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Constitution, Government & Legislation | Courts & Judgments
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map courtesy CIA World Factbook; click for enlargement Constitution, Government & Legislation

The Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is a dictatorship that has been ruled by Colonel Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi (the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution") since 1969, when he led a military coup to overthrow King Idris I. In theory Libya is ruled by the citizenry through a series of popular congresses, as laid out in the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969 and the Declaration on the Establishment of the Authority of the People of 1977, but in practice Qadhafi and his inner circle control political power. Qadhafi is aided by extragovernmental organizations--the Revolutionary Committees and the Comrades Organization--that exercise control over most aspects of citizens' lives.

Source: U.S. Department of State

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Courts & Judgments

Before the 1969 constitution, Libya had a dual system of civil and religious courts. The new constitution established the primacy of Shari'a, or Islamic law, unifying the two systems. Civil laws now must conform to Shari'a.

The Libyan court system consists of four ascending levels. The GPC appoints justices to the Supreme Court. Military courts and special "revolutionary courts" operate outside the judicial system.

Source: U.S. Department of State

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