Transitional Justice without a Peaceful Transition—The Case of Post-Gaddafi Libya

A demonstration / gathering in Benghazi in 2011 (Photo: AP)

A demonstration / gathering in Benghazi in 2011 (Photo: AP)

An ongoing question for scholars and constant challenge for practitioners is how to combine peacebuilding with transitional justice. There are, clearly, no easy solutions. The case of Libya demonstrates this vividly and is the focus of an article I recently wrote regarding the country’s experience with transitional justice mechanisms since the end of the Gaddafi regime. The result is a paper, entitled, Transitional Justice without a Peaceful Transition – The Case of Post-Gaddafi Libya. The paper will be part of the book: Building Sustainable Peace: Timing and Sequencing of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peacebuilding, edited by Arnim Langer and Graham K. Brown (Oxford University Press 2016). For those interested, the abstract of the paper, the full version of which can be found here, is below. The other contributions to this fantastic and promising volume can be found here. As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome and appreciated.

This paper examines Libya’s experience with transitional justice since the conclusion of the country’s 2011 civil war and the onset of its post-Gaddafi transition. The core of the paper focuses on three transitional justice mechanisms: retributive criminal justice; lustration under Libya’s Political Isolation Law; and the amnesty granted to revolutionaries under Law 38. None of these mechanisms have been implemented within a peace or peacebuilding process. Libya’s experiences with all three of these transitional justice approaches have acted to perpetuate, rather than alleviate, a climate of selective impunity and vengeance against those associated with the previous regime whilst simultaneously elevating the revolutionary legitimacy of Libya’s rebel groups and militias. Transitional justice efforts to date have, as a result, frustrated the construction of a post-war peace. The paper concludes by arguing that the current UN-led peace negotiations may offer an opportunity to integrate transitional justice and peacebuilding processes.

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About Mark Kersten

Mark Kersten is the the Deputy Director of the Wayamo Foundation and a Fellow based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is also author of the book, 'Justice in Conflict - The Effects of the International Criminal Court's Interventions on Ending Wars and Building Peace' (Oxford University Press, 2016). The views posted on this blog do not necessarily represent those of the Wayamo Foundation.
This entry was posted in Amnesty, International Criminal Court (ICC), International Criminal Justice, Libya, Libya and the ICC, Lustration, Transitional Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Transitional Justice without a Peaceful Transition—The Case of Post-Gaddafi Libya

  1. I LEAVE A REPLY IN FRENCH:
    J’ai beaucoup d’amis en France pour les vies desquels je tremble effectivement. Je suis d’accord avec la tolerance entre les mentalites et les cultures de differents peuples, mais je ne peux pas etre d’accord avec la sauvagerie et la barbarie du carnage qui a eu lieu a Paris.
    Je pense que toutes les forces militaires du Monde doivent s’unir pour que de pareils carnages horribles ne puissent pas se reproduire. Les Services de Securite doivent etre tres attentifs a tous les actes insenses et ne pas faire de la police politique. Ils doivent prendre des mesures en matiere de Securite, des mesures tres professionnelles et tres precises. Il faut prendre des mesures et point! Tout comme chaque profession a sa deontologie, il faut que les services de securite aient une Deontologie: celle de se mettre au service du Bien du Citoyen!
    En Roumanie,en France, aux Etats-Unis, partout dans le Monde, doivent fonctionner les memes principes de Securite du Citoyen. Ce n’est pas une uniformite des Lois, c’est un Principe Unificateur de la Pensee en matiere de Securite Internationale et Nationale qui doit poursuivre une deontologie precise pour que la vie du Citoyen soit sure. Point!!!

  2. Pingback: Transitional Justice without a Peaceful Transition—The Case of Post-Gaddafi Libya | nz

  3. Pingback: Transitional Justice without a Peaceful Transit...

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