Validation workshop on study assessing “Guarantees of the right to a fair trial and mechanisms of access to justice in the Libyan legal system”

27 Mag, 2023 | Comunicati Stampa

Tripoli, Libya, 27 May 2023

In the framework of EU-funded ADALIT-Libya project, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) elaborated a study on the “Guarantees of the right to a fair trial and mechanisms of access to justice in the Libyan legal system.
The first part of the study focuses on the presentation of guarantees available to the accused and the victims, as well as judicial guarantees related to the proper administration of justice, by examining guarantees related to several relevant rights, such as the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time and before an independent and impartial court, the right to legal counsel, the right to remain silent, the right to the presumption of innocence, the right to be informed of the charges against the accused, the right to appeal, and the right to procedural balance between the public prosecution and the right to a trial based on the principle of confrontation between the parties in criminal proceedings (the adversarial principle or adversarial system). These two guarantees are conditions set by the European Court for the availability of the right to a fair trial. The second part focuses on the legal opportunities and real challenges in relation to a fair trial and access to justice.

validation workshop on this assessment study was held on 27 May 2023 in Tripoli. It was organised in partnership with the International Humanitarian Law Centre (IHLC). During the workshop, the content and recommendations of the study where discussed. With this activity, we aimed at increasing and sharing knowledge of the guarantees stipulated in the international conventions to which Libya is a party and to explore whether such agreements are applicable on a national scale with regard to guaranteeing the fundamentals of a fair trial. The workshop also was a ground for discussing access to justice and the right to legal representation, especially for the most vulnerable groups, such as women, children, people with disabilities, and migrants.

In line with the structure and aims of the study, the discussion focused on two main pillars: a) the procedural safeguards to protect the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings and b) mechanism for access to justice and public lawyer’s role as a legal aid system pillar. A space for public debate was given in both sections to facilitate exchanges and questions among participants.

27 experts, officials and professionals in the field of justice participated. More precisely, among them were the former Minister of Justice in the Government of National Accord, the former Military Prosecutor General, members of judicial bodies – including advisors, judges, court presidents, and prosecutors – deans of law faculties and teachers at Libyan universities, members of public and private legal practice, along with representatives from the media, the expert team responsible for the study. Members of the International Humanitarian Law Centre also participated.

The experts who drafted the assessment study gathered feedback from the workshop and incorporated it into the final version of the paper. The workshop also served as a preparatory exercise to the national consultation on the right to a fair trial and access to justice, held in Tripoli in July 2023, where the final version of the research paper was presented and adopted.