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Libya’s long and troubled transition. A discussion of transitional justice: achievements, failures, and possibilities

Tuesday 18 April 2017
Old Observatory
Sterrenwachtlaan 11
2311 GW Leiden
C 1.02

The killing of Gaddafi in October 2011 marked the real end of his regime, and the start of a transitional period in which this regime’s mass human rights atrocities would be addressed. It also signified that such atrocities might not end any time soon. Indeed, they kept piling up, and while transitional governments tried to address them, their efforts discriminated between those attributed to Gaddafi regime and those assigned to his successors; the condemnation of the former was absolute and unequivocal while that of the latter was significantly qualified. Such efforts were, therefore, largely unsuccessful.

There were, however, attempts to re-think the way transitional justice is dealt with. For example, the Constitution Drafting Assembly proposed a draft basing transitional justice a.o., on the principle of non-discrimination between human rights violations in terms of their alleged perpetrators. Also, the 2015 Political Agreement concluded under the auspices of the UN emphasized the adherence to international standards when addressing transitional justice concerns.

Transitional justice is key to addressing problems at the heart of Libya’s chaotic situation. As such, dealing with it could be seen as an essential step towards building a stable country; only then, Libya could adequately take part in addressing issues such as those related to migrants streaming from its southern, desert, boarders to its Mediterranean ports and, then, to Europe.

The panelists are: Dr. Ahmed Ghanem, Rule of Law advisor United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL); Prof. Jan Michiel Otto, Professor of Law and Governance in Developing Countries and Director of the VVI;  Dr. Suliman Ibrahim, Director of Benghazi University Centre for law and Society Studies and Senior Researcher at the VVI.

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