Despite the continued existence of a mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate international crimes in Libya, victims in the country remain unengaged. The Libyan public is both unaware of the ICC’s activities and cases and of opportunities to interact with the ICC through the victim participation process.
The ICC website is available in English and French with limited Arabic documents. This language barrier alone has made the ICC inaccessible not only to victims but to lawyers and civil society in Libya. According to the ICC’s Victims Participation and Reparations Section (VPRS), the last victim submission from Libya dates back to 24 July 2014, meaning no new applications have been received in over four years.
The ICC’s victim participation process recognises victims as important stakeholders, allowing them to share their views and concerns in the proceedings, represented by a lawyer. Thousands of victims have participated in some ICC legal proceedings: over 5,000 victims engaged in the case against Jean-Pierre Bemba. By engaging with the ICC, victims have the opportunity to have their stories told, to contribute to efforts to end impunity and to strengthen the rule of law. All these benefits are vital for a peace process which is truly inclusionary and meaningful.
Our new project will aim to tackle the lack of victim engagement in Libya with the ICC. We will broadcast Public Service Announcements across Libya to raise awareness of the ICC mandate for Libya. We will train lawyers in Libya on the victim participation process, building a robust network of lawyers that span Libya’s three regions and are accessible to victims across the country. LFJL will also support victims with their application to participate, either by locating a lawyer within our network or by assisting victims directly. Finally, LFJL will advocate for the ICC to adopt Arabic as an official working language and also for the ICC to undertake outreach activities targeted at Libyan victims.
CALL FOR ACTION
Please contact LFJL if you are interested in collaborating with us, particularly if:
You can reach us at ICC@libyanjustice.org