UN: trial of Gaddafi’s son did not meet international standards News
UN: trial of Gaddafi’s son did not meet international standards

The 2014 trial of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi failed to meet international fair trial standards, according to a UN report [text, PDF] published Tuesday. The UN “closely monitored” [press release] the proceedings and conducted individual investigations with integral parties. The report recognized efforts made by the government to elevate standards, one being the decision to live broadcast the trial. However, the monitors identified several prominent violations of international law occurring throughout the trials of the former regime. Such violations include the failure to afford the defendants adequate due process and access to lawyers. The UN also condemned the prosecution in this case for interfering with the Gaddafi’s right to defense. Specifically, the report alleges that the proceedings violated aspects of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text, PDF] including Article 14(3)(C) which affords individuals the right to be present for their trial. Gaddafi was tried and sentenced to death in absentia, as he was being held by rebels at the time. The report lays out ways to conform to International Standards, by asking for a review of the Penal Code, also urging Libya to hand Gaddafi over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website].

Since the wake of the February 17 revolution in 2011, Libya has been struggling to form a stable government that can control its vast population. To try and combat the rise of violence and crimes in the country, the ICC announced in November 2016 that it would expand investigations [JURIST report] in Libya due to the widespread unlawfulness and violence threatening the lives of many civilians. The unlawfulness in the country was due to a lack of government, with multiple factions fighting for power. In August the UN-backed government in Libya was given a vote of no confidence [JURIST report] by the House of Representatives. In May an ICC official urged that the rule of law, specifically accountability and justice [JURIST report] were key in creating and preserving peace in Libya.