Our human rights based approach to accountability uses strategic legal interventions to confront impunity and ensure that rights-holders can claim their rights effectively. LFJL sees legal intervention as a starting point for change, rather than an end in itself. We use legal intervention as a tool to create a participatory space for all to engage with the development of a culture of justice and respect for human rights in Libya.
The Accountability Programme documents human rights violations, collects and preserves evidence and builds appropriate casefiles for victims. We use this information to pursue accountability. This can mean filing a case in a domestic jurisdiction, at a regional court and mechanisms, or submitting evidence to an international human rights mechanism. These actions provide an avenue to hold those responsible for violations to account and lead to the establishment of useful precedent and jurisprudence. Importantly, they create a point around which public and political pressure can be mobilised for effective change in the fight against impunity.
The Accountability Programme is premised on two fundamental understandings: The first is that victims are at the center of our work. LFJL undertakes a clear commitment to individuals who have suffered human rights violations. As affirmed in our mission statement, LFJL sees victims of human rights abuses as individuals, not causes. To that end, we approach our work holistically. In combination with legal intervention, we facilitate psychological and medical rehabilitation to contribute to individual empowerment and the re-establishment of victims’ dignity.
The second is that accountability must be driven locally. Empowering and strengthening victims, activists, and communities’ capacity to seek accountability is a concrete contribution towards achieving justice for past wrongs. Local agency is paramount to preventing recurrence of human rights violations and supporting peaceful, sustainable change in Libya.
Through our La Mubarir (“no justification” in Arabic) project, we aim to prevent future instances of torture in Libya, and to provide redress and rehabilitation to victims. Torture in Libya is endemic. Public opinion on its use is divided, with many holding the opinion that torture is justifiable in some circumstances, for example depending on the identity or affiliation of the victim. Due to the breakdown of the justice system, torture victims are unable to access legal redress at a national level. The Accountability Programme addresses these challenges through a range of activities. These include documenting cases of torture, working to obtain justice using the principle of universal jurisdiction and human rights mechanisms such as the United Nations Human Rights Committee and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and strengthening the network of professionals working in the fight against torture in Libya.
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Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers travelling through Libya remain at high risk of severe human rights violations, including torture and ill treatment, sexual exploitation and slavery. #RoutesToJustice secures access to justice for these people using domestic courts, including through the principle of universal jurisdiction, regional human rights courts and mechanisms and international human rights mechanisms and tribunals. In combination with legal intervention, we facilitate initial medical and psychological rehabilitation for victims. LFJL hopes that by creating a climate of accountability, traffickers and armed actors will be deterred from continuing to commit violations. Finally, strategic legal interventions provide a basis for political pressure to change migration policy, both domestically and regionally.
Learn more about #RoutesToJustice here.
The Research and Capacity Building Programme undertakes activities that aim to identify new opportunities for participation and to share our understanding of human rights issues
The Accountability Programme documents, monitors and reports on human rights abuses and uses strategic legal interventions as a starting point for change to combat the culture of impunity and ensure that all individuals in Libya can claim their rights and access justice.