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Supporting the democratic constitution-drafting process in Libya

Five years after the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, Libya is considered a failing state. Two rivalling governments supported by numerous competing militias are not able to guarantee stability and safety for its citizens. Crime and terrorism, particularly the spread of IS, are threatening the country. The UN brokered political agreement aiming at the establishment of a unity government has not been signed by all relevant parties and remains dysfunctional.

Seeking an end of civil war as well as political and socio-economic instability, a constitution setting out a clear system of state and government is needed to allow for a democratic state-building in Libya. The Libyan Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) is an elected body of 56 people’s representatives which is working on the constitution since 2014. To develop the best possible constitution for Libya, it is important that the CDA works in a transparent and inclusive way, taking into account the views of all groups of Libyan society, as well as comparative international and regional legal perspectives.

DRI’s Libya project aims to support the CDA through legal expertise and comparative constitutional law perspectives. Furthermore, it seeks to support the participation of Libyan Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Libyan legal community in the drafting process and the active exchange, consultation and transparent communication of the CDA with their constituencies. More precisely:

  • We hold expert meetings and workshops for CDA members and publish Briefing Papers to increase their knowledge on international standards and try to focus the constitutional debate on common ground, rather than disputed topics.
  • We bring together different Civil Society actors from all regions of Libya to create a common advocacy strategy in reaching out to the CDA.
  • We connect the legal community, CSOs and CDA in common roundtable events and seminars, to enhance the exchange and open communication between them.
  • We provided a website on the Libyan constitution as an online platform for exchange and information on the process.
  • We produced a series of informative and educational video clips on constitutions to provide CSOs with material for awareness-raising within their constituencies.

 

DRI’s project has contributed to a better understanding of legal constitutional matters and international standards of both CDA members and CSO activists, which can be traced in the higher quality of constitutional debate and the latest constitutional draft of February 3rd 2016. Through joint events, DRI has increased the exchange between CDA members, legal and civil society activists in Libya. Furthermore it has built capacities of CSOs and provided them with tools to reach out to their constituencies and advocate for their views. In all activities, DRI has an inclusive approach and involves underrepresented groups, such as women, members of minorities and people with disabilities.

DRI’s Libya project has been funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

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