Jour Fixe: Italian Judges and Judicial Practice in Libya

Jour Fixe

  • Date: Mar 13, 2017
  • Time: 12:00 - 13:00
  • Speaker: Alessia Maria Di Stefano
  • Opponent: Peter Collin
  • Location: MPIeR
  • Room: Z 01
Jour Fixe: Italian Judges and Judicial Practice in Libya

Italian Judges and Judicial Practice in Libya: A Legal Experiment of Multinormativity

The Italian colonial experience in Libya was rather short: it began in 1911 - before being colonized by the Italians, Libya was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire - and finished in 1947 with the Treaty of peace signed in Paris with which Italy renounced all legal rights and titles on its African territories. The theme of diversity and social inequality emerges strongly in all colonial experiences. One of the main themes of the Italian colonial experience in Libya was the interaction of settlers with local populations. Indeed Libya, differently from the other Italian settlements in Africa, was a “legal laboratory” in which legislators experimented a model of occupation based on a policy of assimilation and repopulation. It was necessary to create a legal framework that would take into account the multi-ethnic and multi-religious composition of that area. Indeed the country, already before the Italian occupation, was regulated by a multiplicity of rules such as Ottoman law, Islamic law, norms of tribal customary law, Jewish law and customary principles. My presentation will focus on the Libyan judicial system, its emergence and evolution during the first part of the Italian colonial period. In Libya the judicial system was created taking into account the race, citizenship and religion of the population. In this situation the judgments issued by the Appeals Court of Tripoli played a key role in the resolution of the conflicts caused by the multiple normative systems that covered a common social field.

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