LFJL’s Transitional Justice Programme seeks to carry out activities that ensure that victims of human rights abuses realise their right to know the truth, see those responsible held to account, and receive adequate reparations. It is based on the understanding that without these rights of victims to truth, accountability and redress being achieved, peaceful coexistence between communities in Libya will be unable to take root.
The Transitional Justice Programme works with actors in Libya to document human rights violations and store them securely so that they may be used as evidence in future truth and reconciliation efforts. The programme also seeks to create space for discussions and debates not currently being had regarding transitional justice issues such as those related to the right to reconciliation of communities perceived as being ‘against’ the uprising who are currently severely marginalised. We also advocate for the implementation of laws and policies that support a transitional justice mechanism that is objective, nonpolitical and inclusive of all groups and communities in Libya.
Key aspects of Libya’s legal system need urgent reform to ensure conformity with international human rights standards. Laws that threaten human rights including freedom of expression, the right to a fair trial and media activities remain in place. Laws issued since 2011 have frequently failed to provide adequate protection for prevalent human rights concerns.
The future constitution is an opportunity to offer legal protection to all those in Libya; it will form the cornerstone of Libya’s legal system to shape the country for generations to come. The final document must protect all Libyans regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, tribe, geographical location, political affiliation or any other affiliation. In order to realise this aspiration of a lasting constitution that defends and is in turn defended by all Libyans, it is essential that the document is drafted with popular involvement ensuring that all stakeholders are represented in the process and invested in the outcome.
Litigation is one of the key ways that LFJL is able to use its legal expertise to assist those who have suffered human rights violations, and in doing so seeks to prevent such violations occurring again in the future by bringing an end to the current climate of impunity. Litigation can provide avenues for redress, rehabilitation and reparations for survivors of human rights abuses and hold those responsible to account. In addition, LFJL uses litigation to pursue significant changes to the law, policy and public opinion, so that stronger human rights protections will become established in Libya. The Strategic Litigation Programme also works with lawyers from across Libya to assist them in undertaking their own domestic, regional and international human rights litigation.
As the judiciary in Libya currently faces challenges and severe restrictions to its ability to consider human rights cases, the programme seeks to challenge impunity for rights violations through international human rights mechanisms. As well as breaking the cycle of impunity enjoyed by perpetrators and obtaining judgements that further strategic goals, the cases before international mechanisms are intended to pressure the state to adopt and implement a robust domestic framework for addressing human rights concerns. This would increase the ability of individuals to access justice, the state’s capacity to implement other human rights policy changes, and the efficiency of our capacity building work with legal stakeholders.
The Advocacy Programme works to ensure that core human rights concerns are a priority consideration during the decision making processes of domestic, regional and international institutions. Without such engagement there is a risk that temporary solutions to systemic problems devalue human rights and undermine much needed efforts towards accountability for violations.
LFJL currently advocates in key capitals around the world and before the UN Human Rights Council, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court to inform activities and mandates related to Libya. As well as undertaking its own advocacy, the Advocacy Programme empowers national NGOs so that they may also engage in such forums and pursue joint advocacy targets. Under this programme, LFJL brought together and trained Libya's first human rights coalition to carry out advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The Human Rights Education Programme addresses the lack of public awareness of human rights principles and the value they offer. It also attempts to tackle key issues that are linked to the widespread culture of accepting human rights violations including torture and ill-treatment at the societal level.
In addition to engaging the public on human rights issues, the Human Rights Education Programme seeks to develop the skillset of Libya’s activists and lawyers currently collaborating with LFJL’s programmes through high level training events. To date, LFJL has trained over 150 lawyers, activists, journalists, judges and medical professionals that are actively engaged in advancing human rights. The programmes also seeks to engender the next generation of human rights activists by actively engaging Libya’s youth in discussions and capacity building concerning the importance of human rights, notably through launching a summer school and by developing a national human rights curriculum to be implemented across Libya’s schools.