2015 political deal on Libya ‘still in force’

Khalifa Haftar
Updated 18 December 2017

2015 political deal on Libya ‘still in force’

JEDDAH: The UN-backed political agreement on Libya signed two years ago is still active and Libyans should work together to implement it, a leading Libyan politician told Arab News on Sunday. 
“The agreement is not bound to a timeframe,” said Fadil Al Amin, Chairman of the Libyan National Council for Economic and Social Development.
“Its mandate is to work with all political actors in Libya to reach a settlement that can pave the way for a political process, based on which the country can … end the violence that has been rampaging for years, and end the people’s suffering.”
All Libyans should be up to their national responsibilities and redouble efforts to work together in a spirit of compromise, and to engage urgently and constructively in the inclusive political process, Al-Amin said.
He was responding to remarks on Sunday by Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s powerful military strongman, who said the political deal had expired and the mandate of the UN-backed Government of National Accord had therefore run out. 
In a televised speech Haftar, who has never recognized the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) authority, said the “expiry of the Libyan political accord” marked a “historic and dangerous turning point.” 
“All bodies resulting from this agreement automatically lose their legitimacy, which has been contested from the first day they took office,” he said.
The agreement was signed in Skhirat, Morocco, in December 2015. The UN Security Council said last week that it remained “the only viable framework for ending the political crisis in Libya.”
“The implementation of the agreement remains the key to organizing elections and ending the political transition, while refusing to set deadlines that would impede the political process sponsored by the United Nations,” the council said. “There is no military solution to the crisis.” 
“The Security Council reiterates that two years since the signing of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) on 17 December 2015 in Skhirat, the LPA remains the only viable framework to end the Libyan political crisis and that its implementation remains key to holding elections and finalizing the political transition.  The council emphasizes the continuity of the LPA throughout Libya’s transitional period and rejects incorrect deadlines that only serve to undermine the United Nations‑facilitated political process.”
The council reaffirmed its endorsement of the UN’s Action Plan for an inclusive Libyan‑owned political process under the leadership of the UN as presented by the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General, Ghassan Salamé, in New York in September, in order to deliver the establishment of stable, unified, representative and effective governance under the framework of the LPA.
Libyans were “fed up with violence” and hoped for “a political solution, for reconciliation and for harmony,” Salame said on Sunday. 
“I urge all parties to heed their voices and refrain from any actions that could undermine the political process,” he said.

Abu Dhabi opens world’s first digital courtroom

Updated 10 December 2018

Abu Dhabi opens world’s first digital courtroom

  • “Technology and innovation have been disrupting every aspect of our lives and the judiciary sector is no exception,” said ADGM Courts' Ahmad Al Sayegh
  • The digital courtroom, which will not make use of paper in the entire process, is seen to save all parties time and money

DUBAI: An online platform where both plaintiffs and respondents can settle disputes without going to an actual court has been launched in Abu Dhabi, UAE state-news agency WAM reported.

The digital platform was launched by the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts (ADGM courts). which are independent courts that handle civil and commercial disputes, to streamline the judiciary process.

“Technology and innovation have been disrupting every aspect of our lives and the judiciary sector is no exception. The best innovations to come out of this sector are those that allow us to creatively manage the growing demand for transparency, information, speed and effectiveness,” said Ahmad Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of the ADGM Courts.

In the new system, both plaintiffs and respondents will be able to upload documents through an online portal, wherein all involved parties, as well as the judges and lawyers will have access to.

The digital courtroom, which will not make use of paper in the entire process, is seen to save all parties time and money.

Linda Fitz Alan, registrar and chief executive of ADGM Courts said the parties would not be required to be physically present during a hearing.

“We can do the court hearing by video conferencing, not every party has to be present in the courtroom. In fact, everybody can be on a screen if that’s the most efficient way,” she said.

Alan said only the judge needs to be present in the courtroom, “for anyone else — the lawyer, plaintiff and respondent — if there’s no particular need for it, they can all be on screen in different places,” she added.