Benghazi constitutional court law illegal, says Supreme Court
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that Law No. 5 of 2023 issued by the House of Representatives (HoR), establishing the Supreme Constitutional Court in Libya, was unconstitutional. This came in support of the appeal filed by the Head of the High Council of State, Khalid Al-Mishri, who announced last April the suspension of the High Council of State’s communication with the House of Representatives, rejecting the decision to establish the court.
On March 5, the Supreme Court decided to accept the appeal filed against the law itself in form, and said it was unconstitutional, after the work of the Constitutional Chamber of the Libyan Supreme Court was resumed and the appeals submitted to it were reviewed.
HoR Speaker Aqila Saleh presented the law in September 2022, establishing a constitutional court consisting of 13 members appointed by the HoR, saying the court’s headquarters would be in Benghazi, and all appeals filed before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court would be referred to the Constitutional Court in Benghazi as soon as this law was issued.
The draft law says it is not permissible to challenge the unconstitutionality of laws except by the HoR Speaker, the Prime Minister, 10 MPs, or 10 ministers. Saleh later announced the suspension of the decision to establish the court in response to Al-Mishri’s requirement to cancel the decision to return to communication between the two chambers, but the HoR published the law in the Official Gazette anyway.
Last August, the General Assembly of the Supreme Court decided to activate the Constitutional Chamber with a majority of its members, after it was closed about 6 years ago, not tackling the bulk of submitted cases over those years.
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