Libya: NPWJ and NRPTT welcome ICC ruling on the Al-Senussi case, which heralds new potential for justice in the country

11 Oct, 2013 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome-New York, 11 October 2013

Today, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that the case against Colonel Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief, Abdullah Al-Senussi, is currently subject to domestic proceedings conducted by the Libyan competent authorities and that Libya is willing and able genuinely to carry out such investigation. Therefore, the Judges concluded that the case is inadmissible before the Court, in accordance with the principle of complementarity enshrined in the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT), welcome today’s decision by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I ruling that the Al-Senussi case is to proceed in Libya, which confirms that this State is not only positively eager but also able to take care of crimes under international law committed on its territory by its citizens itself.

“We take this opportunity to recall that, although the ICC arrest warrants against senior Gaddafi officials were welcomed by their victims and the people of Libya, a trial outside Libya is never something that the people wanted; they wanted – and they still want – the alleged perpetrators of the crimes perpetrated during the revolution be tried in Libya, to face justice in the same place in which he allegedly waged their brutal attacks.

“NPWJ has consistently maintained that the international community should support Libya in its efforts to investigate and prosecute those who allegedly bear the greatest responsibility for crimes under international law committed during the revolution, as well as to address human rights abuses committed for decades under the rule of the former regime. This can play a unique and significant role in supporting judicial reforms and enhancing the fairness, effectiveness and transparency of the Libyan judiciary.

“As the country has embarked on legislative reforms, the ICC ruling marks an historic opportunity for the Libyan authorities to demonstrate their ability to break with the legacy of impunity and abuses that typified Gaddafi’s rule with a new respect for the rule of law and to meet the promise of justice and redress for the victims and their families that Al-Senussi’s trial represents.

“As one of the accused masterminds behind the brutal attacks against the civilian population in Libya, it is critical that Al-Senussi be held to account for his alleged crimes through an independent and impartial judicial process. It is now up to the Libyan judicial authorities to ensure that the proceedings will be conducted with fairness, impartiality and strict adherence to all due process rights, to the highest international standards”.

“After decades of dictatorship and illegality, we look forward Libya living by the principles and ideals for which the revolution that successfully liberated Libya after 42 years of dictatorship was fought so that she may rejoin fully the community of nations that aspire a lasting peace, based on the foundations of the rule of law and impartial justice”.

NPWJ in Libya
NPWJ in Libya NPWJ has been working on the Libyan transition since early 2011 and has been on-the-ground since early October 2011. It has had a permanent presence in Tripoli since March 2012 and has been working to create a network of Libyan actors to engage different sectors of Libyan society on transitional justice. Its work in Libya combines the provision of transitional justice information (both in cooperation with the institutions and in partnerships with civil society), including on outreach and documentation, with research and analysis of public expectations and perceptions. NPWJ is partnering with a wide range of civil society organisations from across the country, including both more established and emerging ones. It aims to help build and reinforce the capacity of Libyan actors, including NGOs, academics, lawyers and media, public authorities and opinion-leaders, to play their role in incorporating accountability, human rights and the rule of law in the democracy transition and post-conflict reconstruction of their country. On the institutional side, NPWJ is working with the Ministry of Justice, and its Higher Judicial Training Institute, in providing training and expertise to the judges and prosecutors who have been charged with the enormous task of dealing with those suspected to have committed or directed atrocities during the conflict, and during the previous regime. NPWJ has also established a trial monitoring program, which is being run in collaboration with the Tripoli Bar Association and aims to promote transparency and accountability within the Libyan judiciary.



For further information, please contact Alison Smith on or +218 918 097330 / +32-(0)2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-(0)2-548-3915.
For further information on the activities of NPWJ in Libya please contact Stefano Moschini, Libya Program Coordinator, at or +218917450375, or Gianluca Eramo, MENA Program Coordinator, on or +32-2-548-3912.