Analysis of Draft Constitutional Recommendations

In response to the publication of the draft constitutional recommendations from Libya’s Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) and REDRESS have prepared a detailed legal commentary.

The commentary analyses and assesses the effectiveness of the proposed provisions in enshrining the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment).

Torture and ill-treatment have been endemic in Libya for several generations. Despite the absolute prohibition of this crime being detailed in various international treaties to which Libya is party, Libya’s national authorities have thus far failed to adopt measures to tackle this issue substantively.

Constitutional and legislative safeguards have been extremely limited over the past 60 years and any existing measures were not upheld in practice. The upcoming constitutional draft offers an opportunity to address this failure and ensure that protective and remedial human rights guarantees are firmly enshrined in the law.

LFJL and REDRESS welcome the attempts by the CDA to address some of the key limitations of previous constitutional and legislative mechanisms with regard to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment. Positive steps include a recommendation enshrining the principle of non-refoulement under domestic law for the first time.

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