Article 185 suspends the processes for acquiring citizenship and nationality for the 10 years after the constitution is enacted, when the processes will then be determined in legislation. This means that those who have not already been able to access nationality or citizenship or whose status is ambiguous, will be unable to settle their status as nationals for at least 10 years.
Currently and historically this has impacted Libyan women married to non-Libyan men, who have not been able to pass their nationality to their children, and minorities who have been arbitrarily prevented from becoming naturalised citizens or have had their citizenship revoked. They and their children will continue to have their family life disrupted, and face difficulty accessing basic services including health and education.
Article 185 will also impact access to high public office due to requirements that both of a candidate's parents are Libyan, and that the candidate is not married to a foreign person and does not hold a second nationality. This is discriminatory, violates Libya’s international obligations, and does not meet regional and constitutional standards on this issue. It is also a significant step backwards from the CDA’s previous draft, which expressly allowed nationality to pass where a child is born to a Libyan parent of either gender.
LFJL Director Elham Saudi commented, “The purpose of a constitution is to provide a state’s people with protections from the potential abuse and over-reach of state power. In its current form, the April 2017 Draft focuses on enshrining dangerous limitations to rights and freedoms that are open to manipulation.”
“We urge members of the public to call on their CDA representatives, whom they elected in 2014 and who must represent them in the meeting on Sunday, to reject the draft in its current form,” stated Saudi. "The CDA should instead hold an open and accessible dialogue with the public to finalise a draft constitution with clear, enforceable human rights protections guaranteed in the broadest, least restrictive terms, and leave limitations to be decided at the legislative level."