid for it. It relieves the inmate from work
on reaching the age of 60 unless he otherwise desires and is
proved physically able to continue working. Inmates, according to
this Law, are entitled to have days off on religious events and
official holidays. The Law also stipulates for the validity of
provisions of Social Security Law regarding injuries inflicted on
inmates at work.
The Law gives inmates the right to learning and knowledge, and
obligates reform and rehabilitation institutions to educate and
train them vocationally in accordance with State schooling
It permits inmates in specific cases to do exams in schools outside
the institution. It requires establishing a library in each institution
with a view to educate and discipline inmates alongside
permitting them to buy books, newspapers, magazines and others
from outside which they will pay for.
According to the Law, the judicial police are required to provide
different mass media to the inmates, and to hold synthesizing and
recreational symposiums and workshops for them. The Law states
in this regard that inmates, who seek to be better educated, shall
be awarded remuneration if they managed during their stay in the
institution to memorize the Holy Qoran or half of it or to obtain
general or university certificate.
The Law makes it obligatory to have in each institution a preacher
or more to conduct guidance activity and help in rectifying
aberrant behavior of inmates to reinstate them in the community
as sagacious citizens.
The Law includes the provision citing the right of inmates to
medical care by having in each institution a resident doctor aided
by an adequate number of assistants, whose mission is to follow
up on health affairs of inmates and check on the impact of their
environmental conditions such as solitary confinement or labor to
take appropriate measures to prevent or redress injury.
The Law mandates that the seriously ill inmate whose life is in
danger or who is threatened with physical disability shall be
released on health grounds upon a Health Release Committee
order approved by the Secretary-General of the People’s General
Committee on Justice, based on the reported medical examination
of the physician concerned.
The Law as well provides for the right of inmates to social care,
having established in each institution a section for social care
supplied with a sufficient number of experts and specialists to
examine the inmate’s character and decide on the program
suitable for his treatment. It stipulates for inmates’ categorization,
education, training and rehabilitation together with development
of social researches and psychological studies on their cases.
The Law provides for granting bonus-track benefit to the released
that is in need to help him meet his urgent needs after his release.
The Law stipulates for the right of the inmate to visit and
correspond as well as his right to meet his lawyer in private and
also his relatives or his representative or guardian even not during
normal visiting hours, when necessary.
The Law provides for the right of the inmate, who is sentenced to
a freedom-restricting penalty, to 8-day annual leave at intervals,
maximum 4 days running at a time. He is to have the right to an
emergency leave for 72 hours at most in the event of the passing
away of one of his relatives up to the 2
The Law mandates that the head of the institution accept any
complaint, verbal or written, to be lodged by the inmate and take
the necessary action in this respect.
The Law stipulates for conditional release of the convict
sentenced to a freedom-restricting penalty if he served threequarters of the penalty period, if his conduct during his stay at the
institution was worthy of trusting his intention for reform, if his
release does not endanger public security and if the period he
spent at the institution was not less than nine months.
In observance of commitment to implement these rights, the Law
has established an organ for administrative inspection of reform
and rehabilitation institutions where a number of inspectors
operate. It is chaired by a Public Prosecution Director to verify
abidance by systems, laws and regulations governing these
institutions, examine complaints lodged and study issues as
requested. This right to inspection is legally determined for the
Secretary of the People’s General Committee on Justice and the
In the area of improving conditions of reform and rehabilitation
institutions, many actions could be noted as follows:
First: In the Area of Construction Works
1- A health complex was inaugurated at the newly established
reform and rehabilitation institution. This complex was set
to house patients who are inmates of the institution. It
includes a section for patients required to be medically
isolated to avert disease outbreaks within the institutions.
2- New reform and rehabilitation institutions were typically
built on health grounds in conformity with technical
specifications consistent with human respect and not in
conflict with human rights, and where ventilation, lighting,
water networks, sanitary drainage and solar sawmills are
provided to replace old institutions.
Second: In the Area of Development
In this field, the following has been substantiated:
1- Improve means of transporting inmates through provision of
secure vehicles instead of old means of transportation;
2- Provide beds, mats and covers for inmates especially in winter
where 10000 beds were manufactured by inmates;
3- Introduce modern automation to all departments affiliated to
reform and rehabilitation institutions by providing computers
through which all data on inmate affairs may be documented.
Work is in progress with regard to continuously modernizing
this system to ensure access to all leads of information such as
inmate’s imprint, personal photo and judicial position as well as
changes he is likely to experience including his appearance
before court in the set dates of sessions.
4- Put in place a personnel system for the Judicial Police staff and
another for enumerating and furnishing investigation and
discipline councils with experienced and efficient officers
working in the Organ.
5- Complete and introduce improvements and maintenance works
of old institutions and meet their basic requirements. These
included construction of new kitchens and bathrooms, provision
of potable water, renovation of water and sanitary drainage
network, electricity, installation of doors and windows and
supply of office furniture.
6- Set up some shops in fields of (mechanics – carpentryblacksmithing- plumbing) to train and rehabilitate inmates after
their release to help them return to the community and
contribute to the construction movement.
7- Set up telephone kiosks in the institutions for inmates to
contact their families for nominal fares.
8- Open ateliers in the reform and rehabilitation institutions for
women to have a profession for them to make a living after their
9- This Organ was supplied with a sufficient number of fire
cylinders and extinguishers which were distributed to the
institutions for use when necessary in anticipation of any
Third: In the Area of Social and Health Care
1- A complaint fund was set up for institutions and under the
supervision of a judge specialized in examining inmates’
complaints and finding appropriate solutions to their problems;
2- A number of preachers were approached to give religious
lectures to enlighten, guide and sensitize inmates as regards their
religion and urge them to engage in charity activities with a view
to return to the society as sagacious citizens;
3- Enable the press to hold interviews and conduct polls and
provide it with information and facilities to carry out its mission;
4- In implementation of Law no 5/2010 on reform and
rehabilitation institutions, many decisions were issued to the
effect of transferring inmates to institutions nearby their
families’ dwellings to facilitate their visit.
5- Coordination with social security bodies to vaccinate
accompanying children inside the institutions as well as pay
basic pensions to inmates’ families in application of the social
care principle and in accordance with laws in force.
6- Several intellectual contests, social events and sports activities
were organized to manifest opening up contours to incorporate
inmates in the community;
7- A number of medical specialists in skin and internal and dental
treatment were assigned on bonus track basis to improve health
services extended to the inmates’ and to curb the spread of
epidemics and diseases within institutions.
8- Inmates were classified according to standards set forth in
9- Medical teams were formed under the supervision of the
Judicial Police in Tripoli, Benghazi, Al Zawya, Gherian, and
Sabha who, within their realm of competence, have toured the
institutions and conducted medical examinations and analyses
for patient inmates together with the treatment and medical
examination of serious cases and when necessary, carrying out
small surgeries and transferring cases to specialized hospitals
and medical centers.
10- Health campaigns were launched, in coordination with
specialized centers, to make sure inmates are free of infectious
diseases (Aids, hepatitis, tuberculosis);
11- Clothes and accessories for mother and child have been
provided and gifts distributed to inmates in reform and
rehabilitation institutions concerned;
12- Advanced first-aid ambulances were made available to all
branches in conformity with international standards to raise
performance levels in the area of health care;
Fourth: In the Field of Training
1- A specialized training course on reform and rehabilitation and
human rights institutions was held in the Technical School in
which foreign experts took part as teachers and lecturers with
the attendance of officers working at the reform and
rehabilitation institutions.
2- Members of this Machinery participate in computer, internet
and language training courses organized at the Technical School
based in the Training General Department to elevate the level of
staff working in this field;
3- A semester was planned at the level of the reform and
rehabilitation institution under the supervision of specialists to
train inmates in the computer to help them cope with modern
technology and automation;
Fifth: For further development and a way forward, some
advanced systems were essentially construed and simulated.
Many procedures were pursued to this effect:
1- Participation in meetings, sessions, and foreign missions in
connection with the work of the Machinery.
2- Holding interviews with excellent working calibers and
offering them material and moral incentives;
Sixth: In the area of festivals and recreation, reform and
rehabilitation institutions affiliated with this Machinery,
organize concerts and sports activities marking the occasion
of national and religious events.
Reform institutions are run by members of the Judicial Police
numbering 590 officers representing different grades and are
assisted by non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and individuals
plus civil servants.
A. Prisoners Abroad
The State’s interest was not confined to prisoners within borders
of the State but it was also developed to cover this category
overseas. Upon a decision taken by the masses of the Basic
People’s Congresses, the People’s General Committee was
delegated to administer external communication and international
cooperation by envisaging a mechanism for off-shore prisoner
care. A Committee was formed to monitor status of Libyan
prisoners abroad, which, since its institution, has been planning
field visits to all countries where Libyan prisoners are serving
sentences to be well informed of their health conditions and to
render all the necessary assistance to them including judicial aid
such as assigning attorneys to defend their cases through
coordination with fraternity and popular offices abroad. This
Committee prepares annual reports on the nature of its work and
findings reached for their submission to the People’s General
Committee on External Communication.
B- Police Release and Special Pardon
If penalty was primarily intended to ensure reform, moral
justification and rehabilitation of convicts to become righteous
members of the society in a way to determine or execute penalty
as required, the Libyan legislation has recommended two highly
important matters in motivating convicts to reform themselves:
first; by deciding on conditional release where the Prosecutor-
General, upon submission by the Institution Director, will be
authorized to release convicts if they behaved well at the
institution level and if five years from the date of release have
elapsed without the released committing any crime, only then the
release shall be definitive and the penalty obliterated. Second; full
or partial pardoning of the convict’s penalty in accordance with
controls specified by the Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies
most significantly by proving sound conduct of the convict to
either commute sentence or to stay of its execution. This
pardoning is normally connected with national or religious events
to make prisoners and their families happy on these occasions.
The Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies had issued during 2009
pardon decisions concerning some prisoners. A large number of
convicts of different nationalities benefited from these decisions.
Part IV: Institution of Non-Governmental
Organizations and Syndicate Action
Part V: Establishment of Non-Governmental Organizations
and Syndicate Action
The right to establish syndicates, trade unions and vocational
associations and to institute civil societies may be regarded as an
action complementary to the role of State institutions in
advancing the community towards building humans as a point of
departure to creativity in the light of freedom and power of the
A human rights’ advocate must be aware of the fact that the
Great Jamhirya is one of the states most interested and
respectful of the right to form syndicates and vocational
associations and institute civil societies. For further clarification,
we will present first its efforts vis-à-vis the right to institute civil
societies and second its contribution to the defence of the right
to establish trade unions, syndicates and vocational associations.
First: Right to Institute Civil Societies
Few months after the inception of the Great Fateh Revolution, it
was evidently clear how much the latter is interested in
supporting civil work as embodied in issuing Law no (111) for
1970 on the formation of civil societies. Thirty years after the
issuance of this Law, the legislator saw that a new legislation on
civil action is required to cope with developments in the field of
human rights and consistently with the Declaration on 9/9/1999
and Law no 19/2001 which provided for all parties interested in
voluntary civil action the right to establish institutions for public
affairs and extend social, cultural, sports, charitable,
humanitarian and scientific services and others at the local and
national levels.
The Law confines notarization of civil societies to the following
three government agencies:
First Agency:
People’s General Conference Secretariat: gives work
permission to societies operating in the area of friendship and
cooperation between the Libyan people and the other peoples.
Second Agency:
People’s General Committees for Administrative Divisions:
give work permission to societies whose terms of reference are
at the level of the Great Jamhirya.
Third Agency:
People’s Committees for Administrative Divisions: give work
permission to societies with terms of reference at the
administrative division level.
Further, whereas scientific societies are not subject to this Law,
their work permission is issued by the National Authority for
Scientific Research pursuant to provisions of laws in force.
The number of civil societies operating in the Great Jamhirya
amounted to 400 in number with diversified activities covering
defence of human rights, power of the people, social care,
environment and consumer protection, enhancement of women
and youth, scientific societies, fraternity and friendship
societies, care for people with special needs such as the
disabled and the physically disadvantaged, the deaf and dumb,
and the blind, orphan and diabetic care as well as cancerfighting, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and renal
transplantation and others.
The Great Jamhirya was interested in civil action since the
inception of the Fateh Revolution. Legal mechanisms in place
for its regulation and activation have preceded the African
Charter of Human and People’s rights. There were also
subsequent and amended laws following the first legislation
regulating civil action, which were issued upon the
promulgation of the Charter and were abiding by its provisions,
therefore the Great Jamhirya was among pioneer countries
committed to the African Charter that stipulated in Article 10
1-Each person has the right to freely institute societies with
others provided that abidance by provisions cited in the Law is
2- No person is obliged to join any of these societies provided
that this is not in conflict with the commitment to the solidarity
principle set forth in the Charter.
The Right to Establish Federations, Syndicates and
Vocational Associations
Syndicate organization in Libya was initiated in the wake of the
decade of last century by establishing federations when
economic activity, though limited, was dominated by the Fascist
Italian colonial minority. To face challenges of this period, large
segments of Libyan workers had struggled for the institution of
syndicates to protect and defend their rights. Some laws were
issued to the effect of permitting the establishment of
syndicates, including for example Law no (1) for 1962 whereby
the Bar Association was founded. After the launch of the Great
Fateh Revolution, all unfair rules crippling the freedom of the
people were dropped, the worker became partner in
administration and production processes through restructuring
work relations and establishing professional, productive and
craft syndicates and congresses grouping members of the one
profession or craft. Codes on the institution of syndicates were
subsequent, where Laws no. (111) / 1971 on the establishment
of the Engineering Profession Syndicate, no. (48)/1971 on
Teachers’ Syndicate and no. (107)/1975 on Federations were
issued respectively. The Federations Law cited in Article 1 that:
“Workers operating in one profession or industry or like
professions or industries or related to each other or sharing the
same production shall be entitled to institute together a public
syndicate at the level of the Great Jamhirya. These syndicates,
formed in accordance with the provisions of this Law, may be
rallied around a general federation that shall have the legal

Law no (99) for 1976 on the Establishment of Public Syndicates
and a General Federation for Craftsmen was issued. Codes
establishing and regulating syndicates were subsequent until
Law no (23) for 1428 on federations, syndicates and vocational
associations and its Executive Regulation were issued. In
assertion of the right to form syndicates, the Great Green
Human Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses declared on
12/6/1988 has provided that: “Sons of the mass society are free
to form federations, syndicates and vocational associations in
protection of their professional interests.”
There are currently syndicates for professions and crafts
respectively. The syndicate is formed first at the level of the
basic people’s congress, then at the level of the administrative
division and later at the level of the Great Jamhirya. Syndicates
with the same profession or craft are entitled to establish a
general federation such as that of craftsmen, producers and the
Great Jamhirya students. These federations are members in
regional and international federations.
Considering that the political system in Libya is based on the
power of the people and that this power cannot be exercised
beyond the scope of the Basic People’s Congress which will
have to be composed of members establishing it and who confer
on its decisions the binding force for their implementation.
These members are the citizens who reached the legal age of
this membership. The outcome is that all syndicate members
will have to be members of the basic people’s congresses by
virtue of the right to citizenship.
This result emphasizes that the mass society in Libya or others
is genuinely a civil society where there is no place for ruler and
ruled, or for employer and employee, and that the so-called nongovernmental organizations operating under traditional political
regimes are but organizations working outside the orbits of
power – be it legislative or the executive – and thus are more
like organizations opposed to the decision of the power
concerned and not partner of it.
Therefore what is going on in Libya is categorically different
from what is taking place in these countries, since undivided
power belongs to the people of the basic people’s congresses
made up of citizens who, by virtue of their professions or crafts,
are but members of their syndicates. Thus the syndicate and the
people’s congress are formed into the same fabric and revolve in
the same orbit that is of the people’s power. The syndicate then is
in partnership rather than in opposition. Syndicate secretaries are
members of people’s congresses that are not cardinal which
collect and formulate decisions of basic congresses, and those
secretaries-general of syndicates and federations at the level of
the Great Jamhirya are members of the People’s General
Conference where decisions of people’s congresses are
assembled and drafted. Hence syndicates, truly speaking, forge
as the second springboard of the power of the people.
Part VI: Interest in Society Categories
Part VI: Interest in Society Brackets
The Great Jamhirya, ever since the inception of the glorious Al
Fateh Revolution in 1969, was persistently interested in all
segments of the society without discrimination. Below are
efforts made on the part of the Jamhirya within the framework
of promoting rights of some of the vulnerable categories
including women, children and people with special needs.
First: Women Rights
In the light of the Revolution, Libyan women have been
particularly cared for. The Libyan legislator issued many laws
concerned with women and developed interest in them, stressing
that most Libyan codes were enacted to determine all the rights
to be enjoyed by the individual in the society without
discrimination between men and women. Some of these laws
referred to the citizen without defining his gender alongside
other laws that addressed their discourse to women in particular
to regulate some of their affairs.
Laws have been issued consecutively since the inception of the
Great Al Fateh Revolution starting with the Constitutional
Declaration in 1969 that emphatically underlined that “all
Libyan citizens are equal before the Law”. The Declaration on
the Power of the People, the Great Green Human Rights Charter
in the Era of the Masses and the Freedom Promotion Act have
all confirmed the right to exercise power for all individuals in
the society without discrimination. These instruments also
underpinned the principle of equality among sons of the mass
society, men and women, regarding all that is humane. As for
the Document governing Women Rights and Obligations in the
Mass Society for 1997, its has corroborated guaranteed equal
rights for men and women in the exercise of power as well as in
regard of other social rights relating to marriage, divorce,
motherhood, child custody, labor and social security.
In the area of personal status, the legislator has devoted special
attention to women whom he was keen to place in a legal
position that is not inferior to men. Law no (10) for 1984 on
provisions regarding marriage and divorce and their
implications on the natural right of woman to express her
opinion in choosing her life partner and going to court in case of
intransigence on the part of her guardian in not allowing her to
get married to the one she chooses as her husband. The Law also
forbids the married man from marrying another woman unless
he obtains a written approval from his spouse and after his
recognition in the event of divorce of her right to maintain her
children custody and her matrimonial home so long her custody
right holds. This right also involves woman with no guardian
after her divorce or the death of her husband since she is entitled
to keep staying at matrimonial home.
Social security and basic pension laws have addressed men and
women alike, having been enacted to the interest and benefit of
all individuals in the society without discrimination between
males and females. In the field of criminal liability, the Penal
Code addresses the citizen regardless of his/her gender, bearing
in mind specificity of women and their biological nature as
different from men. Hence were the rules distinctively devised
in criminal legislation to ensure special treatment of women as
feminine especially with regard to executing penalties against
Concerning labor and civil service, laws guarantee for Libyan
women their right to labor and job opportunities without
differentiation between them and men. Many regulations on
women employment, training and rehabilitation were issued.
1- Women and Education
Laws issued in this respect since the inception of the great Fateh
Revolution have acknowledged the right to education without
differentiation or discrimination between individuals of the
Libyan community be they men or women. The last of these
laws was issued in assertion of this right, with Article 1 of Law
no (18) for 2010 on Education stating that “education is the right
of all and the State shall act to facilitate it for citizens under the
sponsorship of public and private education institutions, by
monitoring their efficiency and the quality of their outputs. The
State also seeks to encourage and expand private education
which is compulsory for all until the end of the basic education
stage. As a result, women have effectively participated in all
fields of education. The following table shows considerable
increase in the number of female students in all stages of
Education level/
academic year

Total Females
% of
Total Females
% of
Basic education

education stage


2- Women and Health
The health policy in the Jamhirya is aimed to extend suitable
and equitable health care for all citizens without discrimination.
The Jamhirya had made notable advance in the area of health
where life expectancy rate was raised from 48 years in the early
1970s to 72.5 years in 2006, 73 years old for females and 72
years old for males.
Maternal mortality rate was reduced to 40 deaths for every
100.000 live births, whereas the percentage of pregnant women
receiving health care during pregnancy by trained staff has
reached (96.3%). The percentage of deliveries carried out under
medical supervision was (99%). Early results of the national
family health survey in 2008 pointed to widespread
breastfeeding in the Jamhirya amounting to (94%), as well as
higher percentage of married women from the age of 15 to 49
years using contraceptives that was put at (59.9%).
Indicators of Primary Health Care
Indictor Value
Percentage of population accessing health care services 
Percentage of citizens accessing potable water supplies 
Percentage of citizens accessing waste disposal services
Percentage of pregnant women receiving care during
pregnancy by trained persons

Percentage of deliveries supervised by trained labor
Percentage of children supervised by trained staff
Percentage of married women aged 15-49 years using

Percentage of children vaccinated against TB 
Percentage of children vaccinated against DPT 
Percentage of children vaccinated against polio 
Percentage of children vaccinated against measles 
Percentage of pregnant women receiving two doses against

Infant mortality rate per 1000 live births 
Mortality rate of children under five per 1000 live births 

Maternal mortality rate per 10,000 live births
3- Women in the field of work
All Libyan laws on labor and civil service – ever since the 1970s
and up till the issuance date of Law no (12) for 2010 on work
relations have provided for full-fledged rights of and all
facilities to Libyan women to encourage them to enter labor
markets and leverage their contribution to economic activity.
Libyan labor laws have taken account of the specificity of
women’s status and their access to multiple benefits, given their
femininity, motherhood conditions and household
responsibilities as spouse, stressing in so doing:
• Women’s right to labor and equality of wage;
• Women should not be employed to do jobs that do not suit
their nature for protection and specificity considerations;
– The Law decides on granting a fully paid 14-week
delivery leave extendable to 16 weeks if more than one
birth was given. She also has the right during 18 months
from the date of delivery to enjoy no less than a total of
one hour work suspension during working hours of the day
for breast feeding, which are considered as paid working
– The Law obligates employers to provide well-equipped
places as child nurseries;
– No constraints are placed on women in benefiting from
credit facilities or with regard to procedures of issuing
license for running economic activity;
– Women enjoy all social privileges and guarantees set forth
in the Social Security Law no 13 for 1981ensuring social
protection for all Libyans, males and females, while at
work and on reaching the age of retirement;
As a result, the percentage of Libyan women participation in
economic activity according to the 1964 census incrementally
rose by (4%) and ten years later, by (6%), doubling to (11%) for
the 1984 census. It continued rising until it amounted to one
fifth the number of females at the age of work in the early years
of the third millennium.
The ratio of female contribution to the labor force has increased
reaching 29.5% for 2006 census, compared to 14.5% in 1984.
Women participation in economic and social activities was
tangibly varied to involve a wide spectrum of scientific,
managerial and leadership-based professions. The Libyan
women have been engaged in professions many women
worldwide still find inaccessible in fields like judiciary and
4- Women and Political Participation
Women’s position was further affirmed in basic legislation (the
Declaration on the Power of the People, the Great Green Human
Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses and the Freedom
Promotion Act) as well as Law no (1) for 2007 on Modus
Operandi of the People’s Congresses and the People’s
Committees, citing in Article (1) that: “Sovereignty and power
in the Great Jamhirya shall be for the people. Power shall be
directly exercised through basic people’s congresses where all
Libyans, men and women, shall be enrolled on reaching the age
of 18″.
Through all that, women are entitled on reaching the age of 18
upwards to participate in basic people’s congresses and express
their opinion freely on all issues at stake at this level, be they
day-to-day activity or public life issues or issues of higher State
interest. Women also have the right to take part in elaborating
the people’s congress agenda and to upgrade to take up leading
posts in these congresses’ or in people’s committees’ secretariats,
and to become members of regulatory and executive committees
or drafting committees overseeing preparations for and steering
of congress sessions.
Women have taken part in political, diplomatic and consular
work through functioning at the level of the People’s General
Committees on External Communication and International
Cooperation. Women also have been upgraded in terms of job
hierarchy to become Secretary of the Overseas Popular Office
and to participate as representative of the Great Jamhirya in
many regional and world conferences and forums.
Second: Child Rights
The Libyan legislator has long recognized the need to provide
special and distinctive child treatment and care, thus interest was
particularly developed in this category. Since the 1950s of last
century, the legislator has focused in most laws issued during
that period to date on providing child protection, care and
prevention and guaranteeing all child rights in all walks of life.
In his bid to further emphasize the importance of the childhood
stage and the necessity of extending due care and protection in
this regard, the Libyan legislator has gone so far as to ratify
international conventions on human rights in general and child
rights in particular.
According to Libyan legislation, the child is the human who has
not reached the age of 18 as provided for in Law no (17) for
1992 on regulation of minors’ status in harmony with the
provisions articulated in the International Convention on Child
Core Child Rights Pursuant to Libyan Legislation
* Right to live. Article (4) of the Freedom Promotion Act
stipulates that “Life is a natural right for all humans”. Article
(6) of the same Act cites that: “Physical well-being is the right
of every human”. To secure this right, the Libyan Law
incriminates acts of murder and abortion. The Child Protection
Law no 5 for 1427 adds the clause of “parents shall be free of
hereditary illnesses to make marital contracts.” (Article 2). It
also mandates that “health facilities, where deliveries are
performed, shall medically check on newborns to ascertain
their physical well-being, and in the event of detecting any
problem, the case shall be referred to the specialized center
concerned.” (Article 4).
* Right to name and nationality: “Name shall be the right of
every person in Libya and shall be protected by the Civil Law
(Articles 38 and 51). Name shall be normally acquired by
descent. Children with unknown parents shall be named by a
special committee without referring to their status (Art. 26 and
28 of the Civil Status Law). Law no 5 for 1427 mentioned
above has affirmatively recognized for children with unknown
parents the right to a tripartite name, to registration and to
obtain identity cards, passports and family documents without
limitation of concluded marital contracts (Article 8). The child
shall acquire immediately on his birth the nationality of his
Libyan father. He/she shall be considered Libyan whoever is
born in Libya from a Libyan mother and a father of unknown
or has no nationality or from parents with unknown
nationality. He shall also be considered of unknown progenitor
whoever is born in Libya from an unknown father unless
proved otherwise.”
* Right to family care: This right shall be provided for every
child who is born in wedlock. Family is a pillar of public order
in Libya and is basically founded on kinship (Article 34 Civil
Law). Therefore child custody in case of marriage shall be
regarded as shared right of parents (Art. 62/2 of Law no 10 on
Marriage and Divorce). If family does not exist, the Law shall
regulate guardianship (Art.60 of Law no 10). Otherwise, social
care homes shall represent the substitute for whoever has no
guardian (Art. 7 of Law no 5 for 1427 on Child Protection)
which has underpinned the previously-regulated settlement by
virtue of Social Security Law and Freedom Promotion Act).

* Right to education: Libyan legislation asserts the right to
education for all citizens without discrimination due to sex,
color, language, religion or ideology. Education shall be
compulsory and free for every child (male or female) in the
basic education stage. The State shall extend all educational
services and facilities for gratis at all education levels,
including the establishment of educational institutions and
meeting their educational, training and mentoring needs. For
all individuals in the society to access education services, the
State has taken into consideration the proximity of schools to
children homes in all regions and even in remote areas. The
educational system in the Jamhirya consists of three stages,
– Basic education: extending for 9 years for age category (6 -15
years); it is compulsory and free;
– Intermediate education (Secondary): extending for 3 years; it is
also free but not compulsory;
– Higher education: universities and higher institutes. It is made
available to all, males and females, on the basis of individual
efficiency and capacity of students;
The Great Jamhirya has outperformed in the area of education in
its different stages: basic, intermediate and higher. Its
accomplishments are reflected in the growing number of
students, teachers, schools, centers, institutes and universities
spreading in all cities and villages, to say the least of large
numbers of graduates in all specializations alongside noticeable
reduction in illiteracy rates among Libyan citizens and
obliteration of discrimination between men and women in terms
of education and learning.
* Right to health care: Several legal provisions were introduced
to this effect. Health Law no 106 for 1973 stipulates in Article
1 that “Health and medical care is an established right for
citizens that is guaranteed by the State “. There is also the
Social Security Law for 1980 as well as codes on handicapped
care. The Law on Child Protection was issued to confirm
“child right to free vaccination”, stipulating that “failure to do
so shall be deemed a criminal act” (Article 5).
* Right to social security: The legislator issued Social Security
Law no 13 for 1980 as a forward-looking step along the track
of substantiating the idea of interdependence and solidarity. It
stresses in Article 1 that “Social security shall be the right of
all citizens as guaranteed by the society.” It involves social
care and guidance for children with no guardian, people with
special needs and cases of aberrant juvenile delinquents. This
approach is entrenched in the Freedom Promotion Act citing in
Article 24 that” every citizen shall have the right to social care
and social security”. Further, Principle 14 in the Great Green
Human Rights Charter in the Era of the Masses has
underscored that “Mass society is huddled in solidarity and
shall ensure for its individuals an easy and decent life as well
as promoted health standards en route to a healthy community
that warrants child and mother care and protects the elderly
and the disabled. Society is the guardian of whoever has no
* The right to protection against economic exploitation: Libyan
laws paid attention to the issue of juveniles’ employment and
set out controls for child protection against exploitation in all
its forms, including inadmissibility of their use or joining labor
market before they are 15 in age. Juveniles at the age of 15 –
18 may be employed in some industries or works that do not
harm child health, or endanger his life and those which are not
effort-consuming such as underground mining and quarrying
or metal-smelting in furnaces. They shall not be put to work
for more than six hours a day with a break, or to be in charge
during hours from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. or for additional hours or
during holidays. Laws forbid child employment in any activity
except for purposes of education and vocational training and
also at the instance of the child.
* The right to be provided judicial protection and special
criminal and procedural treatment: The Libyan legislator
singled out rules applicable to youngsters who commit
lawfully punishable acts, postulating on the premise of
essentially deeming the offender liable for his criminal
wrongdoing with the aim of deterring, educating and
rehabilitating him to prevent recurrence of these illicit actions,
Meanwhile he is not to be held fully responsible for what he
did and therefore his disassociation from deterrent penalties
determined for adults is adequately observed. The Penal Code
has regulated treatment of child offenders in Articles (80-81-
In Article (80) of this Law, a crucial underlying rule was laid
down, namely exclusion of criminal liability for the child
under 14, presumably on the grounds of conscious and will
inadequacy at this early stage of his life as well as refrain from
taking any measure against children under 7. According to
Article (81), youngsters under 14-18 shall be held liable for
their criminal acts, however, their liability in this case shall not
be full but incomplete, therefore they shall be punished by
lighter penalties i.e. two-thirds less. Further, the Criminal
Procedure Law remedied legal proceedings applicable to
crimes committed by children in Articles 316 to 330 entitled:
“Juveniles’ Courts and Protection of Children, the Insane and
Victims”. The main facts highlighted in these articles were:
* Designation of a special court for juveniles in each Summary
Court Circuit involving a magistrate judge deputized to it;
* This Court shall be competent to order preventive measures to
be taken regarding juveniles. It shall also be competent to try
youngsters at the age of 14 and those who are not yet 18;
* The status of the child shall be investigated first and then legal
proceedings established at the ordinary misdemeanor court
shall be pursued without prejudice to the application of
provisions on juveniles, which further hold safeguards to the
best interest of the subject juvenile.
* The attendance of an attorney to be chosen by the accused or
appointed by the judge is mandatory. Court sessions shall be
held in the Advice Chamber, and only relatives of the accused,
representatives of the Justice Secretariat and charity societies
interested in juveniles’ affairs are allowed to be present;
* Speedy decision on appeals filed against verdicts related to
juvenile cases;
* The supervising judge shall execute rulings issued against the
accused juveniles;
* The legislator stipulates in this respect that the convicted
children serve their sentences in a place particularly designated
for criminally-liable juveniles. This place is governed by a
special system that is intended for their education and
discipline in a way that ensures their rehabilitation to become
sound members of the society; these places, known to be
education and steering homes for juveniles, are (5) in number
at the level of the Jamihrya.
Table Showing the Number of Inmates in Institutions
For Juvenile Education and Steering Homes
According to 2007 Statistics
Institution Total Number of
Juvenile Home MalesTripoli

Juvenile Home FemalesTripoli

Juvenile Home MalesBenghazi

Juvenile Home FemalesBenghazi

Juvenile Homes- Sousa 
Third: Rights of People with Special Needs
Interest in care devoted to people with special needs was
substantially enhanced and obviously brought to the fore ever
since the inception of the great Fateh Revolution. Aspects of this
nationwide interest can be seen in the quantitative expansion
and development of educational, health, and social services
extended to this category to enable its members to depend on
themselves and accordingly contribute to labor and integrate in
the community.
In the legal and institutional domain, the Jamhirya, in its bid to
secure the rights and needs of this bracket, has proposed to
dedicate an international year for the handicapped
(disadvantaged) under the slogan of “full-fledged equality”. This
proposal was adopted by the UN General Assembly and the year
1981 was declared an International Year for the Handicapped.
During that year, Law no (3) for 1981 followed by Law no (5)
for 1987 on the Handicapped were issued, citing a definition of
the handicapped and their categories as well as benefits,
monetary and in-kind services and other facilities relating to
their access to care to ensure their rehabilitation towards their
reintegration in the community.
In implementation of these laws, many regulations, decisions,
work instructions and circulars on the implementation,
amendment and addition of some articles on benefits determined
for the handicapped were issued. Most notably of these were the
Decree of the People’s General Committee no (41) for 1990 on
the regulation of some benefits for the handicapped, its Decree
no (207) for 2006 on the addition of the deaf and hearingimpaired people under 18 to the categories set forth in the
Decree of the People’s General Committee no (92) for 1425 in
application of Law no (16) for 1985, its Circular no (22) for
2006 on Executive Procedures to enforce Law no (5) for 1987
on the Handicapped and its Executive Regulation, Decree of the
People’s General Committee no (281) for 2006 approving the
issuance of a regulation on some benefits determined for the
handicapped (handicapped education/ rehabilitation and
retraining / suitable jobs for the rehabilitated and the retrained),
Decree of the People’s General Committee no (26) for 2005 on
the addition of the deaf and hearing-impaired people to the
categories enjoying the benefit of reduced public transport fares,
Circular of the People’s General Committee no (3035) for 2008
on the designation of 5% of approved jobs for the handicapped,
Decree of the People’s General Committee no (664) for 2008
defining remuneration for domestic aid to the handicapped,
Decree of the People’s General Committee no (665) for 2008 on
commissioning handicapped mentoring functions to the
People’s General Committee on Education, Decree of the
People’s General Committee no (666) for 2008 on Establishment
of a National Council for Handicapped Rights Welfare, Decree
of the People’s General Committee no (667) for 2008 on
addition of certain handicapped brackets under 18 to categories
specified in Article 12 of Law no (16) for 1985 on Basic
Pension, and Decree of the People’s General Committee no
(304) for 2009 on the re-formation of the National Committee
for Handicapped Care.
Institutionally speaking, a special department for the
handicapped affairs was established as part of the structure of
the General Authority of the Social Solidarity Fund. This
Department was entrusted with addressing handicap issues and
providing handicapped care, as well as supervising centers and
schools concerned. Sections in different branches of the
Authority numbering 16 at the administrative division level in
the Great Jamhirya are affiliated to it. A number of civil
societies extending their services to this category are also in
The total number of the handicapped in the Great Jamhirya
registered in the General Authority of the Social Solidarity Fund
according to the 2008 Statistics has reached (73892).
The number of institutions operating in the area of private
education has reached 59 centers and schools covering all parts
of the Jamhirya. These institutions are competent to provide
care, rehabilitation and training to the physically disadvantaged
according to their categories and type of handicap under the
supervision of the Handicapped Affairs Department at the
General Authority of the Social Solidarity Fund.
Number of Handicapped Centers
As well as Centers and Schools for the Deaf
and People with Hearing Impairment
And Development of Mental Abilities
According to the 2008 Statistics
Authority Branch
Number of
Centers and
 Al Marqab
Al Jaffra 
Sahl al Jeffara
Al Jabal al Gharbi 

Al Neqat al Khams 
 Souf al Jeen 
Al Zawya 
 Al Wahat 
 Al Jabal al Akhdar 
 Al Batnan 

Al Fateh Complex for Social Care
in Marj 

Middle Region (Al Manteqa al


Number of Centers and Schools
As well as Number of Inmates and Frequenters
According to the 2008 Statistics
Center or School
No of
Outpatient Section In-patient Section
Mental Ability
Development Centers

Handicapped Retraining Centers


Care and
Centers for People
with Multiple
Care and
rehabilitation centers
for people with
mental disabilities
Centers for people
with special needs

Schools for the deaf
and people with
hearing impairment

Centers for educating
the deaf and people
with hearing



Elderly Category
The Great Jamhirya has developed interest in the elderly
category, having established a number of residential care homes
distributed according to population density as shown in the
following table.
Description Males Females
Tripoli-based Al Wafaa Home for 
Elderly People Care
Musrata Elderly People Care Center 
Al Wafaa Home for Elderly People  
Care in Marj
Al Jabal al Aghadar Elderly People  
Care Home
By paying special attention and providing care and protection to
these categories (women, children, people with special needs,
and the elderly), the Jamhirya aimed to eliminate all kinds of
injustice and discrimination and unleash their capacities and
creativity in a society where all people are free and equal against
variety of roles, jobs and responsibilities in commensurate with
natural rules ordained by Allah the Almighty on earth. It also
aimed to present plans and programs to all categories in the
society without designation.

In brief, we would like to express our deep thanks and
appreciation to the African Commission on Human and People’s
Rights for its efforts to elevate the African citizen who
experienced lifetime injustice and suppression for thousands of
years, who resisted and struggled and never surrendered despite
the tyranny of oppressors until he gained independence with
dignity and pride. Today he is living the glory of his victories,
gratified by his advances to the credit of the making of Africa’s
free sons led by African unifier Leader Moamar Qaddafi and his
brethren, the leaders of Africa. All felicitations and appreciation
to the sons of the Black Continent who every day write with
their blood an epic of freedom and build with their toil the glory
of Africa of tomorrow.
Legal Affairs and Human Rights