Strategic Litigation

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. 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 works with lawyers from across Libya to document, monitor and report on violations and abuses among them are against migrants, internally displaced persons, minorities and on the basis of gender. LFJL also assists 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. LFJL has built cases to litigate before regional and international mechanisms. LFJL has brought cases to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights related to torture and ill-treatment and to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. LFJL’s litigation activities also aim to support the International Criminal Court’s investigations, with a current focus on abuses against migrants in Libya. While building a case, LFJL provides legal support and referrals to other services such as health services to survivors suffering from physical and mental harm.


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.


La Mubarir ('No Justification')

As part of its Anti-Torture Project La Mubarir (‘no justification’ in Arabic), LFJL aims to help prevent future instances of torture in Libya including in detention facilities, and to assist torture survivors in accessing redress and rehabilitation.

La Mubarir was established in response to the findings made during Rehlat Watan, LFJL’s constitutional tour across all three of Libya’s regions. During the tour, over 40% of those with whom LFJL spoke felt that there were instances where torture was justified and over 65% were of the view that the ban on torture should not be applied universally. Other findings also included the widespread acts of torture and ill-treatment against a number of groups, increasingly including migrants. Libya’s legal framework does not fully guarantee the right to be free from torture and little action has been taken by the state to prevent its future occurrence. Due to attacks against the judiciary and legal professionals, opportunities for torture survivors to seek legal redress at a national level are currently minimal.

La Mubarir seeks to address these key challenges through a range of activities in collaboration with its project partners REDRESS and DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture). These activities include national and international advocacy, awareness-raising initiatives, capacity-building workshops for key anti-torture stakeholders, and strategic litigation. La Mubarir aims to draw attention to the fact that torture is never justified under any circumstances and to help those who have been tortured gain access to redress and rehabilitation.


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