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Lawyers for Justice in Libya

Lawyers for Justice in Libya

LFJL c/o GENESIS Ground Floor,,
3 Dufferin Street
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Our Mission

LFJL is a non-governmental organisation and charity, incorporated for the public benefit in order to defend and promote human rights in Libya. LFJL was established in response to the 17 February 2011 uprising in Libya. We exist, work for, and are passionate about the promotion of justice, human rights, and democracy in Libya. We seek to promote and nurture the legal profession and civil society in Libya.

LFJL's growing team works between Tripoli and London. We speak seven languages, are qualified in seven jurisdictions, and are graduates from the University of Oxford, the Sorbonne, the School of Oriental and African Studies and Stanford University. Our team has expertise in international human rights law; the law of armed conflict and humanitarian law; international criminal law and tribunals; international arbitration; transitional justice; finance law; and oil, gas and environmental law.

We maintain a growing network of talented Libyan lawyers and activists, currently in excess of 70 individuals and organisations, who work on the ground across all regions in Libya. We also work closely with the Coalition of Libyan Human Rights Organisations (the Coalition), which we brought together in order to share knowledge and engage in joint international advocacy activities. Together we were the first Libyan civil society organisations to participate in Libya's Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council.

We regularly work with national, regional and international stakeholders, including the International Criminal Court; the International Committee of the Red Cross; the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; the United Nations Support Mission in Libya; REDRESS; Amnesty International; Article 19; Human Rights Watch; and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Our core values are independence and integrity and we strive for excellence in all areas of our work. We conduct our activities with compassion and understanding, seeing the survivors of human rights abuses that we work with as individuals, not causes. We advocate our positions with independence from interference which would otherwise prejudice our core values and our credibility.

Our programmes are:

Transitional Justice LFJL's Transitional Justice Programme seeks to carry out activities that ensure that victims of human rights abuses realise their right to know the truth, see those responsible held to account, and receive adequate reparations. It is based on the understanding that without these rights of victims to truth, accountability and redress being achieved, peaceful coexistence between communities in Libya will be unable to take root.

The Transitional Justice Programme works with actors in Libya to document a broad range of human rights violations, including human rights abuses that took place during the 2011 uprising and the ongoing human rights violations against migrants. The programme ensures that these documents are stored securely so that they may be used as evidence in future truth, reconciliation and accountability efforts. The programme also seeks to create space for discussions and debates not currently being had regarding transitional justice issues such as those related to the right to reconciliation of communities perceived as being 'against' the uprising who are currently severely marginalised. We also advocate for the implementation of laws and policies that support a transitional justice mechanism that is objective, nonpolitical and inclusive of all groups and communities in Libya.

Legal Reform Key aspects of Libya's legal system need urgent reform to ensure conformity with international human rights standards. Laws that threaten human rights including the right to non-discrimination, freedom from torture and ill-treatment, freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial remain in place. Laws issued since 2011 have frequently failed to provide adequate protection for prevalent human rights concerns.

The Legal Reform Programme addresses such weaknesses and gaps in Libyan law by supporting in-depth research and analysis of Libya's legal system in order to promote compliance with international human rights standards. It aims to raise awareness of legal issues currently affecting human rights in Libya and works to effect change to draft legislation dealing with human rights concerns. The programme also works to ensure that Libya has ratified key international human rights treaties and implemented them at the domestic level.

Strategic Litigation Litigation is one of the key ways that LFJL is able to use its legal expertise to assist those who have suffered human rights violations, and in doing so seeks to prevent such violations occurring again in the future by bringing an end to the current climate of impunity. Litigation can provide avenues for redress, rehabilitation and reparations for survivors of human rights abuses and hold those responsible to account. LFJL uses litigation to pursue significant changes to the law, policy and public opinion, so that stronger human rights protections will become established in Libya. The Strategic Litigation Programme works with lawyers from across Libya to document, monitor and report on violations and abuses among them are against migrants, internally displaced persons, minorities and on the basis of gender. LFJL also assists them in undertaking their own domestic, regional and international human rights litigation.

As the judiciary in Libya currently faces challenges and severe restrictions to its ability to consider human rights cases, the programme seeks to challenge impunity for rights violations through international human rights mechanisms. LFJL has built cases to litigate before regional and international mechanisms. LFJL has brought cases to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights related to torture and ill-treatment and to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. LFJL's litigation activities also aim to support the International Criminal Court's investigations, with a current focus on abuses against migrants in Libya. While building a case, LFJL provides legal support and referrals to other services such as health services to survivors suffering from physical and mental harm.

Advocacy The Advocacy Programme works to ensure that core human rights concerns are a priority consideration during the decision making processes of domestic, regional and international institutions. Without such engagement there is a risk that temporary solutions to systemic problems devalue human rights and undermine much needed efforts towards accountability for violations.

LFJL currently advocates in key capitals around the world and before the UN Human Rights Council, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court to inform activities and mandates related to Libya. As well as undertaking its own advocacy, the Advocacy Programme empowers national NGOs so that they may also engage in such forums and pursue joint advocacy targets. Under this programme, LFJL brought together and trained Libya's first human rights coalition to carry out advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Human Rights Education The Human Rights Education Programme addresses the lack of public awareness of human rights principles and the value they offer. It also attempts to tackle key issues that are linked to the widespread culture of accepting human rights violations including torture and ill-treatment and discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender at the societal level.

In addition to engaging the public on human rights issues, the Human Rights Education Programme seeks to develop the skillset of Libya's activists and lawyers currently collaborating with LFJL's programmes through high level training events including on documentation, monitoring and reporting. To date, LFJL has trained over 150 lawyers, activists, journalists, judges and medical professionals that are actively engaged in advancing human rights. The programmes also seeks to engender the next generation of human rights activists by actively engaging Libya's youth in discussions and capacity building concerning the importance of human rights, notably through launching a summer school and by developing a national human rights curriculum to be implemented across Libya's schools.

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