About Destoori

WHAT IS DESTOORI?

 

Destoori, which means 'My Constitution' in Arabic, is a project by Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL) which aims to educate Libyan citizens on the constitution making process, to gather public opinion, and to create a connection and sense of ownership between the Libyan people and their constitution.

 

DESTOORI MISSION AND GOALS

 

  • To educate Libyan citizens, in particular those in disenfranchised regions of the country, about the constitution, its processes, and their rights within it. By educating citizens, we aim to encourage people to participate in the public referendum, to illustrate to them how their participation matters, and how it will impact their lives.

 

  • To gauge public opinion of what the Libyan people expect their constitution to do and protect. Destoori will provide a forum for dialogue and an opportunity for LFJL to obtain an understanding of the key issues citizens would like to see addressed in the new Libya. Our aim is to collect statements from the citizens at our events and incorporate them into our recommendations for the appointed Constitutional Drafting Committee. We hope that these recommendations will provide the Constitutional Drafting Committee with guidance and insight into citizens’ needs and concerns in order to incorporate and elevate the weight of public opinion.

 

  • To generate not only awareness, but also ownership in the constitution. The underlying mission is to agree on a constitution that will realise the aspirations of not only the current generation, but also future generations. The constitution should not alter with changing governments nor be constructed by detached politicians. A lasting constitution, based on the rule of law, is only accomplished by an invested citizenry that is willing to defend it. To ensure that the people’s weight is behind this constitution, their involvement is key. By personalising the process through our on-the-ground events, we aim to form that connection between citizens and the constitution, as a document made for them and by them.

 

HOW DESTOORI WORKS

 

There are three phases to Destoori:

Phase 1: Raising Awareness

Destoori will launch with a media campaign aimed at building awareness of the next phases in the democratisation process and shifting the focus to the Constitution. We will release several public service announcements, distribute flyers and educational leaflets, and engage citizens on the streets, in educational institutions, and the workplace through various events. Our team of grassroots volunteers known as “Destoori Ambassadors” will be carrying out the campaign in several cities and towns. To find an event in your area, please click here.

 

Phase 2: Rehlat Watan Bus Tour
The Rehlat Watan Constitutional Bus Tour will be a mobile event that will travel to many Libyan cities and towns. At each destination, all members of the community will be invited to participate in a “Constitution Day”  run by Destoori Guides and held in coordination with local Libyan organisations. The Constitution Day will include games and activities, educational materials, and Q&A sessions, aimed to educate citizens on the constitutional process, their rights, and their role in the process. LFJL will also be surveying the public on what rights they would like to see protected in their Constitution. To find out when Rehlat Watan will be in your neighborhood,click here.

Phase 3: Reporting to the Constitutional Drafting Committee

To ensure that the people’s voices are represented in the constitution-making process, LFJL will collect responses to the surveys received from the Rehlat Watan Bus Tour and draft a report on our findings. This report will be turned into key recommendations that we will deliver to the Constitutional Drafting Committee to provide them with insight into the expectations of the Libyan people.

 

WHY DESTOORI?

 

Government’s lack of inclusion of civil society:

 

To date, the Libyan government under the National Transitional Council (NTC) has made no effort to educate or include Libyan citizens in the governmental processes. There has been little transparency in relation to the workings of government institutions and the drafting of laws effecting millions of citizens across Libya. There is a risk that the constitutional drafting process will be no different.

 

The constitution will be the single most important document on the future of the rights of the Libyan people. We cannot rely on the NTC or a newly elected legislature, with the many challenges it faces, to provide public outreach on these topics. It is crucial that citizens are informed and engaged to be able to have a voice in this process. We cannot afford for the citizens to be left in the dark about a process that affects them profoundly.

 

Accessing the people on the Ground:

There is a demand to get to the grassroots on constitutional issues. Engagement in the constitutional process must be created by developing a broad-based, country-wide structure for outreach and information sharing, targeting particularly marginalised cities and towns and disadvantaged groups. In order to do so, we need to move place to place, to develop the full picture of what people on the ground need and want.

There is an urgency to focus on deprived areas in cities and rural towns where the awareness is at its lowest. Many of the main events and conferences are held in the big cities in Libya, which leaves part of the population in small towns with less opportunities to get involved. Typically, citizens from smaller towns have to seek out opportunities and travel burdensome distances to participate in capacity building events. Having a constitutional event come to the people instead, can eliminate the barriers and gaps of awareness between regions in Libya.

 

 

 

LAWYERS FOR JUSTICE IN LIBYA
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