Libya’s reconciliation and access to justice focus of high-level meeting in Leiden
Scholars from Libya and Leiden have been cooperating on research since 2012. On 25-26 October 2022, a select group of high-level participants will gather in Leiden to discuss the research on national reconciliation and access to justice, and to explore implications for policy and law.
This autumn, Leiden will host Libya’s vice-president, two rectors, two ambassadors, and several senior policy makers, diplomats, and scholars to speak about law, reconciliation, and access to Justice in Libya. This meeting dovetails academic research on the one hand, and law- and policy-making on the other.
Justice and reconciliation
Justice and reconciliation are central concerns for many Libyans. During the Arab Spring in 2011, protests in Benghazi over the detention of a critical lawyer spiralled into an uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year reign. Since then, Libyans have been grappling with the injustices of the Gaddafi regime, and those that followed during the revolution and the often divided and violent decade since. And so, the twin concerns of justice and reconciliation are seen as key stepping stones towards a more peaceful and democratic future.
Despite conflict and instability, since 2012 scholars from Libya and Leiden have built a fruitful interdisciplinary academic cooperation. At its heart has been a partnership between Dr Suliman Ibrahim who works both at Leiden University and at the Centre for Law and Society Studies (CLSS) at Benghazi University, and Prof Jan Michiel Otto of the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) at Leiden University. Over the years, their research team has included renowned Libyan scholars including Prof. Kuni Abouda, Prof. Nagib el-Hassadi, and Prof. Zahi Mogherbi, and a host of younger researchers. Their research has been funded mainly by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Embassy to Libya. The goal is always to conduct solid socio-legal research but also to contribute to policy and law-making. Focus areas have included:
Closed meeting 25-25 October
During the meeting in October, Libya’s Vice-President Al-Lafi will present his vision on national reconciliation. The Libya-Leiden research team will present their findings from a 4-year project on ‘The Role of Law in Libya's National Reconciliation’ (RoLLNaR), and preliminary findings from the new 4-year project, ‘Access to Justice in Libya’. The group will also discuss a new draft law on reconciliation and transitional justice, and discuss what role the international community could play in assisting reconciliation efforts.
The meeting is invitation only and follows the Chatham House Rule, to ensure the free exchange of ideas. For inquiries by media or prospective participants, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.