Libya - The Penal Code - Equality Now

Libya - The Penal Code

  • Country: Libya
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Rape

Sex discrimination in laws purporting to address violence, or silence on the issue within the law, can actually promote or perpetuate violence against women and girls because there is little to deter perpetrators from committing crimes or inadequate recourse for victims; intimate partner and sexual violence is disproportionately inflicted upon women and adolescent girls.

Laws that allow a perpetrator to go unpunished if they marry their victim sanction violence in the law itself and may contribute to perpetuating or promoting violence against women and girls, including by exposing them to a possibility of further violence within marriage.

The Law:

Article 424. Extinction of Offences and Stay of Execution of Penalties: If the offender marries the woman against whom the offense is committed, the offense and penalty shall be extinguished and the penal effects thereof shall cease. This shall apply both to the offender and to his accomplices, provided that the personal status law applicable to the offender does not authorise divorce or judicial divorce.

But if the personal status law applicable to the offender authorises divorce or judicial divorce, then the marriage of the offender shall only stay criminal proceedings or execution of the penalty for a period of three years. The stay shall cease before the passage of three years from the date of the offense if the woman against whom the offense was committed is judicially divorced for no reasonable reason or if a ruling of divorce is issued on her behalf.

Note: Article 6 of the Constitutional Declaration 2011 of Libya: Libyans shall be equal before the law. They shall enjoy equal civil and political rights with, have the same opportunities in all areas and be subject to the same public duties and obligations, without distinction on the grounds of religion, belief, language, wealth, gender, kinship, political opinions, social status, or tribal, regional or familial loyalty.

Link to full law.

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