Monday, February 21, 2011

Libya's "Constitution"

One of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, delivered a speech on Monday that blamed protests on everyone from criminals to Islamic extremists, warned of civil war if the protests continue, and said his father would fight to the last protestor. 

Saif Gadhafi also called for a constitution.  It wasn't the first time.

Libya doesn't operate under a constitution.  Instead, Gadhafi runs the country according to the Green Book, a document in three parts, published in 1975, that outlines Gadhafi's theories on government.  Its three parts:

  • The Solution of the Problem of Democracy: The Authority of the People
  • The Solution of the Economic Problem: Socialism
  • The Social Basis of the Third Universal Theory

Here's just a little of what the Green Book has to say about law and constitutionalism (from Part One, section on The Law of Society):

Law represents the other problem, parallel to that of the instrument of government, which has not been resolved.  Although it was dealt with in different periods of history, the problem still persists today.

For a committee or an assembly to be empowered to draft the law of society is both invalid anad undemocratic.  It is also invalid and undemocratic for the law of society to be abrogated or amended by individual, a committee, or an assembly.

What then is the law of society?  Who drafts it and what is its relevance to democracy?

The natural law of any society is grounded in either tradition (custom) or religion.  Any other attempt to draft law outside these two sources is invalid and illogical.  Constitutions cannot be considered the law of society.  A constitution is fundamentally a (man-made) positive law, and lacks the natural source from which it must derive its justification.

The problem of freedom in the modern age is that constitutions have become the law of societies.  These constitutions are based solely on the premises of the instruments of dictatorial rule prevailing in the world today, ranging from the individual to the party.  Proof of this are the difference existing in various constitutions, although human freedom is one and the same.  The reason for the differences is the variation in the assumptions and values implicit in diverse instruments of government.  This is how freedom becomes vulnerable under contemporary forms of government.

The method by which a specific modality of government seeks to dominate the people is contained in the constitution.  The people are compelled to accept it by virtue of the laws derived from that constitution, which is itself the product of the tendencies within particular instruments of government.


Comparative Constitutionalism, News | Permalink

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