Article 147 – General Provisions of Judiciary
Members of judicial bodies are independent in their work. No authority has power over them except those of the this Constitution, the law, and their conscience. Fundamentally, the judiciary is the People’s judiciary, the guardian of tribal sovereignty, with its citizens of the State making their choice of law statute acknowledging their unique, sovereign laws. These courts assume responsibility for criminal and civil matters within the State jurisdiction.
Establishment of special courts shall be prohibited. They shall not be removed from their positions except for cause, are equal in their rights and duties, guarantors of the enforcement of provisions of the Constitution and the rule of law, and protector of rights and freedoms. The State ensures the independence of the judiciary. Interfering with the judiciary is a crime which is not subject to the Statute of Limitation. All judiciary must swear an oath before taking office in the manner stated by this Constitution.
Article 148 – Membership
Members of the Judiciary are judges, members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and members of the Public Defender’s Office with the law regulating the manner in which they are appointed. The law regulates the way their administrative and career affairs are managed in a manner to ensure their neutrality and integrity. They are prohibited from exercising any political or party function or any other profession in addition to their Judiciary position. They shall not be seconded or transferred to other jobs except for carrying out the same job in Military Courts or the Higher Electoral Commission or their equivalent. The same conditions and provisions shall apply to all the members of the judicial institutions.
Article 149 – Tenure
1. The tenure for Heads of the judicial institutions and authorities and their deputies are four (4) years or the remaining duration to their retirement, whichever is closer, restricted to one (1) term unless otherwise stipulated by this Constitution or by law.
2. The term of office for a member of the judiciary terminates when he or she reaches seventy (70) years of age. Nevertheless, he or she might retire, upon his or her request, when he or she reaches fifty-five (55) years of age. The law regulates the other cases and procedures of terminating their service.
Article 150 – Financial Allocations
Law shall stipulate the annual financial allocations for all judiciary members, including those of the Prosecutions’ Office, Public Defenders’ Office, all courts as defined by this Chapter, including Constitutional Court, and military courts.
Article 151 – Immunity
Members of the judiciary enjoy judicial immunity. They may not be arrested or interrogated unless their immunity is lifted. When they are caught flagrant e delicto in crimes for which precautionary arrest is allowed, the Constitutional Court must be informed immediately with a decision within forth-eight (48) hours whether or not to lift immunity. Members can not be removed or dismissed or transferred to another job during the legal year except by a justified decision, in writing, by the Constitutional Court. They may not be disciplined except in the cases and in accordance with the guarantees stipulated by the law.
Article 152 – Lawyers
Lawyers are independent professionals and partners in administering justice. They enjoy criminal immunity “with” or “in conjunction” with their profession. The arrest or detention of a lawyer during or due to carrying out his or her duties is prohibited unless caught in flagrant e delicto. The law regulates the conditions of enrollment for lawyers and rules of holding all accountable for their actions, and for their discipline in violation of these rules.
Article 153 – Judicial Experts
Judicial experts, forensic medicine experts and functionaries of the courts, and the Public Prosecutors’ Offices are independent in discharging their duties and enjoy criminal immunity in the course of discharging their duties or because of these duties. All pertaining shall be regulated by law.
Article 154 – Benefits
Benefits and other career aspects enjoyed by counselors of the Courts apply to all members of all judicial bodies. The Constitutional Court issues a decision stating the seniority ranking of members of judicial bodies, including Court Counselors. Their salaries shall be determined by law.
Article 155 – Different Rights
The Judicial Authority shall be exercised by the different types and grades of courts. The right of litigation and defense is guaranteed by the Constitution. Court sessions will be public unless the court decides otherwise due to public order or public morals. Court deliberations can be confidential, but court rulings are public. Individuals under precautionary arrest shall attend before the courts in person. Death sentences are issued only in implementation of a judicial sentence. Rulings are made in the name of the people with the pronouncement of findings and sentence made in open session. Refraining from enforcing final court rulings and judicial orders is a felony crime regulated by the law.
Article 156 – Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation shall be under the Constitutional Court, and shall consist of a minimum of at least three (3) members whose ranks can not be less than that of Chief Prosecutor, or its equivalent.
Article 157 – Public Prosecutor
1. Members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office are prosecutors acting on behalf of the Public Prosecutor who shall be responsible for investigation and initiating and proceeding with public lawsuits. This is the only authority with the power to request lifting legal immunity from those who enjoy it in order for the Higher Judicial Council to rule on their cases.
2. The Public Prosecutor undertakes the legal proceedings on behalf of the community, and oversees matters of judicial prosecution, while he remains vigilant in the application of the criminal code, the pursuit of the guilty and the execution of court judgments. The Constitution refers to the Law in regulating the public prosecution and its competencies and the conditions applicable to those who discharge its functions.
3. The Public Prosecutor is appointed by the President of the State upon the nomination of the Higher Judicial Council and will serve a four-year (4) term or for the remaining period until his retirement, whichever is closer, restriction to one (1) term.
Article 158 – Public Defender
An Attorney or office of attorneys employed by the Government, regularly assigned (appointed) by the courts to represent people who cannot afford to hire an attorney or who cannot obtain an attorney. A person who is charged with a crime and cannot afford to hire an attorney or obtain the services of an attorney may ask the court to appoint a public defender at the first appearance before a judge. They may be asked to submit a financial declaration to determine eligibility. The client may consult with the public defender regarding the law and defenses applicable to his/her case. A public defender cannot be discharged as easily as a privately-employed attorney. The court’s permission must be sought and the request must show sufficient cause, such as legal malpractice.
1. Interviews persons seeking legal counsel in civil matters, determining eligibility, accepting cases and preparing necessary legal documents, and rejecting cases outside the jurisdiction of the public defender.
2. Represents the defense in preliminary hearings, interviewing clients and possible defense witnesses, advising clients of the appropriate course of action to be taken in their defense, cross-examining prosecution witnesses, and entering motions for dismissal and bail.
3. Represents the defense in the trial of misdemeanor cases.
4. Represents the defense in hearings concerning matters of civil insanity, sexual-psychopathy and narcotics act violations.
5. Confers with law enforcement and investigation personnel, deputy district attorneys, prosecution witnesses, and other interested parties regarding cases.
6. Prepares legal documents such as briefs, complaints and pleadings.
7. Prepares and tries the criminal cases.
Article 159 – Rights to Fair Trial
Every person shall have the right to fair trial with regards to any criminal charge or to decide on his or her rights and obligations, before a competent court established by law where all safeguards shall be ensured, including in particular:
1. Litigants are equal before the law.
2. The state ensures easy access to the courts.
3. The courts do not admit any evidence extracted under coercion or through illegal measures.
4. Creating special or exceptional courts is prohibited.
5. No legislation might be given immunity against appeal before the courts.
Article 160 – Basic Rights for any Charges or Trial
1. Declaration of arrest to the competent judicial authority, family of the arrested or whomever he or she chooses, identification of the location of arrest and keeping him/her well informed of his/her rights at the time of arrest.
2. The right to a counsel. The State shall guarantee a counsel for those in hardship in accordance with judicial aid.
3. A counsel must be present for those facing felony charges before the criminal court.
4. Public hearing within the boundaries of public order, justice and fairness.
5. Legitimacy of the conviction evidence.
6. Provide adequate time and necessary facilitation for the preparation of the defense, and allow the accused to contact family, counsels and whomever he or she deems necessary to contact.
7. Every person shall have the right to know identity of the person in charge of their arrest and the person conducting the investigation.
8. The right to be present at trial.
9. The right to interpretation service.
10. The right to remain silent and not to be compelled to provide evidence, as well as to draw his or her attention that he/she is liable for the information he/she provides, and to his/her right to be seen by a physician.
11. The right to appeal before a higher court.
12. Human being, in principle, is presumed innocent. The accused shall be innocent until proven guilty by a final court ruling.
13. Power of res judicata.
14. The right to the respect of human dignity in all criminal procedures.
15. Prohibition of arrest and imprisonment in places defined by the law, and guarantee of rehabilitation of those who are incarcerated in them.
16. Justification of orders affecting rights and liberties.
17. Provisional detention shall be an exceptional measure to maintain evidence or public order. It shall only be resorted to in the event of insufficient alternatives.
18. The right to make an initial appearance before a judge where the party learns the charges within three (3) days with a preliminary hearing to be set, and an arraignment to be held where the arrested person enters a plea of guilty or not guilty with subsequent trial.
Article 161 – Right Defining Duration Proceedings
The right to trial within a reasonable period; the speed and duration of proceedings affecting rights and liberties shall be guaranteed. Every person has the right to a fair trial before his natural judge within a reasonable time. Reasonable defined as of sound judgment; fair and sensible. The law regulates court proceedings and duration of precautionary incarceration.
Article 162 – Precautionary Incarceration
Precautionary incarceration shall be an exception. The Public Prosecutor’s Office may not incarcerate an individual for more than three (3) days for any crime for which precautionary incarceration is permitted without charging with an offense.
Article 163 – Detention Period
Detention may not extended for more than a total of six (6) months, non-extendable, during which the accused must be referred to the ‘charging chamber’ or the competent court, where he or she shall be released.
Article 164 – Level of Trial
All trials take place on two levels. In felonies, trials must involve three judges in the Court of First Instance. The rank of each judge may not be less than that of a grade (A) Attorney General and meeting the requirements for the Higher Judicial Council. Rulings of the Court of First Instance can be appealed before the Appeals Court. Misdemeanor charges may have one judge of more in the Court of First Instance.
Article 165 – Length of Trial Duration
A trial cannot last for more than two (2) years as of the date of the first session.
Article 166 – Basic Rights Related to Trial
1. A liability shall not be borne by another (No one shall be punished for acts committed by another).
2. There shall be no felony, misdemeanor or freedom depriving punishment except with a law.
3. Criminalization and punishment shall be in accordance with the requirements of necessity and balance between rights, liberties and public interest.
4. Prohibit resorting to deprivation of freedom unless in the case of insufficient alternative measures and punishments.
5. Proportionality of the punishment, crime and the personality of its perpetrator.
6. Prohibit the provision of immunity to any administrative decision with regards to appeals before the courts.
7. The right to compensation for violations of rights, liberties and judicial errors.
8. Compensation for provisional detention in the case of the issuance of an order stating the lack of prosecution grounds, or in the case of a sentence of innocence due to the lack of a crime or evidence.
9. The exclusion of any behavior that affects or jeopardizes rights and liberties from court jurisdiction shall be prohibited.
10. Prohibition of expulsion of citizens or prevention from return. Extradition of citizens shall not be permissible taking into account international agreements.
Article 167 – Definition and description of different levels of courts
The law regulates the competencies of the different types and levels of courts.
1. Family Court
Exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving domestic relations, custody, child support, guardianship, mental health commitments, mental and/or physical incompetence, name changes, land use permits, validation of paternity and marriage, dissolution of marriage, correction of records, traditional adoption, declaration of death, probate and all matters arising from these. Reviews cases related to the personal status and family law; the organization of which and mode of procedure is specified by the Law. Islamic Quran and Hadath will prevail, not using per se Shari’a Law, and through which harmony is achieved.
2. Courts of First Incidence
a. All civil, criminal and commercial trial courts are where a trial takes place and these courts at this level having original jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the power a court holds to oversee a trial or other legal orders. It can be based on jurisdiction over the person involved in the civil or criminal activity, jurisdiction over the subject matter, land disputes, or jurisdiction to render a particular judgment sought. Litigants can present their cases, without an attorney, to a district court using small claims rules, provided the amount claimed is within the amount threshold provided in the small claims procedures. In addition, there are certain other requirements for this procedure as dictated by law.
b. Civil, Criminal and Commercial cases are all reviewed by the Courts of First Instance. The Law shall adjudicate in administrative disputes and be subject to review by the Courts of First Instance.
c. The decisions of the Courts of First Instance can be appealed before one of the Courts of Appeal.
d. Sufficient numbers of Courts of First Incidence will be disseminated throughout the region, with at least one in every city of population over 1,000.
e. Court of First Incidence judges will be elected by vote of the general populace and as determined by law.
3. Court of Cassation, Appellate Court of Appeal
a. Courts of Cassation do not re-examine the facts of a case, they are only competent for verifying the interpretation of the law. This chamber only examines the proper application of the law by the lower courts and does not review the merits of the case. The judges review all documents and transcripts from the original trial. The main function of the panel is to determine whether a lower court followed the correct law when originally deciding on the case.
b. Courts of Appeal are composed of five (5) judges which are selected from a pool of judges qualified to preside over an appeal. Names shall be drawn from a hat by the Head of the House of Representatives.
c. There will be at least two Courts of Cassation, Courts of Appeal in each region.
d. Constitutional Court is the final appellate Court which rules on both facts and legal principles. The Law shall adjudicate in disputes over jurisdiction between judicial departments and in cases of conflict of judgments. Another function of the court is to settle disputes arising from the incompatibility of laws and regulations with the basic Laws and the Constitution, ensuring those provisions are not contravened. It also has jurisdiction to issue special writs.
Article 168 – Military Courts
1. Military courts are specialized in looking into military crimes committed by members of the military or in association with civilians. The jurisdiction of Military Courts shall be restricted to military crimes committed by members of the Armed Forces and the security forces and shall only extend to others in the case of martial law and then within the limits laid down by the Law.
2. Civilians will not be tried before military courts except for crimes as dictated above and which constitute a direct aggression on military installations or installations of a similar nature.
3. The law states those crimes and other competences of military courts in a manner which ensures the right to challenge their rulings before the Constitutional Court in the case of felonies, provided lawyers carry out their defense in accordance with the law. Their members enjoy the guarantees and immunity enjoyed by members of judicial bodies.
4. Enactment of a Martial Law leads to suspending the provisions of the Constitution and all the rights and principles laid down therein.
Article 169 – The Constitutional Court Structure
The Constitutional Court is a judicial body based in Al-Badia. Its general assembly can decide to convene in any other place inside the State for a session of the Court. The Constitutional court oversees the smooth running of the Law Courts and auxiliary bodies. The powers of the Court with regard to the functions of the judges and the Public Prosecutor are defined by this Constitution and by the law.
The Constitutional Court is the highest judicial authority. The court is the only competent authority to decide on matters of “conflict of competence” among judicial bodies and conflicts in implementing final contradictory rulings. The legal principles it decides shall be binding to all courts and other bodies, with the exception of the Constitutional Court. The law regulates administrative matters of its members. Its rulings are subject to a supplication for reconsideration. The law regulates its other competences.
Article 170 – Membership
The Constitutional Court consists of eleven (11) members, including its president and vice-president. The nomination of five (5) counselors with the rank of head of an appeals court shall be by the Libyan lawyers organization from lawyers licensed to practice in the State as stipulated by law, the President of the State nominates three (3) members and the legislative authority nominates three (3) members. All nominees will be highly qualified and competent in the law.
Requirement for nominee to the Constitutional Court must have an academic law degree, be licensed should that apply at the time of nomination, and be at the highest level of academic education with at least ten (10) years of practical experience in their fields, or lawyers accepted before the Constitutional Court for eight (8) uninterrupted years. These members will not be members of any other judicial body. A Master's degree in Shari'a law cannot be substituted for an academic law degree though may be held in addition to an academic law degree.
Qualification and competency to be determined by their peers in writing to the President of the State and to legislative authority members before nomination. Vacancies in membership are filled using the same standards. These Constitutional Court members shall not be a member of any other judicial body.
Article 171 – Term
Members of the court serve one six-year (6) term. Members of the court will not play any political or party role or be a member of the legislative authority or serve in any position to the legislative authority or any other job during their membership in the Constitutional Court. The law regulates the functioning of the Court, the procedures followed before it and its other competences.
Article 172 – The Court’s Competencies
1. The Constitutional Court is the sole body authorized with judicial oversight over the constitutionality of legislation, interpretation of constitutional texts and reviewing international agreements to which the State is party.
2. It is authorized to rule on conflicts related to its members’ affairs, implementing the rulings and decisions it passes.
3. It is authorized to rule on conflicts between the authorities with reference to the powers given to them in the constitution, reviewing legislation on which a ruling of unconstitutionality has been made before re-introducing for passage. Its rulings are final and binding to all. The law regulates its other competences.
4. Administrative and financial autonomy. The law will additionally regulate other competences.
5. Drafts its own budget and discusses its full components with the Legislative Authority and afterward it is stipulated as a single figure.
6. Shall undertake the establishment of courts and prosecution offices. Oversight of rules pertaining to operation of courts and prosecution offices as shall be determined by this Constitution and Legislative Authority.
7. Nomination of the Public Prosecutor who will be selected for appointment by the President of the State from among Constitution Court Counselors, Heads of Appeals Courts, grade (A) Attorney Generals, with his or her nomination qualifications and reasons for nomination made in writing at time of selection to the members of the selection committee.
8. Ensure the Administrative prosecution offices will be comprised of sufficient number of prosecutors whose ranks shall be no less than first deputy prosecutor. Like wise the Constitution Court will ensure a current list is maintained of Public Defenders.
Article 173 – Challenges
The Prime Minister and the Public Prosecutor must submit a challenge to the Constitutional Court requesting the passing of legislation to regulate a certain issue if the Legislative Authority refuses to pass it. Likewise, any natural or legal person with an interest might ask the Constitutional Court to pass legislation to protect their basic rights provided for in the Constitution. The rulings and decisions of the Court shall be published in the Official Gazette.
Independent Constitution Institutions
Article 174 – General Provisions
Independent constitutional institutions stipulated in this part do enjoy legal personality as well as technical, administrative and financial independence. They shall practice their relevant tasks with objectivity, and without fear or favoritism. They shall be consulted on draft laws related to their terms of reference; and they shall be organized by law. The Government will pursue policies aimed at maintaining macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability. It will be guided by the following principles of fiscal policy and management of national assets in its internal working and in its dealings with other sovereign institutions including the State Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning, the State Oil Corporation for oil and minerals, the State Investment Authority and the State Audit Bureau, among others.
Article 175 – Election of Members
The Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee shall elect with two-thirds (2/3) majority approval independent persons who have competency and integrity to manage those institutions. They can not be removed from office before the end of their term unless they lose one of the conditions of their election, or in cases stipulated by law. Competency and integrity will be determined by Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee, and stated, in writing, why each independent person selected meets these criteria. Qualifications, in writing, and all minutes of meetings shall be made public, as well as printed in the Official Gazette, as stipulated in this Constitution and by law.
Article 176 – Accountability
These institutions will be accountable to the Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee and ultimately the entire Parliament; they shall submit one or more reports during the year, which shall be discussed in a public session within a period not exceeding sixty (60) days from the date of its submission; the report will be published to the public upon submission to the Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee. Competency and integrity shall be determined by Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee, and stated, in writing, how each authoritative person selected met these criteria. There may be established other independent institutions with a two-thirds (2/3) majority from both Chambers of Parliament.
Article 177 – State Central Bank
The primary bank of the State is a public institution regulated by law. The primary bank discharges its responsibility independent of any authority in the framework of commitment to the monetary, fiscal and economic policy of the State. The primary bank of the State purpose is to ensure economic development, growth and sustain ability by carrying out the following functions:
1. Drawing and implementing the monetary, credit and banking policies;
2. Issuing the national currency and maintaining its stability;
3. Oversight over the banks and financial institutions;
4. Providing advice to the State on issues related to public economic policy;
5. Addressing the phenomena of inflation and shrinkage;
6. Preparing the trade balance;
7. Preparing regular financial positions and the final financial position every year;
8. Other functions identified by its law.
Article 178 – State Central Bank Board
State Central Bank will have a governor and no more than two deputies appointed by the Specialized Institutions Committee, a Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee for a five-year (5) term, renewable once.
The primary bank for the State will make disbursements on the basis of an approved budget, and as permitted by applicable State law within a normal budgetary framework and practice to enable the Ministry of Finance to prepare and execute the national budget. The primary state bank will follow the necessary policies on the use of the national identification number as a necessary step toward standardization of the wages and salaries components in the general budget. Its implementation will, in accordance with the laws of the State, be subject to review and audit by the State audit bureau.
Article 179 – State Oil Corporation
State Oil Corporation will have a governor and a Board with no more than 4 members appointed by the Specialized Institutions Committee, a Joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee, for a six-year (6) term, renewable once. Governor and Board are to have no ties to past holders of these positions.
Program for sustainable development of the oil crescent region with emphasis on manufacturing and exploration of all energy resources to be a priority
1. Monitor production and exportation of all oil production and petrochemicals refining
2. Specifications for daily oil and gas production and all/any petrochemicals
3. Setting a policy for setting prices of oil, gas, all/any petrochemicals.
4. Signing of contracts
5. Supervision of investments
6. Approving projects
7. Determining marketing operation
8. Granting and removal of investment licensees
9. Development of new legislation as needed
B. Development of oil, natural gas, or minerals or other natural resources is defined to include the activities of exploration, extraction, processing, and export, with income to include taxes, royalties, fees (including license fees), production entitlements, bonuses, dividends, and payments for infrastructure improvements, including signature, discovery and production bonuses, dividends, including dividends paid in lieu of production entitlements or royalties.
Additional information to be reported quarterly are:
1. type and total amount of payments made for each project;
2. type and total amount of payments made to each branch of Government;
3. total amount of the payments, by category;
4. currency used to make the payments;
5. financial period in which the payments were made;
6. business segment of the resource extraction issuer who made the payments;
7. the government that received the payments, and the country in which the government is located;
8. the project of the resource extraction issuer to which the payments relate,
9. any other requirements enacted by law.
Article 180 – State Audit Bureau
1. The audit bureau is the highest authority for financial audit and accountancy in the State. The bureau undertakes overall oversight over the State’s assets and different institutions, as well as any other entity owned fully or partially by the State or specified by the law.
2. The audit bureau will, in exercising its functions related to economic management, ensure that government contracts comply with all relevant Barqah procurement laws, and follow international best practice particularly as established in the principles of transparent contracts, procurement, tenders and anti-corruption. A key feature of international best practice is no contracting can take place in the absence of an appropriate budget appropriation. Government contracts and tenders must be subject to transparency, oversight and scrutiny mechanisms developed in collaboration with the State’s sovereign institutions and, where necessary, independent international experts in relevant fields.
3. The audit bureau will be managed by a chairperson in the capacity of a General Auditor and no more than two deputies in the capacity of vice-chairperson. They assume their duties for six (6) years and may be renewed once.
4. The audit bureau, through its regional branches, reviews and examine accounts at the regional level yearly with published report which shall be made public, as well as printed in the Official Gazette, by no later than April 1 of each year. The administrator will be qualified to understand the many sectors involved to analysis and interpret properly without misleading the public, identify and target mis-use of public funds on culprits using complete and accurate data for the primary objective of accountability and justice.
Article 181 – State Electoral Commission
1. The Minister of Local Government bears the responsibility for the management, organization and actions of this Commission when local elections are held in the municipalities and for the Regional Councils, and in conjunction with the Electoral Commission. Not withstanding the Electoral Commission prime purpose is to develop and put in place a road map for all elections with bylaws which specify the roles.
The State Electoral Commission shall have its headquarters in Al Marj. Ministries, authorities, and all concerned institutions shall devote all their capacities to supporting the electoral process based on the EC requirements. This Constitution and Parliament will determine by law the terms of rights and prerogatives throughout an individual's membership on the Election Commission.
2. The State Electoral Commission shall exclusively deal with the management and organization of all elections, including conducting, preparing, supervising and monitoring the elections and after approving the final results of the electoral process, announcing the results thereof in accordance with the issued elections laws and legislation and internationally accepted rules and guidelines, as defined by this Constitution and by law, as well as all stages of general and local referendum under the Minister of Local Government, in a transparent and credible manner.
The EC shall have an independent budget prepared in accordance with the guidelines applicable in the country. It shall be submitted by the Commission’s chairman after approval by the competent entities, to be included in the annual budget of the State. The EC shall keep regular accounts and registers of revenues and expenditures, which shall be prepared as per the established accounting principles. Prepare the estimated budgets for the implementation of the electoral process. The audit bureau office will review the EC’s accounts and verify the conformity thereof with the financial laws and regulations in force. Parliament will by law provide for the remuneration of members of the Electoral Commission, and the remuneration so provided shall be charged to the General Fund.
For this purpose, the EC will:
1. Establish the necessary regulations and procedures to communicate with the public and the electoral process partners, and to reinforce the transparency in the exercise of its duties and competences, and conduct the electoral process in accordance with the election laws, this Constitution and law.
2. Determine the implementation stages of the electoral process and the necessary time frames for their implementation.
3. Educate and raise citizens’ awareness by means of information and guidelines relating to the electoral process in order to ensure the success of such process in accordance with the election laws.
4. Register voters, prepare and review electoral registers and listings based on the procedures and mechanisms established by the EC to allow it to do so.
5. Register candidates in accordance with the terms stipulated by the election laws, this Constitution and law, and determine the duration and rules of electoral campaigns and monitor the same.
6. Approve local and international observers and media professionals as well as candidates’ deputies to ensure the integrity and transparency of the electoral process.
7. Prepare and conduct the voting, sorting, counting, and result tabulation processes.
8. Establish the necessary mechanisms to receive and settle complaints and grievances related to the electoral process in accordance with the provisions of the election laws and executive regulations.
9. Establish a website for the EC to communicate with others, where all the data and information pertaining to the electoral process are published.
10. Publish its decisions and electoral lists in the various media outlets.
11. Conduct consultative and exploratory meetings with all the entities concerned with the electoral process.
12. Organize seminars and workshops which help spread the electoral culture.
3. The Commission shall be managed by a council comprising nine (9) members appointed by Joint House of Representatives and Senate committee as described in this Constitution. Such members shall be of good reputation, impartial, and not affiliated with any political entity or party. Its chairperson shall be one of the members and will be elected by the members. The members shall assume their duties for one term which duration will be six (6) years; the terms will be staggered with one-third of the members who shall be renewed bi-annually. A member of the Electoral Commission will cease to hold office on attaining the age of sixty-six years or on becoming disqualified and may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee but shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Constitutional Court.
Except for cases of in flagrante delicto, no criminal procedure may be instigated against the EC’s president or any of the EC Commission members for any act considered an offence relating to the exercise of their duties in accordance with the provisions of this law.
Membership in the Commission shall be terminated for any of the following reasons:
1. Acceptance of resignation.
2. Disabling mental or physical illness attested by an official medical certificate.
4. Final judgment of conviction of a crime of trust or moral turpitude.
5. Absence from three (3) consecutive meetings without authorization or acceptable justification, which will be reported by the chairman of the Commission to the Speaker of the Senate.
6. Lack of competent follow-up on and performance of the EC duties and competences, based on a report submitted by the chairman of the Commission after its approval by two-thirds of the Commission members.
If a member’s position becomes vacant for any of the foregoing reasons, the Speaker of the Senate shall appoint a substitute within two (2) weeks of the vacancy.
Notwithstanding anything stated herein, there will be ordered by the Speaker of the Senate removal from office any member of the Election Commission and/or any employee if such member or employee:
(1) is an undischarged bankrupt; or
(2) engages in any paid office or employment outside the duties of his office; or
(3) is a member of either chamber of Parliament or a Regional Council member.
(4) In addition to any disqualification provided, the chairman of the Electoral Commission shall be disqualified from holding such office if after three months of his appointment to such office or at any time thereafter he is or becomes a member of any board of directors or board of management, or an officer or employee, or engages in the affairs or business, of any organization or body, whether corporate or otherwise, or of any commercial, industrial or other undertaking, whether or not he receives any remuneration, reward, profit or benefit from it: Provided such disqualification shall not apply where such organization or body carries out any welfare or voluntary work or objective beneficial to the community or any part thereof, or any other work or objective of a charitable or social nature, and the member does not receive any remuneration, reward, profit or benefit from it.
4. The organizational structure of the EC shall consist of the following: Council of the EC and Electoral Committees. The EC Council shall issue a decision identifying the EC’s organizational structure as well as the competences of all the administrative units and their executive duties in accordance with the provisions of this law. The EC shall establish election committees to manage the electoral process and the election committees shall assume all the powers and competences relating to the execution of the electoral process and the supervision of its administrative and financial aspects. They shall be directly responsible before the Electoral Commission for all the duties entrusted thereto.
5. The Commission may hold extraordinary meetings at the request of its president or of one-third of its members; the quorum in any meeting shall consist of more than half the members; decisions shall be taken by a majority of votes with a tie in votes, the EC president shall have the casting vote provided a quorum is present.
Article 182 - Measures Concerning Elections
1. Every electoral system shall endeavor in every way possible to secure at least a twenty five (25%) share for women.
2. Military personnel, from a structured organization, not a militia, have the right to take part in the electoral process, through voting, in accordance with this Constitution.
3. Non-permissibly of extending the president’s term in office. The president can not put himself forward as a candidate to extend his term in office.
4. The Electoral Commission shall, from time to time, as they deem necessary, review the division of the Regions into constituencies and recommend such changes therein as they may think necessary in order to comply with the provisions contained in this Constitution; and the reviews of constituencies for the purpose of elections will be undertaken at the same time as the reviews of constituencies for the purpose of elections to the House of Representatives, Senate and Presidency.
5. There shall be an interval of not less than eight years between the date of completion of one review, and the date of commencement of the next review. If the Electoral Commission members are of opinion that in consequence of a law enacted it is necessary to undertake the reviews mentioned, they shall do so, whether or not eight years have elapsed since the last review. So far as may be necessary for the purposes of its functions under this Article the Electoral Commission may make rules, but any such rules shall have effect subject to the provisions of this Constitution and by law. The date of the commencement of a review shall be the date of the publication in the Gazette of the notice.
Article 183 – Statistics and Census Authority
1. The Statistics and Census Authority shall undertake the management and implementation of the general population census as well as other statistical surveys; it shall also scrutinize statistical data submitted by public bodies; it is the sole source for the State’s official statistics; it shall commit to their publication in a timely manner, while maintaining the confidentiality of personal data.
2. The Authority shall be managed by a council comprising seven (7) members; the members shall elect a chairperson from among them.
Article 184 – Administrative Oversight Commission
1. The Administrative Oversight Commission shall undertake the conduct of an effective administrative oversight over all bodies funded, fully or partially, by the public treasury, as well as private firms working for the public benefit, and establishments working for the public benefit. There will be a timely follow-up to their work, in order to ensure the fulfillment of their duties and commitment to the different legislation. All reports are to be made public, published in the Official Gazette, and to be done in a timely manner.
2. The Commission shall also undertake investigation of administrative crimes and violations committed by entities falling under its oversight, whether it uncovers crimes by its own investigation or they are referred to it by other entities and shall refer them to the competent authorities as expeditiously as possible.
3. The Commission shall be managed by a chairperson and a deputy; both shall assume their duties for six (6) years which can be renewed once.
Article 185 – State Council on Media
The State Council on Media shall undertake increasing the capacity of media workers; it shall also develop a media code of ethics taking into consideration unity of the country, Islamic values, ethics of the profession as well as pluralistic and honest media; it shall work towards imposing it on public and private media institutions; it must approve the issuance or renewal of their licenses. The media code of ethics will be made public and published in prominent places throughout the region(s).
The Council shall be managed by six (6) members; the members shall elect a chairperson from among them; they shall assume their duties for one term of six years. The State shall guarantee the freedom, pluralism and independence of the press and media in accordance with the following:
1. Prohibit prior-censorship except during war times.
2. Organize the press and media in accordance with the foundations of an open and democratic society.
3. Prohibit the suspension of any newspaper unless with a court order and in accordance with the law.
4. Prohibit the dissolution of any newspaper unless with a final court order.
5. Issuance of newspapers by notice.
6. Confiscation of newspapers shall not be permissible.
7. Each citizen of the State shall have the right to own newspapers and media outlets.
8. Provisional detention shall not be permissible in press related cases.
Article 186 – State Broadcasting Authority
The State Broadcasting Authority is a national authority concerned with visual, audio and digital media which is based on objectivity, integrity and impartiality so as to ensure diverse views and offer correct information; it shall work towards supporting peaceful coexistence and human rights culture.
Article 187 – State Council for Public Liberties and Human Rights
1. The State Council for Public Liberties and Human Rights will undertake the consolidation of promotion and mainstreaming of human rights and public liberties values. It shall also undertake the following:
a. Observe human rights situation and monitor human rights violations as well as report and follow up such violations with the relevant authorities.
b. Support citizens to enable them to acquire their constitutionally and legally stipulated rights.
c. Recommend ratification of, or accession to international human rights covenants in a manner that does not contradict with constitutional texts.
2. The Council will comprise nine (9) members with a chairperson to be elected from among the members; the Chairperson to have the rank of a commissioner; they shall assume their duties for one term of six (6) years; one-third of the members shall be renewed biannually. Initial Council shall have one-third of the members for a term of three (3) years and thereafter elected as detailed in this Article.
3. The Commissioner will have the right to challenge constitutionality of legislation related to human rights and public liberties.
Article 188 – National Council on Education
The National Council on Education shall undertake drawing plans and developing programs with the aim to prepare young people, as well as reform and develop basic and intermediate education, especially with relation to methods of management, development of curricula as well as preparation of teachers and increasing their capacity.
1. The objective shall be to produce generations at the highest level of proper education and creative and scientific capacity that fulfill the needs of society.
2. The Council shall coordinate with the Minister who regulates education to follow-up the implementation of its plans and programs.
3. The Council shall be managed by seven (7) members with a chairperson to be elected by the members.