The National Transitional Council of Libya, acting on behalf of Libyan people that expressed their will to live in the country ruled by a democratic law, during 2011 Libyan Revolution, adopts this Constitution as Libya’s fundamental law, to which all bylaws and regulations must conform.
Chapter 1 – Fundamental principles
Libya is an independent, democratic and secular state, in which the provisions of Constitution define all civil aspects of Libyan society’s functioning.
Libya is a unitary state, with Libyan laws enjoying an undisputed primacy throughout country’s territory.
The foremost objective of this Constitution’s enactment is to ensure citizens’ right to be able to take a full advantage of their human rights and freedoms.
People who were born on Libya’s territory enjoy the natural right to claim Libyan citizenship. This Constitution also establishes legal provisions for the citizens of foreign countries to apply for Libyan citizenship, as well as for the citizens of Libya to qualify for holding a dual citizenship.
Libya is a republic. The people of Libya are assumed to be representing a supreme sovereign authority in the state. Libyan citizens exercise this authority by electing their representatives to the National Assembly. Libya’s constitutional order cannot be altered/adjusted/amended without citizens’ prior consent.
The functioning of Libyan state is being observant of the principle of division between legislative, executive and judicial powers. The practical aspects of this principle’s implementation correspond to Constitutional provisions.
The Constitution of Libya represents a supreme legal authority, to which all bylaws and normative regulations must conform. In cases then bylaws and normative regulations contradict Constitutional provisions, the Constitution overrules bylaws and normative regulations.
Libya’s official language is Arabic. The State establishes objective preconditions for this language’s implementation in all spheres of public life. At the same time, Constitution guarantees to the representatives of Libya’s ethnic minorities the right to preserve their ethnic/cultural/religious identity.
Libyan citizens are assumed the rightful proprietors of State’s natural resources. The appointed/elected representatives of Government put into effect people’s rights, in this respect. The Constitution guaranties to the Libyan citizens, as well as to the representatives of foreign third parties, a thoroughful protection of their private property and their entrepreneurial interests in Libya.
The functioning of Libyan society is based upon the principle of political, cultural and religious pluralism. All citizens, regardless of the particulars of their ethnic, cultural and religious affiliation, enjoy the same right to play an active part in Libya’s political life. The State declares that it will withhold from subjecting citizens to any form of political, cultural or religious oppression/censorship. In Libya, no political, cultural or religious ideology shall be considered mandatory.
Libya’s Armed Forces entrusted with the task of protecting the integrity of State’s national borders. Utilization of Armed Forces for any purpose contradictory to the basic Constitutional provisions is forbidden. Creation and operation of any unlawful paramilitary formations on Libya’s territory is forbidden.
The State symbols of Libya are: Seal of the National Transitional Council (the subject of possible adjustments), The National Flag of Libya (featuring star and crescent on the black field, with red and green stripes on upper and lower horizontal sides) and the National Anthem of Libya.
Chapter 2 – Citizens’ rights and responsibilities
All Libyan citizens are equal in how their exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms and in how the provisions of law apply to them.
Libyan people’s constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms are not the subject of suspension. Every attempt to alter the provision of Article 14 shall be considered unlawful.
Every Libyan citizen has the right to go about pursuing personal happiness in just about any way he or she chooses appropriate, for as long as his or her pursuit of happiness does not prevent other citizens from doing the same.
Providing Libyan citizens with special rights and privileges, it regards to the specifics of their ethnic, cultural or religious affiliation is forbidden. Providing Libyan citizens with special rights and privileges, it regards to the specifics of their gender affiliation is forbidden.
The citizenship of Libya’s loyal subjects cannot be arbitrary revoked. A citizen of Libya cannot be surrendered to the foreign state in order to become subjected to legal procedures. Libya guarantees the protection of its citizens that remain beyond country’s national borders.
The citizens of foreign countries who remain in Libya on lawful grounds are guaranteed to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as Libyan citizens do. At the same time, while on Libya’s territory, foreign citizens never cease being subjected to the provisions of Libyan law.
No Libyan citizen can be arrested on the ground other than court’s decision. In case when there is an acute urgency to prevent crime, or when the protection of State’s security is being concerned, Libyan citizens can be temporarily detained, but no longer then for duration of 48 hours, before court’s consent is being obtained. Every arrested Libyan citizen has the right to have its interests represented in the Court of Law by an attorney. In case when arrested Lybian citizen does not have financial means to pay for its legal defense, the State will pay for hiring an attorney.
Libyan citizens are guaranteed the right to enjoy the privacy of correspondence. The exemptions to this rule (when the prevention of crime or ensuring national security is being concerned) shall be established by supplementary bylaws.
Libyan citizens are guaranteed the right of freedom of movement, which includes the right to leave Libya and to return to Libya at any time. Libyan citizens will not be persecuted for deciding in favor of revoking their Libyan citizenship, while applying for the citizenship of other countries.
The Constitution guarantees Libyan citizens the right to enjoy the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression. No restrictions to this right may be considered lawful, with the exemption of cases when the protection of national security is being concerned.
Libya is a secular country. The functioning of Libyan society rests upon the principle of separation between Church and State. However, given the fact that the religion of Islam is being deeply embedded into the very core of Libyan national identity, this Constitution proclaims Islam ‘culturally friendly’ religion and establishes legal preconditions for the religion of Islam to enjoy primacy in the field of public education.
Citizens of Libya enjoy the unrestricted right of freedom of association, as well as the right to indulge in just about any form of political activity, for as long as such an activity does not aim at undermining Libya’s national sovereignty.
Citizens of Libya enjoy an unrestricted right to exercise a full control over their private property. No private property shall be ceased by legislative acts, unless the ensuring of society’s overall well-being is being concerned.
Citizens of Libya are guaranteed the right to own and bear guns. Additional bylaws regulate the process of guns’ acquisition and establish legal criteria for guns’ lawful storage. Every attempt to alter the provision of Article 36 shall be deemed unlawful.
Chapter 3 – Elections
Citizens of Libya exercise their political authority by the mean of participating in the elections to the National Assembly, which takes place every three years.
The right to exercise such an authority is being assigned to the Libyan citizens after they attain the age of twenty-two years. Citizens that have been recognized as mentally incapacitated cannot vote or to be considered candidates for the election. Citizens that had played an active part in supporting Gaddafi’s regime cannot vote or to be considered candidates for the election. The same applies to the citizens that have been found guilty of committing anti-social offences in the past and to those citizens that currently serve their time in jail.
When the political issues, related to changing Libya’s constitutional order or to altering Libya’s territorial integrity are being concerned, Libyan citizens exercise their political authority by the mean of participating in all-national referendums.
Chapter 4 – National Assembly
The legislative authority in Libya rests solely in the hands of Libya’s Parliament – National Assembly of Libya.
National Assembly consists of 300 National Deputies, elected for a three-year term by the mean of Libyan citizens participating in secret-ballot-based National Elections. The Constitution of Libya defines the scope of Deputies’ legislative authority.
National Deputies of Libya are assumed to be in position of exercising their legislative authority throughout the duration of their term. National Deputies’ legislative authority is deemed undisputed.
National Deputies of Libya cannot be civil servants.
Before being issued a legislative mandate, National Deputies are required to take the Oath of Allegiance. The following is the text of the Oath of Allegiance: “I swear to commit all of my thoughts and deeds to protecting Libya’s sovereignty, to ensuring the well-being of Libyan citizens and to guaranteeing the undisputed primacy of Constitution’s provisions, as this nation’s most supreme and unchallengeable law”. The refusal to take the Oath of Allegiance, on the part of newly elected Deputy to the National Assembly, results in revoking of his/her legislative mandate.
National Deputies’ legislative mandate is being automatically revoked in case of National Assembly’s disbandment.
The disbandment of National Assembly may only come as a result of a Presidential Decree or as a result of the majority of Libyan citizens having voted in favor of such a disbandment, during the course of all-national referendum.
Primary legislative functions of National Assembly concern: a) passing amendments to the Constitution, b) introducing new laws, c) approving/disapproving Libya’s state-budget, d) designing the principles of country’s foreign policy, e) approving/disapproving the appointment of judges, f) designating Presidential elections, g) initiating impeachment procedures.
Chapter 5 – President of Libya
The President of Libya is considered the Head of the State – hence, representing country’s highest executive authority. He/she is assumed the guarantor of Libya’s national sovereignty and the guarantor of Constitution’s inviolability.
Libyan citizens elect the President of Libya for a four-year term by the mean of a popular secret-ballot vote. The President of Libya may be elected a Libyan citizen of thirty years of age or older, who had continuously resided in Libya for no less than fifteen years, who has a good command of Arabic and who has no history of criminal offences. Before assuming the office, the President takes a Presidential Oath in front of National Assembly’s Deputies. The following is the text of Presidential Oath: “I swear to do my utmost, while serving the people of Libya and while standing on guard of Constitutional provisions. I will never forget that, while in the Presidential office, I remain Libyan people’s most humble servant. If I ever deviate from the provisions of this Oath, I will be forever branded as a lowly traitor, unworthy of life”. The refusal to take Presidential Oath, on the part of newly elected President, results in revoking his/her executive mandate.
The President of Libya holds an immunity from criminal persecution for duration of his/her term in the office. Presidential titles are protected by corresponding bylaws – citizens guilty of insulting the honor of President of Libya are to be held criminally responsible. The President of Libya can be removed from the office even before his/her term’s expiry, if 90% of National Assembly’s Deputies vote in favor of Presidential impeachment.
The primary executive functions of President of Libya are: a) ensuring national security, b) conducting negotiations with the representatives of foreign states, c) appointing/dismissing the heads of Libya’s diplomatic mission to foreign states, d) designating special elections to National Assembly, e) appointing the Prime Minister of Libya, f) appointing the members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Libya, g) appointing the members of Armed Forces’ High Command.
Chapter 6 – The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya
The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya represents the highest corporate authority among state-bodies endowed with an executive power. Both are holding the Cabinet of Ministers of Libya accountable: the President of Libya and the Deputies of the National Assembly.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya consists of prime Minister of Libya, the two Vice Prime Ministers and six Ministers, responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of Libya’s economy, health care system, national defense system, educational system, transport system and foreign relations system.
The Cabinet of Ministers’ foremost executive duties include: a) ensuring national security, b) designing/implementing domestic and foreign policies, c) protecting citizens’ constitutional freedoms, e) designing state budget/taxation/investment policies, f) designing policies meant to ensure Libyan citizens’ environmental safety.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya is being in charge of designing/adopting bylaws, the enactment of which will facilitate Constitution’s authority in regards to a number of State’s socio-political, economic, scientific and cultural prerogatives. The foremost instrument of Ministers’ executive functionality are ‘resolutions’ and ‘directives’, which are being passed down for implementation by the subordinate executive authorities on regional level.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya is responsible for submitting to the President the lists of recommended regional administrators, which he/she approves or disapproves.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya is entrusted with the task of exercising an effective control over the regional representatives of State’s Executive Authority. In their turn, regional administrators are being held responsible for: a) implementing the directives of the Cabinet of Ministers, b) ensuring citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms, c) making sure that the assigned budget-funds are being spent in strict accordance to the law.
Chapter 7 – Justice
In Libya, the administering of justice is the solemn prerogative of the Court of Law. The delegation of judicial authority to State’s bodies other than the Court of Law is forbidden. Libyan citizens enjoy the right to participate in the process of administering justice by the mean of exercising control over judges’ functioning. Judicial decisions, passed down for implementation, have a mandatory status throughout Libya’s territory.
The highest judicial authority in Libya is the Supreme Court of Appeals.
The Constitution of Libya guaranties judges’ non-biasness and professionalism. The participants of a judicial process are forbidden from influencing judges’ decisions by law. Judges enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution, unless revoked by an official approval of National Assembly. Judges can only be relieved of their duties due to: a) expiration of their term in the office, b) reaching the age of seventy years old, c) violating the terms of the Judicial Oath.
Professional judges, appointed by the office of Judicial Commissioner, cannot be members of any political parties and cannot combine executing their judicial duties with any other activities, which may impede their executive objectiveness on the line of duty. The judge can be appointed a citizen of Libya after reaching the age of thirty, who possesses a legal education, who has an extensive judicial experience, who has a good command of Arabic and who has no criminal record.
While presiding in the Court of Law, judges are expected to observe the following fairness-ensuring considerations: a) assuming legal equality, on the part of all involved parties, b) assuming defendant’s innocence, until proven guilty, c) assuring that all involved parties are being provided with enough time to gather and to present evidence, relevant to supporting the validity of their claims, d) assuring trials’ openness.
Chapter 8 – Regional administration
Libya’s territorial structure correlates with the principle of national unity, on the one hand, and with the principle of ‘communal governing’, on the other. The latter principle makes it possible for the representatives of local communities to influence the process of designing local bylaws and regulations. Libya consists of 32 districts: Ajdabiya, Butnan, Hizam al Akhdar, Jabal al Akhdar, Jafara, Jufra, Kufra, Marj, Murqub, Nuqat al Khams, Quba, Al Wahat, Zawiya, Benghazi, Bani Walid, Derna, Ghat, Ghadames, Gharyan, Murzuq, Mizda, Misrata, Nalut, Tajura wa Arba’, Tarhuna wa Msalata, Tripoli, Sabha, Sirte, Sabratha wa Sorman, Wadi al Hayaa, Wadi al Shatii and Yafran.
The President of Libya appoints its representatives in all 32 districts. These representatives have the right to veto passing the local bylaws and to exercise control over budgetary spending. Presidential representatives are also responsible for reporting to the President on how his/her executive directives are being implemented locally.
Chapter 9 – Self-governing
The residents of Libya’s territorial communities have the right to pass bylaws and regulations, designed to serve these communities’ needs. In order for local residents to enjoy an earlier mentioned right, Constitution allows the formation of City Councils, entrusted with the task of local governing. The legality of bylaws and regulations, approved by the Deputies of City Councils, is being measured is regards to how they correlate/non-correlate with the basic provisions of Libya’s Constitution.
The residents of local communities elect the Deputies of City Councils by the mean of casting their secret-ballot votes. The average term for the Deputies of City Councils to remain in the office is three years. While in the office, local Deputies enjoy the immunity from being subjected to criminal proceedings, unless presidential Decree or the legislative act by National Assembly allows the initiation of these proceedings.
City Council Deputies’ foremost functions include: a) passing bylaws, concerned with managing communal property, b) approving/disapproving the programs of regional social and economic development, c) approving/disapproving administrative budgets, d) designing regional fiscal policies.
Chapter 10 – Constitutional amendments
The introduction of amendments to the Constitution of Libya can be initiated by the President of Libya or by at least two-thirds of the National Assembly’s Deputies.
The amendments to the Constitution of Libya shall be automatically deemed unlawful if they are being concerned with limiting the extent of citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms, weakening national security or establishing legal preconditions for undermining the territorial integrity of Libya.
Before being presented to the President or the Deputies of National Assembly, the suggested amendments to the Constitution of Libya must be reviewed and approved by the members of the Supreme Court of Appeals. This will ensure suggested amendments’ full compliance with Constitution’s basic provisions.
If not being legally adopted, the suggested amendments to the Constitution of Libya shall not be presented to the President or to the National Assembly Deputies’ consideration for duration of at least two years, after these amendments had been declined.
Chapter 11 – Intermediary provisions
Legislative acts, passed during the course of Gaddafi era, shall be considered enacted for as long as they do not contradict the provisions of the new Constitution of Libya.
The legislative authority of National Assembly of Libya (the members of which are yet to be elected) comes into de jure effect after the publishing of this Constitution in Libya’s major newspapers.
The elections to the National Assembly of Libya will be held on April 20, 2012. The elections of the President of Libya will be held on August 6, 2012.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Libya will be formed within the matter of one month after Presidential elections.
The members of the Supreme Court of Appeals will be appointed within the matter of one month after Presidential elections.
During the course of an intermediary period, The National Transitional Council of Libya remains endowed with an undisputed de facto legislative, executive and judicial authority. All attempts to challenge Council’s authority will be considered unlawful by default and as such, they will be dealt with in accordance to the basic provisions of martial law.
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