By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 30 December 2013:
The General National Congress has passed legislation regulating the legal profession, which has been generally welcomed by lawyers themselves.
The bill, which was produced in consultation with legal firms gives lawyers protection when they are defending unpopular clients in “vexatious cases”. It also sets out disciplinary procedures for those lawyers believed to have compromised the honour of the profession.
Leading Tripoli lawyer Mohamed Tumi told the Libya Herald: “This is a balanced bill which has avoided a lot of mistakes made by the former regime, which were limiting the freedom of lawyers to work, because there were ‘red lines’ beyond which we could not function freely”.
Tumi said that the congress has consulted closely with the legal profession. Indeed many of the proposals in the bill had been hammered out at a meeting of 200 members of the Libyan Lawyers Association in Misrata earlier in the year.
Lawyer and Benghazi congressman, Ahmed Langhi told this newspaper that the new law regulated the profession from the day a lawyer qualified to his or her retirement.
He pointed out however that its provisions only covered lawyers in private practice. Those employed by the Ministry of Justice were not subject to the legislation.