Libya – Whistleblowing Protection, Overview

1. Background

Prior to the new government’s 23 October 2011 Declaration of Liberation, Libya was subject to authoritarian rule for 42 years1. Aided by several countries and organisations, such as UNDP, democracy is gradually prevailing in Libya2. Nevertheless, corruption is still widespread and post-revolutionary Libya has fallen in ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index—from 160 out of 174 in 2012 , to 172 of 175 on the 2013 index—ranking it as the sixth most corrupt country on the index3.

Libya’s legal framework has been weakened and is ineffectual at maintaining the rule of law4. The judiciary lacks independence and expropriation is endemic.

2. Present legal environment

There is currently no whistleblowing legislation in Libya, and there appears to be no plans to introduce any in the conceivable future.

a. Public sector

See above.

b. Private sector

With the exception of the Law No.2 on Combating Money Laundering 20055, Libyan law affords no protection to employees reporting cases of corruption, power and/or resource abuses, or graft.

3. Additional legislative gaps

As outlined in the above sections, Libya lacks any legal protection of whistleblowers.

4. Case examples of whistleblowing

There are not currently any publicly accessible cases pertaining to whistleblowing in Libya.

5. Political, economic, and cultural environment

Libya’s new government have not yet made clear their legal position with regard to combating corruption.

6. Information environment

Libya has passed a specialized anti-corruption law, but the country still lacks general anti-corruption and whistleblowing laws. Law No. 26 of 2012 on the High Authority for the Application of National Standards of Integrity was made possible by the interim National Transitional Council decision no. 192-20116. The High Commission on the Application of Standards of Integrity and Patriotism is an independent anti-corruption commission established under Law No 26.

The commission was established to assess the suitability of persons applying for high-ranking government positions and to scrutinize prior involvement with Gaddafi’s government7. Once the commission receives a completed questionnaire, curriculum vitae, and financial disclosure statement they have 21 days to respond. There is no provision in the law for recourse if the review is not completed in that time, and while the commission is able to conduct investigations, the constraints of the investigations are not stipulated8.

Law No. 2 of 2005 on Combating Money Laundering9 is again worthy of mention. In this Law, Article 6 specifically stipulates:

“[a]nyone who reports a crime of money laundering before it is discovered by the competent authorities shall be exempted from punishment.”

The General Popular Committee for Justice10, headed by Mr. Mustafa Mohammad Abd-AlJalil Fadeel, is a Libyan anti-corruption stakeholder.

Additionally, Transparency Libya was founded by the Libyan Civil Society Organisation(LCSO)11, an organisation that has publicly appealed for protection of media outlets and whistleblowers, and for greater transparency and accountability12.

7. Summary

There is currently no legal regulation of whistleblowing in either Libya’s public or private sectors. The International Anti Corruption Academy, IACA, received a delegation from Libya in February of 2012 to discuss methods of combating corruption13. Despite this the 2013 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranked Libya as one of the most corrupt countries on the index. Libya ranked 172 of 175 on the index, with a score of 15, down from 2012’s score of 2014.

Compared with other MENA countries, reliable data on corruption and whistleblowing in Libya is severely limited.

Last modified: January 28 2014.


1 United Nations Development Programme.

2 Transparency International, Corruption Perception Index 2012 (Berlin: TI, 2012)

3 http://www.libya-businessnews.com/2013/12/05/libya-falls-sharply-in-corruption-perceptions-index/

4 http://www.heritage.org/index/pdf/2012/countries/libya.pdf

5 http://www.temehu.com/FreeDownloads/investment-laws/Law%282%292005-combating-money-laundering.pdf

6 http://pomed.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Law-No-26-2012-en.pdf

7 http://pomed.org/blog/2012/11/ex-qadhafi-prime-minister-trial-postponed-new-protest-law-passed.html/

8 http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/28/libya-amend-vetting-regulations-candidates-officials

9 http://www.track.unodc.org/LegalLibrary/LegalResources/Libya/Laws/Libya%20Combating%20Money%20Laundering%202005%20(eng).pdf

10 http://aladel.gov.ly/main/

11 http://www.libyacso.org/en/

12 http://www.tripolipost.com/articledetail.asp?c=1&i=7521

13 http://www.iaca.int/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120:news-archive&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=91

14 http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/