Although Libyan rebels only just took control over the capital city of Tripoli over the weekend, a draft version of a new constitution for the transitional state has allegedly been penned and appears online. What is perhaps most disturbing, however, is that the charter's "principal source of legislation" will be Sharia law. Even with a new regime, "reform" still does not seem to be an operative word for a new Libya.
According to Part 1, Article 1 of the alleged draft: “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” Heritage points out that other phrases contained in the draft, such as “there shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law” and “judges shall be independent, subject to no other authority but law and conscience” seem all the more foreboding given the basis for the country's entire legislation will be Sharia law.
It is just a draft, mind you, and gauging its authenticity at this point is difficult. There is also no way to know whether this draft or something similar will emerge as the final governing document for a new Libyan regime.
As both the Morning Bell and Washington in a Flash noted today, Heritage Fellow Jim Phillips recently pointed out that Islamist forces “appear to make up a small but not insignificant part of the opposition coalition,” and must be prevented “from hijacking Libya’s future.” Parts of the draft Constitution allay those fears, while others exacerbate them.
Much of the document describes political institutions that will sound familiar to citizens of Western liberal democracies, including rule of law, freedom of speech and religious practice, and a multi-party electoral system.
You can read the document for yourself below:
Here is the Libya Draft Constitutional Charter for the Transitional Stage