RN in Libya


Following the success of its 2013 conference in Tunis focused on integrating Islamic/Middle Eastern law in a 21st century constitution, Right to Nonviolence (RN) continues its role as a leader in constitutionalism in the MENA region as co-chair of “International Standards in an Islamic Context”, a one-day conference 23 June 2013 in Tripoli, Libya. 

Organized with principal partner Democracy Reporting International, the conference, “Democracy Standards in an Islamic Context”, brought together prominent international experts with key Libyan civil society colleagues to address reconciling minimal international standards with the legacy of Middle Eastern and Islamic law specifically on the topics of balance of power, judicial systems, human rights, and women’s rights.

RN Chairman Chibli Mallat delivered a keynote address based on a background paper in which he proposed a ‘third way’ that neither excludes Islamic law altogether nor drowns it in a series of subsequent legal references but considers its “…. effective use as an important part of the national and regional legacy of Middle Eastern law.”

Mallat had an intensive program including meeting with Libyan leaders in Tripoli, particularly leaders of civil society, and visiting Benghazi both as an expression of support to the birthplace of the revolution and for the active involvement of Benghazi leaders and society to reverse half a century of deliberate marginalization by the dictatorship. He also spent an evening with Dr. Tareq Mitri, special representative and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The program on fiqh in the constitution is to be followed up by more discussions at the regional level for this key feature of modern Middle Eastern constitutionalism.

Mallat went on to Yemen to assist in the constitutional process led by the Yemenis with the active support of Dr. Jamal Benomar, United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Yemen.

Full conference report: Democracy Standards in an Islamic Context, DRI, 2013  [ Arabic]   [ English]

Chibli Mallat, Islamic Law and International Human Rights Standards: Writing fiqh into the Bill of Rights of the Libyan Constitution, 2013

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