By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 4 July 2014:
The Supreme Court has ruled that Congress does not have the right to appoint the Attorney General . . .[restrict]and that the appointment belongs to the government.
The ruling was triggered by Congress’s decision, on 10 June, to appoint Sadiq Al-Sour in place of Radwan who was reaching retirement age on 30 June.
In the row that followed, both Radwan and the head of the Supreme Court accused Congress of interfering in the judiciary. The Libyan Judges Organisation (LJO) likewise condemned it and demanded Congress to rescind it, First Deputy Congress President Ezzidden Al-Awami said that the decision was invalid because the session at which it was taken was inquorate, and Sour did the honourable thing in the circumstances and refused the appointment.
The Supreme Court’s decision No. 200 has ruled that Radwan had indeed reached the statutory retirement age at the end June but also, in effect, that Congress did not have the right to make the appointment, rather that it is for the executive to make.
As a stopgap, pending an appointment by the Ministry of Justice, the Surpreme Court has appointed a lawyer in the Appeal Court, Ibrahim Bashiah, as interim Attorney General.
“That’s right. The High Council of the Judiciary in the Ministry of Justice is the proper institution to appoint the Attorney General,” the ministry’s legal adviser, Abdulrauf Buseta, told the Libya Herald.
?“The Supreme Court can instruct any of its lawyers to run any vacant position temporarily until the High Council in the Ministry can take the decision as to the new appointment,” he stated.
The ruling is seen to have implications for other appointments which Congress took control over, notably ambassadorships and the Chief of Staff. In most counties, they are the remit of the government. [/restrict]