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NPWJ organises a trial monitoring capacity building for Libyan lawyers

NPWJ organises a trial monitoring capacity building for Libyan lawyers

By Albudery Shariha

NPWJ, Libyan lawyers, Participants included three Libyan lawyers, who have been appointed to set out a training network on monitoring trial in Libya: Mr Ahmed Al Amari Abukba Hammadi, lawyer, founder and current chairman of the NGO ‘Libyan group to monitor human rights violations’; Mr Abdul Ginbij, lawyer and head of the Tripoli Bar Association; and Mr Albudery Shariha, lawyer and legal advisor for several institutions, including the Economic & Social Development Fund Tripoli and the National Economic Strategy (NES) & Academic Career.

The trial monitoring capacity building was structured as a field visit with different sessions and meetings held in Brussels and The Hague on 4-7 March 2013. On 4-5 March 2013, NPWJ facilitated meetings in Brussels with members of the Sub-Committee of Human Rights of the European Parliament and the Libya Desk at the European External Action Service (EEAS). The Libyan lawyers also attended the NGO segment of the Council of the European Union Working Group devoted to the ICC (COJUR-ICC) as well as a roundtable discussion with H.E. Tiina Intelmann, Ambassador-at-large and President of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court, and INGO representatives, hosted at the CICC office in Brussels. These meetings provided the opportunity for the Libyan delegation to provide useful insights about the human rights situation as well as the accountability and criminal justice challenges faced by the legal community in Libya, also in respect of current legislative initiatives (such as the draft law on Transitional Justice and the Amnesty Law).

On 6 March, NPWJ organised, in cooperation with the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), a Trial Monitoring training in The Hague. The training consisted of several sessions conducted by international experts who provided background information on trial monitoring and its fundamental principles, focusing in particular on issues related to fair trial rules in the context of relevant international standards, the role of media and civil society in trial monitoring processes, as well as lessons-learned based on past transitional justice experiences, namely of Nigeria and Sierra Leone among others. On 7 March, the Libyan delegation concluded their training with a meeting at the International Criminal Court, in the presence of Fadi El-Abdallah, ICC spokesperson, Jennifer Science, International Cooperation Advisor, Fiona McKay, Head of Victims Participation and Reparation Section (VPRS), Juliet Adyel, Associate Legal Officer of the Counsel Support Section, Xavier-Jean Keïta, Principal Counsel of the Office of the Public Counsel for the Defence, and Paolina Massidda, Principal Counsel of the Office of Public Counsel for Victims.

NPWJ project to support Libya’s democratic transition through justice and accountability
NPWJ has been working on the Libyan transition since early 2011, in the framework of its program entitled “Supporting 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 the investigation and prosecution of the crimes and violence perpetrated during the revolution and efforts to confront a history of oppression and human rights abuses that dates back decades under the rule of the former regime.

On the civil society side, the NPWJ program objective is to help build and reinforce the capacity of Libyan actors 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. A series of specific colloquia held across the country have also been designed to assist Libyan legal actors (lawyers, judges, prosecutors and law students) and the Libyan Ministry of Justice with their transitional justice work, including the investigation and prosecution of crimes under international law and massive human rights violations. NPWJ has also held a series of meetings and workshops with civil society and government representatives in Benghazi, Misurata, Tripoli and Sabha to generate discussion on the needs and perceptions within Libya about its transitional justice process, also to develop ways to reach out to victims and the broader community on these issues.

Source: Brussels and The Hague, 4-7 March 2013