The Center in Libya
Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on February 17, 2011. On February 27, 2011 the National Transitional Council was established as an interim governing authority during the rebellion. After several months of violent backlash by ruler Muammar Gaddafi against dissidents and civilians, Gaddafi was killed on October 20, 2011 and the country came under the control of the opposition forces.
Libya is currently undergoing political reconstruction and is governed under an interim constitution drawn up by the National Transitional Council in August 2011. Elections for a General National Congress were held in July 2012 and an assembly was formed which will be responsible for choosing a committee to draft Libya’s permanent constitution. There is a constitution drafting body in place and working, but there is still much unrest because of armed groups and conflict over who is the legitimate government.
The Center’s Libya program consists of one central goal:
- Provide training to civil society groups within Libya to empower their participation in the constitutional process
CCD personnel have conducted trainings on several occasions with non-governmental organizations from Libya. In November of 2011, we met with groups from nine MENA countries in England, at the invitation of the British Council, to advise them about constitutional issues relating to women’s rights. Then in February of 2012, we provided a workshop for lawyers, judges, activists, and government officials – under the auspices of Lawyers for Justice in Libya – addressing a wide range of issues related to electoral law and constitutional design. Finally, in September of 2012, we conducted a workshop, again sponsored by the British Council, in Tunisia. The workshop brought together members of various civil society groups within Libya, as well as several members of the new Congress, to discuss the range of constitutional mechanisms available for promoting gender equality and to draft some sample provisions for a proposal to the soon-to-be appointed constitutional drafting committee.
Another meeting was held in Tunis, organized by Libyan Lawyers for Justice, where CCD personnel trained a group of volunteers working for the Destoori project. The Destoori project aims to educate citizens of Libya on the constitution making process, gather public opinion, and create a connection and sense of ownership between the Libyan people and their constitution.