Libya: NPWJ and the High Judicial Institute organise a training on “Forensic investigations in the cases of political violence”

Tripoli, Libya, 17-21 March 2013

In collaboration with the Libyan High Judicial Institute (HJI), No Peace Without Justice organized a five-day training course on “Forensic investigations in the cases of political violence” with the participation of 65 investigators, prosecutors, and forensic professionals working on the front line of Libya’s transitional justice efforts. Participants were selected from across Libya, with the aim of building capacity, knowledge, and experience within Libya’s own judicial and investigative institutions. The training, which was organised in the framework of NPWJ program “Supporting Libya’s Democratic Transition through Justice and Accountability”, was held from 17 until 21 March 2013 at the HJI in Tripoli.
Libya’s transitional justice process faces a number of challenges, both with respect to holding perpetrators accountable and with respect to providing justice to victims through the on-going search for missing persons. The methods and tools of forensic investigations have played a central role in meeting these objectives in many transitional societies, and the Libyan Ministry of Justice has expresses a clear desire to make full use of these techniques also in pursuit of its own
transitional justice priorities.

Two leading experts in the field of forensic investigations provided the training with particular expertise on the challenges of transitional and post-conflict societies: Luis Fondebrider and Mercedes Salado Puerto, both from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), who have extensive experience in the search for missing persons and support to the investigation and prosecution of serious human rights abuses. The course focused on a range of forensic skills in criminal investigations, including techniques for surveying and excavating mass graves and recovering human remains, as well as analysing and identifying them. Specific attention was also dedicated to the role of relatives of the victims and civil society in the judicial process.
NPWJ has been working on the Libyan transition since early 2011, in the framework of its project to support Libya’s democratic transition through justice and accountability. As the country embarks on legislative reforms, the Libyan authorities can break with the legacy of impunity and abuses that typified Gaddafi’s rule with a new respect for the rule of law and a commitment to restoring justice and dignity to victims. Doing so requires not only the investigation and prosecution of the crimes and violence perpetrated during the revolution, but also efforts to confront a history of oppression and human rights abuses that dates back decades under the rule of the former regime.

For further information on the activities of NPWJ in Libya please contact Stefano Moschini, Libya Program Coordinator, at or +281917450375; or Halla Al Mansouri,  and Legal Program Officer at or +281919955359