Tripoli, 17 September:
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya has called on both the Government and the National Congress to prioritise the establishment of an effective and fair justice system over the next 12 months.
With an estimated 7,000 prisoners still being held in detention centres across the country, most without access to a proper legal process, justice issues are set to take centre stage in the affairs of both the Congress and the soon-to-be appointed government of Mustafa Abushagur.
Moreover, with some high-profile trials of former regime figures now having begun, and with others on the horizon, Libya is facing renewed international scrutiny over its commitment to developing a judicial process that is both independent and rooted in the rule of law.
UNSMIL’s call is contained within a new report entitled “Transitional Justice – Foundation for a New Libya”, which describes an effective justice system as one of the foundations of a democratic society.
“Libya is at a critical juncture in its history and there is an opportunity for the country to lay solid and lasting foundations for a just society based on human rights”, UNSMIL chief Ian Martin said.
“This report is meant to assist the new Libyan authorities in building the new Libya.
“We strongly encourage them to give transitional justice the priority it deserves and to consider instituting an official public consultation on this matter of critical national importance. For democracy to be fully achieved in Libya, human rights and the rule of law must prevail and long-lasting reconciliation must be achieved”, Martin concluded.
The report provides an overview of the challenges facing transitional justice in Libya.
It advocates the inclusion of truth-seeking in a comprehensive transitional justice strategy; recommends a victim-oriented approach in the Libyan transitional justice process; and calls for putting in place a prosecutorial strategy, including to end the continued detention of some 7,000 persons without legal process.
The report also contains a set of recommendations to the National Congress and the Government aimed at assisting them in moving forward in the transitional justice processes.
The report can be accessed in full by clicking here. [/restrict]