Disastrous impact – what gaps in the rule of law mean in daily Libyan life and what people do about it.
The cornerstone of the rule of law is that all citizens, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to the law. The rule of law favours peace and stability over the struggle on power and resources. Equality between all citizens and institutions in being subject to legal accountability, applying laws strictly, and adjudicating cases independently and fairly are among the most important principles of the rule of law. The experiences of other countries in post-conflict periods show that the lack of recourse to the judiciary to resolve disputes and the lack of mechanisms to protect citizens from the arbitrary imposition of procedures and regulations have hampered these countries’ efforts to establish the rule of law.
Lack of rule of law has disastrous consequences for a society. In Libya, the September 2023 flood in Derna is a terrible example, just as the lack of access to justice, the opportunity to hold the authorities accountable, and rampant corruption are daily examples that play out in Libyan society. SHARP is a Libyan-led programme that plays an important role in raising awareness among citizens of the importance of the principles of the rule of law and the rights and duties stipulated in Libyan legislation by sponsoring dialogue sessions and small-scale interventions.
What do Libyans think about their efforts to address the rule of law gaps, what challenges do they encounter, and what solutions can we collectively examine?