Recent Developments in the ‘Situation in Libya’ and the Trial of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Konstantinos D. Magliveras


Arab Spring came to Libya on 15 February 2011 with protests in the city of Benghazi leading to clashes with security forces which opened fire on the crowd. Very soon, the protests escalated into a rebellion (it became known as the 'Revolution of 17 February') covering the whole of the country, while the forces opposing the regime of Colonel Muanmar Gaddafi established their own government, the National Transitional Council (NTC). At the time, the rebellion could have arguably been described as a domestic matter (after all, no one had questioned the legality of the Gaddafi regime which was still regarded as the Libyan state's legal representative). Therefore, the rule of non-intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state should have been applied. However, on 26 February 2011, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1970(2011) and made it clear that it was matter of concern to the international community and, by invoking its prerogative to maintain international peace and security, ordered a number of measures whose legal basis was Chapter VII of the UN Charter.