Contrary perhaps to all the forecast doom and gloom in conventional and social media about the political division of Libya’s judicial system, the Supreme Court reported today that the handover ceremony between the outgoing Chief Justice, Mohamed Al-Hafi, and his nominated successor, Abdalla Aburezeza, went off with ‘‘generosity’’ and ‘‘in an atmosphere full of cordiality and appreciation’’.
At the ceremony, both men wished each other the best for the future and Aburezeza thanked Al-Hafi for his ‘‘civil act’’ of being present at the ceremony. Many had thought Al-Hafi would skip the ceremony.
There was much media anxiety when parliament (the House of Representatives – HoR) appointed Aburezeza on 15 September (Law No. 5/2022) as the new head of the Supreme Court. Many saw the move, with reasonable justification, as a political one by HoR Speaker Ageela Saleh.
It was thought that Saleh made the appointment in reaction to the Supreme Court reactivating its constitutional chamber. It was thought Saleh feared that his political opposition in western Libya would use the constitutional court to dilute his powers through the HoR.