Personnel change or personal change? Rethinking Libya's political isolation law

Roman DAVID, Houda MZIOUDET

Research output: Working paperWorking paper seriesWorking Paper

Abstract

Nearly three years after the fall of the Qaddafi regime, Libya’s revolution has stalled. Militias continue to run rampant as the government struggles to perform basic functions. Theoretically to protect the revolution, Libya passed its Political Isolation Law (PIL) in May 2013, effectively banning anyone involved in Qaddafi’s regime from the new government. The law has raised serious questions: Does it contribute to effective governance and reconciliation? Does it respect human rights and further transitional justice? Will it undermine Libya’s prospects for a successful democratic transition?

In this Brookings Doha Center-Stanford “Project on Arab Transitions” Paper, Roman David and Houda Mzioudet examine the controversy over Libya’s PIL and the law’s likely effects. Drawing on interviews with key Libyan actors, the authors find that the PIL has been manipulated for political purposes and that its application is actually weakening, not protecting, Libya. They caution that the PIL threatens to deprive Libya of competent leaders, undermine badly needed reconciliation, and perpetuate human rights violations.

David and Mzioudet go on to compare the PIL to the personnel reform approaches of Eastern European states and South Africa. Ultimately, they argue that Libyans would be better served if the PIL were replaced with a law based on inclusion rather than exclusion and on reconciliation rather than revenge. They maintain that Libya’s democratic transition would benefit from an approach that gives exonerated former regime personnel a conditional second chance instead of blindly excluding potentially valuable contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherBrookings Institution Press
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Publication series

NameBrookings Doha Center – Stanford University "Project on Arab Transitions" Paper Series
PublisherBrookings Institution
No.4

Fingerprint

Libya
social isolation
personnel
Law
reconciliation
regime
militia
human rights violation
retaliation
respect
human rights
exclusion
justice
inclusion
leader
governance
reform

Cite this

DAVID, R., & MZIOUDET, H. (2014). Personnel change or personal change? Rethinking Libya's political isolation law. (Brookings Doha Center – Stanford University "Project on Arab Transitions" Paper Series; No. 4). United States: Brookings Institution Press.
DAVID, Roman ; MZIOUDET, Houda. / Personnel change or personal change? Rethinking Libya's political isolation law. United States : Brookings Institution Press, 2014. (Brookings Doha Center – Stanford University "Project on Arab Transitions" Paper Series; 4).
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DAVID, R & MZIOUDET, H 2014 'Personnel change or personal change? Rethinking Libya's political isolation law' Brookings Doha Center – Stanford University "Project on Arab Transitions" Paper Series, no. 4, Brookings Institution Press, United States.

Personnel change or personal change? Rethinking Libya's political isolation law. / DAVID, Roman; MZIOUDET, Houda.

United States : Brookings Institution Press, 2014. (Brookings Doha Center – Stanford University "Project on Arab Transitions" Paper Series; No. 4).

Research output: Working paperWorking paper seriesWorking Paper

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DAVID R, MZIOUDET H. Personnel change or personal change? Rethinking Libya's political isolation law. United States: Brookings Institution Press. 2014 Mar. (Brookings Doha Center – Stanford University "Project on Arab Transitions" Paper Series; 4).