Law No. (18) of 1962
amending certain provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure
and the Penal Code (1)
We, Idris I, King of the United Kingdom of Libya, upon the approval of the Senate and House of Representatives, hereby ratify and enact the following Law:
New articles numbered Article (298) bis, (373) bis, (379) bis, (385) bis, (455) bis, (481) bis, (493) bis (a), (493) bis (b), and (493) bis (c) shall be added to the Code of Criminal Procedure, as follows:
Article (298) bis
Issuance of Criminal Orders by the Public Prosecution
District prosecutors at the court that holds jurisdiction to hear a case may issue criminal orders for misdemeanours specified in a decree by the Minister of Justice, and on petty offences if the law does not require a sentence of imprisonment or an additional penalty, and does not require compensation or restitution.
Orders may only be issued for fines, provided such not exceed three LYD.
The Chief Prosecutor or person acting in their place may cancel an order due to an error in the application of the law, within ten days from the date of its issuance.
The order shall thus be deemed invalidated, and the case must proceed as through the regular means.
Article (373) bis
Review of Appeals
A member of the circuit entrusted to rule on the appeal shall draft a report signed by the members. Such report must include a summary of the facts of the case, the circumstances, evidence for the prosecution and defence, as well as all ancillary matters raised, and the procedures that have been conducted.
After the report is read out, the appellant's statements and grounds for appeal shall be heard, and then the other litigants shall speak. The accused shall be the last to speak, then, after review of the documents, the court shall issue its decision.
Article (379) bis
Challenging Appeal Rulings
The procedures provided for the First Instance Court shall be followed for in absentia rulings and challenges thereto before the Court of Appeals.
Article (385) bis
Without prejudice to the preceding Article, if an in presentia ruling is issued for the death penalty, the case must be submitted to the Court of Cassation within thirty days from the date of the ruling and the Public Prosecution shall submit a memorandum with its opinion on the case within the following fifteen days.
The court may challenge the ruling in favour of the accused if one of the conditions for appeal by cassation set out in Article (381) of this Law is met.
Article (455) bis
Conditional Release Converting to Final Release
If conditional release is not revoked by the date set for the end of the sentence, the release shall become final. In the case of a life sentence, the release shall become final ten years after the date conditional release was granted.
Article (481) bis
The following shall be required for rehabilitation:
- The penalty has been fully enforced or has lapsed in any way, and the convicted person must have established good conduct.
- For felonies, six years must have passed since the enforcement of the original penalty or lapse thereof due to another reason. For misdemeanours, said period shall be three years. These periods shall double in the event of recidivism, habitual criminality, professional criminality, and delinquent criminals.
Political crimes shall be exempted from the sentence requirement, and, in the application of this provision, homicides, felonies, and misdemeanours that are damaging to the state, as provided under Part (1), Chapter (1), Book (2) of the Penal Code, shall not be considered political crimes.
- The civil liabilities, fines, and all amounts to which they were sentenced in the crime must have been paid, or the convicted person must have established that they can in no way make such payment.
- The rehabilitation petitioner must not be subject to any preventive measure.
Article (493) bis (a)
Accused or convicted persons may be extradited if the following conditions are met:
- The extradition request is for an act that is a crime under Libyan law and the law of the country requesting extradition.
- The crime or penalty has not lapsed under either Libyan law or the foreign law.
- The laws of both countries must allow for a criminal case to be brought.
- The request is not related to a Libyan national.
- The crime is not a political crime or related to a political crime.
Any crime harming the political interests of a state or the political right of an individual, or any ordinary crime whose primary motive is political shall be considered political crimes.
Article (493) bis (b)
Conditions for the Extradition of Persons Transiting through Libyan Territory
Accused or convicted persons being extradited or deported from one country to another may transit through Libyan territory if the extradition or deportation is based on a decision of the judicial authorities in the state where such persons have sought refuge and the conditions set out in items (a), (d), and (e) of the preceding Article are met.
If the extradition or deportation has been allowed or offered without the involvement of the judicial authorities in the state where the accused or convicted person has sought refuge, all of the provisions of the preceding Article shall apply.
Article (493) bis (c)
In the cases provided under Article (493) bis (a), the Minister of Justice may offer or permit the extradition of a person accused or convicted abroad.
In the event of multiple requests, the Cabinet shall have the right to determine extradition priorities, based on the submission of the Minister of Justice.
Articles (10), (12), (50), (51), (123), (126), (135), (142), (143), (144), (147), (148), (151), (152), (167), (168), (169), (170), (175), the first paragraph of Article (176), Articles (177), (183), (184), (205), (207), (208), (214), (279), (292), (300), (303), (331), (333), (335), (348), (349), (361), (363), (364), (369), (370), (375), (376), (377), (450), (452), (454), (455), (465), (481), (490), (493), (496), and (521) of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall be amended as follows:
- Anyone who files a complaint or request in the cases referred to in the preceding Articles may waive the same at any time until a final ruling is issued on the case. The criminal case shall terminate with the waiver.
In the case of multiple victims, the waiver shall not be taken into consideration unless it is issued by everyone who submitted the complaint, and the waiver of one of the accused shall be deemed a waiver for the others.
- If a complainant dies, their right to waiver shall not transfer to their heirs, without prejudice to the second paragraph of Article (402) of the Penal Code for cases of adultery.
Supervision of the Pubic Prosecution
Judicial police officers shall be affiliated to the Prosecution and subject to its oversight with regard to the activities of their position. The Public Prosecution may ask the competent authority to review the matter of anyone who violates their duties or is negligent in their work, and it may request that a disciplinary case be filed against them. This shall not bar the filing of criminal proceedings.
Service of Dismissal Orders
If the Public Prosecution issues a dismissal order, it shall serve notice of such by registered letter to the victim, civil plaintiff, and complainant, even if no civil case was filed. If one of such persons has died, their heirs shall be served notice together at the person's place of residence.
Initiating Cases and Assigning Investigating Magistrates or Counsellors
If, in accordance with the Articles related to petty offences and misdemeanours, the Public Prosecution decides to file a case based on the evidence heard, the accused shall be summoned to appear in person before the competent court.
In accordance with the Articles related to felonies and misdemeanours, the Public Prosecution may, prior to or after the start of an investigation, request that the President of the Court of First Instance assign an investigating magistrate or conduct such directly.
The competent Chief Prosecutor may request that the Court of Appeal appoint a counsellor to investigate a specific crime or crimes of a specific type. Such assignment shall be pursuant to a decision issued by the General Assembly. In this case, the assigned counsellor shall hold sole competency to conduct the investigation from the time they commence their work.
Persons accused under the Articles related to felonies may request the appointment of an investigating magistrate. In this case, the president of the court shall issue a decision after hearing the statements of the Prosecution. Said decision shall not be subject to appeal, and the Prosecution shall continue the investigation until the assigned magistrate commences their work.
Extension of Provisional Detention Period
If the investigating magistrate deems it necessary to extend the period of provisional detention beyond that provided in the preceding Article, they must, prior to the lapse of the aforementioned period, submit the documents to a circuit of a Court of First Instance composed of three judges for issuance of its order, after hearing the statements of the Public Prosecution and the accused. Said circuit may extend the detention for successive periods not to exceed forty-five days each until the investigation is completed.
Except in those cases where such is obligatory, provisional release may be made conditional on the payment of bail.
The investigating magistrate or circuit referred to in Article (123), as the case may be, shall determine the amount of bail and allocate a specific portion thereof as a sufficient penalty for the accused’s failure to appear for all investigation and case procedures, present themselves for enforcement of the ruling, and performance of all other duties imposed thereon. The other portion shall be allocated to payment of the following, in this order:
- Expenses paid in advance by the civil plaintiff.
- Expenses paid by the government.
- The financial penalties to which the accused might be sentenced.
Referral of Misdemeanours and Petty Offences
If the judge deems the incident a misdemeanour or a petty offence, the accused shall be referred to the summary court. Upon issuance of the referral decision, the Public Prosecution shall send all documents and items seized to the court registrar within two days and subpoena the litigants to appear before the court in the nearest session and on the scheduled dates.
Appeals shall be filed through an appellate body to the Court of First Instance where the investigating magistrate is located. The appeal shall be decided on as an urgent matter. The ruling issued thereby shall not be subject to any kind of challenge.
Effect of Appeals on Release Orders
Orders for provisional release may not be enforced prior to the appeal deadline provided in the first paragraph of Article (141) or prior to ruling on the appeal, if it is submitted by the deadline.
Dismissal of Appeals
If an appeal filed by a victim or a civil plaintiff is dismissed, the court may rule to award compensation to the accused for damages arising from the appeal.
Indictment Chamber Sessions
The Indictment Chamber shall hold its sessions in private, and issue its orders promptly after reviewing the documents and memoranda of the parties and hearing the clarifications it deems necessary.
The investigator may be called to provide all necessary clarifications.
When reviewing orders issued by an investigating magistrate or the Public Prosecution to refer a case to the Indictment Chamber, the latter may conduct a supplementary investigation. It may also join to the case other facts or persons, and conduct the necessary investigation for such purpose.
Powers of the Indictment Chamber
When reviewing orders for referral thereto, the Indictment Chamber shall have the powers of an investigating magistrate with regard to the investigation and to the detention order, period thereof, and rules provided for the extension thereof. It may assign an investigating magistrate or the Public Prosecution, as the case may be.
Completion of Investigations
When the investigation referred to in Articles (148) and (151) is complete, the parties shall be notified to review it, and then it shall be sent to the Public Prosecution, in accordance with Article (133).
Appeal of Indictment Chamber Orders
The Public Prosecution, the victim, and the civil plaintiff may appeal orders issued by the Indictment Chamber to dismiss the case.
Challenge of Referral Orders
The Public Prosecution may challenge orders issued by the Indictment Chamber to refer the felony to the Summary Court or to deem the incident a misdemeanour or petty offence.
Competent Court and Challenge Procedures
Appeals referred to in the two preceding Articles shall be submitted through an appellate body to the Court of First Instance in the circuit where the Indictment Chamber that issued the challenged order is located. Articles (369), (371), (373) bis, (375), (379), and the first paragraph of Article (380) shall apply to the challenge.
Ruling on Challenges
The court shall rule on challenges after hearing the statements of the Public Prosecution and the other parties.
The ruling issued thereby shall not be subject to any kind of challenge.
Detention orders issued by the Public Prosecution shall only be effective for a period of six days following the arrest of the accused or from the time they are presented before the Public Prosecution, if they were arrested previously.
Arrest and detention orders issued by the Public Prosecution may not be enforced after six months have passed from their date of issuance, unless the Public Prosecution approves them for another period.
(Paragraph (1)) Increasing the Provisional Detention Period
If the Public Prosecution decides to extend the provisional detention period, the documents must be submitted to the competent summary judge, prior to the end of the six-day period for the arrest or referral of the accused. Said judge will issue an order thereon after hearing the statements of the Public Prosecution and the accused.
Failure to Complete the Investigation after the End of the Detention Period
If the investigation is not completed after the provisional detention period mentioned in the preceding Article ends, the Public Prosecution must submit the documents to a circuit of the court of first instance in an appellate panel to issue an order with its decision in accordance with Article (123).
Challenge of Prosecution Orders
The victim and the civil plaintiff may appeal the order mentioned in the preceding Article.
Cancellation of Orders
The Prosecutor General may cancel said order within the three-month period following its issuance, unless the Court of First Instance ruled to dismiss the appeal submitted thereto for this order.
Misdemeanour and petty offence cases shall be referred by an order from the investigating magistrate or Indictment Chamber or based on a direct subpoena of the accused by a member of the Public Prosecution or the civil plaintiff. If the accused appeared in the hearing, was accused by the Public Prosecution, and accepted the trial, the subpoena may be dispensed with.
However, the civil plaintiff may not submit the action before the court by directly subpoenaing his adversary if a dismissal order was issued by the Indictment Chamber, the investigating magistrate, or the Public Prosecution and the civil plaintiff did not file a challenge within the prescribed term or filed a challenge which was dismissed.
Service of Subpoenas
Subpoenas shall be served to the concerned party or at their place of residence through the means provided under the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure.
The subpoena may be served through a public authority officer.
If a search does not reveal the accused’s place of residence, the subpoena shall be delivered to the administrative authorities of their last place of residence in Libya. The place where the crime occurred shall be considered the last place of residence of the accused, unless established otherwise.
Service of Detained Persons and Members of the Army and Police
Subpoenas for detained persons shall be served to the prison warden or person acting in their place. Subpoenas for members of the army and police shall be served to the army administration or police leadership, as the case may be.
In both of the abovementioned cases, the party to whom the copy must be delivered shall sign the original. Should such party abstain from receiving or signing, they shall be sentenced to a fine not to exceed five LYD. If they then persist in abstaining, the copy shall be delivered to the Public Prosecution at the court that issued the report in order to serve it thereto or to the party being served directly.
Investigation and Objection to Legal In Absentia Rulings
In the foregoing cases where the ruling is considered in presentia, the court must investigate the case before it as if the party were present. Objection to a ruling issued in these cases shall be dismissed unless the convicted party establishes that they have an excuse that prevented them from attending which they were unable to submit prior to the ruling and that the appeal thereof was not possible.
Rulings on Felonies Referred to the Summary Court
If the court deems an act to be a felony among those felonies that an investigative judge may refer to such court in accordance with Article (136), the court may issue a decision to hear and rule on the case instead of ruling to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
The Public Prosecution may appeal the decision issued to hear the felony in this case, which shall be ruled on as an urgent matter. The case shall only be heard after the passage of the appeal deadline or the decision thereon.
When adjudicating felonies heard before the Summary Court, whether referred by a decision from the investigating authority or its own decision, the procedures provided in the Articles on misdemeanours shall be applied.
Civil plaintiffs shall be liable to the government for case expenses. The assessment and manner of collection of such expenses shall follow the provisions set out in the Law on Legal Fees.
Objection to Orders
The Public Prosecution may declare that it does not accept a criminal order issued by a judge or District Prosecutor pursuant to a report filed with the court registrar at the Summary Court that holds jurisdiction to hear the case. Such shall be within three days from the date the order is issued for the Public Prosecution and within the date of notification for the remaining parties.
This report shall invalidate the order as though it had never been issued.
The clerk shall set the date for the case to be reviewed before the court, taking into consideration the rules provided under Article (206). The rapporteur shall be notified to appear on this day and the other parties and witnesses shall be subpoenaed to appear by the deadline provided under Article (363).
If no objection to the order is made in the foregoing manner, the order shall become final and enforceable.
Objection upon Enforcement
If the defendant, upon enforcement against them, claims that their right not to accept the order still stands because they were not notified of the order or for another reason, or that force majeure prevented them from attending the session scheduled to hear the case, or that another problem occurred during enforcement, they shall submit the matter to the judge of the summary court that holds jurisdiction to review the case, who will issue a decision thereon without hearing arguments, unless the judge decides that it is not possible to rule on the case in its current state or without investigation or hearing arguments. The judge shall then set a date to hear the matter in accordance with the regular procedures, and assign the defendant and other parties [to appear] on said day. If the matter is accepted, the trial shall be conducted in accordance with Article (301).
Formation of the Court
One or more criminal circuits shall be formed at each Court of Appeal, in accordance with the Justice System Law.
The Criminal Court shall convene inside the premises of the Court of First Instance and shall have the same jurisdiction as such court. If necessary, the Minister of Justice may decide to convene the Criminal Court at another location, at the request of the President of the Court of Appeal
Calendar Period Start Date
The President of the Civil Court of Appeal shall set the start date of each calendar period.
Hearing Cases In Absentia
If an order is issued referring an accused to the Criminal Court and they fail to appear on the day of the session after being duly summoned, the Court may issue its verdict in absentia. It may also postpone the case and order the accused to be summoned again.
During the session, the referral order then the documents establishing that the accused was served shall be read aloud, and the Public Prosecution and the civil plaintiff, if present, shall make their statements and requests. The Court shall hear witnesses if it deems such necessary, then shall issue its ruling.
Circumstances for the Acceptance of Objections
Objections to in absentia rulings issued for petty offences or misdemeanours shall be accepted from the accused or the civil defendant within the three days following their notification of the in absentia ruling (excluding travel time). This notification may be a summary on a form approved by the Minister of Justice.
However, if the accused person is not notified of the ruling, the objection deadline with regard thereto as concerns the penalty to which they were sentenced shall commence from the day they learn of the notice being made, otherwise objection shall be permissible until the case lapses due to the passage of time.
Objections may be made pursuant to a report at the registrar of the court that issued the ruling, and shall require appearing at the session set by the court clerk on the report. The nearest available session should be selected.
The Public Prosecution shall summon the other parties to the case to appear within twenty-four hours and shall summon the witnesses to attend said session.
Effect of Objections
Objections shall result in reconsideration of the case before the court that issued the in absentia ruling, for the party making the objection.
The person who made the objection shall not in any way be harmed by the objection they made.
However, if the person who made the objection fails to attend the session set for hearing the case, the objection shall be deemed null and void.
Under no circumstances shall an objection to a ruling issued in the objecting party's absence be accepted.
Manner and Period of Appeals
Appeals shall be filed pursuant to a report with the registrar of the court that issued the ruling or before the prison officer, within ten days from the date of a ruling read in presentia or a ruling issued on an objection, by the deadline provided for objection to an in absentia ruling, or from the date of a decision nullifying a ruling.
The Prosecutor-General or Chief Prosecutor of the province may appeal within thirty days from the date a ruling is issued, and may declare the appeal at the registrar of the court holding jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
Deadline for Legal In Absentia Rulings
The appeal deadline for rulings issued with the accused in absentia and deemed in presentia under Articles (211) to (214) shall begin from the date the accused is notified thereof.
Hearing Witnesses and Completion of Investigations
The Court of Appeal shall hear, directly or through a judge assigned for such, the witnesses that should have been heard before the Court of First Instance and shall complete any other deficiency in the investigation procedures.
The court may in all cases order what is deems necessary to complete the investigation or hear witnesses.
A witness may not be summoned to appear unless the court orders such.
If the Court of Appeal determines that a crime falls under the jurisdiction of the Criminal Court, the Court of Appeal shall rule to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. If the act is a felony, and the case has been investigated by the investigation authority or before the Court of First Instance, and it was found that there is sufficient evidence to convict the accused, then it shall refer the case to the Criminal Court, and the Public Prosecution shall send the case documents to it immediately. If the case has not been investigated, the Court of Appeal shall refer it to the Public Prosecution.
If it finds that the evidence is not sufficient, it shall issue an order to dismiss the case.
Orders issued by the court to refer the case to the Criminal Court or to dismiss the case shall not be subject to any type of appeal.
Felonies that May Be Deemed Misdemeanours
If it determines that an act ruled on as a misdemeanour is considered one of the felonies that an investigating magistrate may refer to the Summary Court in accordance with Article (136), the Court of Appeal may issue a decision to hear and rule on the case.
Such ruling shall not be subject to any type of challenge.
Anyone sentenced to a custodial penalty may be conditionally released if they have completed three-fourths of their prison term, provided their behaviour in prison inspires confidence that they have been reformed and will show good conduct after their release, on condition that the time spent in prison is not less than nine months in all cases.
If the penalty is a life sentence, conditional release may take place only after the convicted person has spent at least twenty years in prison and only if the subject has fulfilled the financial obligations to which they were sentenced by the Criminal Court for the crime, unless such fulfilment is impossible.
- Conditional release shall take place pursuant to an order issued by the Justice Administrator, at the request of the Director of Prisons.
- Orders for conditional release shall state the restrictions the released person must observe with regard to place of residence and lifestyle. The released person shall be placed under probation for a period equal to the remaining portion of their sentence, provided that this does not exceed five years. This probation shall be calculated from the compulsory probation period based on the ruling. However, the Justice Administrator may reduce the probation period or exempt the convicted person entirely, at the request of the Chief Prosecutor or administrator of the body where the released is. Such request must state the grounds for the reduction or exemption.
If there are multiple sentences for crimes that occurred prior to the convicted person's incarceration, release shall be on the basis of the total terms of these sentences, without prejudice to Article (48) of the Penal Code.
If, while in prison, a sentenced individual commits a crime, the release request shall be on the basis of the time remaining when this crime was committed plus the sentence for the crime for which they were convicted.
Revocation of Release
- Conditional release shall be revoked pursuant to an order from the Justice Administrator, at the request of the Chief Prosecutor, if the released violates the terms of their release, does not perform the obligations imposed on them, or commits a deliberate felony or misdemeanour. Such persons shall be returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence as of the date of their release. In such cases, they shall not be entitled to conditional release again.
- If it is decided to revoke release, the Chief of the Public Prosecution may order that the released person be arrested and imprisoned until the Justice Administrator issues their decision with regard thereto. The period of imprisonment may not exceed fifteen days. If release is revoked, the period spent in detention shall be deducted from the period to be enforced after revocation of release.
Enforcement through physical coercion is not permissible for convicted persons who had not reached fifteen years of age at the time the crime was committed.
Rehabilitation, Effects Thereof, and Competent Entity for Review Thereof
- Any person convicted of a felony or misdemeanour may be rehabilitated. Rehabilitation shall result in termination of the ruling and consequent penalties and all other criminal effects related thereto, without such impacting the civil obligations ensuing from the conviction.
- Rehabilitation rulings shall be issued by the Criminal Court where the convicted person's residence is located, at their request, pursuant to a petition submitted to the Chief Prosecutor.
The petition must contain the information necessary to identify the applicant, and state therein the date of the ruling issued against them and the locations where they have resided since that time.
Revocation of Rehabilitation Rulings
- Rehabilitation rulings may be revoked if it is found that the convicted person has other convictions that the court was unaware of, or if they are convicted of a prior crime after being rehabilitated. The ruling shall be issued by the court that issued the rehabilitation ruling, at the request of the Public Prosecution.
- Rehabilitation rulings shall be revoked by the force of law if a person who has been rehabilitated commits an intentional misdemeanour or felony within five years of being rehabilitated and they are sentenced to a custodial penalty for a period of three years or more.
Libyan Law shall govern the rules on the extradition and rendition of criminals, except where governed by international conventions and norms.
Procedures for the Extradition of Persons Transiting through Libyan Territory
In the cases set out in the last paragraph of the preceding Article, the Chief Prosecutor or person acting in their place in the region where the person wanted for extradition is passing shall verify the content of the request, that the extradition documents fulfil the procedural rules and that the conditions provided under items (a), (d), and (e) of Article (493) bis (a) are met. After confirming all such matters, the Chief Prosecutor shall mark the extradition documents indicating that he has reviewed them.
If the relevant foreign country has authorized the extradition of a transiting accused or convicted person without submitting the matter to its judicial authority in those cases where such is required under Libyan law, the following Articles shall apply as if the extradition were submitted to or requested from Libya.
Ruling on Appeals
The appeals panel of the Court of First Instance shall rule on appeals of the supervising judge. Its ruling shall be subject to cassation if it meets the grounds for such.
Articles (41), (149), (150), and (185) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Articles (8), (9), (10), (126), (127), (128), (129), (130), (131), and (132) of the Penal Code shall be amended.
The Minister of Justice shall implement this Law, and it shall come into force thirty days after the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
King Idris – Libya
Issued at Dar Al Salaam Palace on 26 Dhu al-Qaada 1381
Corresponding to 1 May 1962
By order of the King
Minister of Justice
Mohammed Othman al-Said