Draft Law on Associations

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Document Information:

  • Year:
  • Country: Libya
  • Language: English
  • Document Type: Domestic Law or Regulation
  • Topic:

Page 1 of 5 [Second Draft] Unofficial translation provided by the International Center for Not- for-Profit Law (ICNL).
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Draft Law on Associations

The Interim Transitional National Council ,
Having reviewed the Constitutional Charter issued on 03 August 2011,
And t he Civil Code ,
And the L aw on the Supreme Council for Public Freedoms and Human Rights No. () of ()
And based on the proposal of the Prime Minister,

P romulgate s the following law:

Article (1): The right to establish a ssociations
Establishing, joining or withdrawing from associations is a basic right of citizenship to be practiced
pursuant to the provisions of this law to ensure the indepen dence, support and development of

In their articles of incorporation, activities and funding, associations shall adhere to the principles
of democracy, civil values, equality, human rights, transparency, anticorruption and good
governance in line with laws and international conventions.

Article (2): Definition of an association
An association is an agreement between two or more persons for purposes other than securing
material gains.

An association must have a unique name, derived from its purposes, to be se lected by its founders.
It is impermissible to use the same name for more than one association. Moreover, names of a
general nature shall not be used unless correlated with the purpose s of the association, its
characteristics or its geographical scope.

Article (3): Purposes of an association
The establishment of an association shall be to realize its stated purposes . These purposes may not
inclu de anything contradictory to morals or public order and shall not aim explicitly or implicitly at
achieving material gains for the association or its members.

Article (4): Establishment of an association
To form an association it is necessary to conclud e an agreement between the founding members
and this agreement shall be notarized by an official notary public.

Every association shall have articles of incorporation containing the following items:
• Name of the association and its address in Libya.
• Names of founding members, their surnames, nationalities, professions, domiciles and
• Objectives of the association.
• Conditions for membership, the termination of membership , and the rights and duties of
• A s tatement of the organizatio nal structure of the organization, its election method and
competencies of each of its bodies.
• Mechanisms for decision making and dispute resolution.
• Procedures for amending the articles of incorporation.
• Rules for dissolution and liquidation of the ass ociation.

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Article (5): Prohibitions on associations
An association is prohibited from:
• Calling for violence, hatred, bigotry or discrimination on the bases of religion, sex, language,
race, or tribal or regional affiliation.
• Performing commercial activities for the purpose of distributing funds and profits to their
members or utilizing the association for tax evasion purposes.

Article (6): Legal personality of an association and procedures for its declaration
An association acquires legal person ality immediately upon its declaration.

The declaration request shall be presented to the nearest branch of the Supreme Council for Public
Freedoms and Human Rights and a receipt shall be provided; or the request may be sent by
registered mail with recei pt acknowledgment.

The Council, within two weeks of receiving the application, shall register and declare the
association or notify the association at the address contained in the application of its rejection of
the declaration request along with the reasons for such rejection including the missing items or
required amendments to the memorandum of incorporation or articles of incorporation pursuant
to the law. The applicant may either complete or correct the missing items and resubmit the
documents in question or submit a petition confirming that he does not accept making any
amendments and that he insists on submitting his application as is. In this case, the Council may
either declare the association immediately as presented or submit, within one week, a petition
requesting affirmation of the rejection to a penal court judge at the court where the association is
located to decide in the validity of the rejection. The judge shall issue his decision regarding the
petition by affirming or rejecting it within 10 days of submission , otherwise the petition is
considered null and void . In this case, the association is declared immediately and the Council, if it
wishes to abolish the declaration of the association, shall have recourse to the judiciary to issue a
ruling in this respect.

In all cases, if the Council fails to meet any of the deadlines provided for in this Article, the
association is considered registered and declared by law. Upon declaration, the Council shall grant
the association a true copy of the declaration document.

Article ( 7): Rights of associations
An association has the following rights:
• The right to access information related to the association activities.
• The right to evaluate the performance of state entities and submit proposals for improving
• The right of assembly, free meeting, organizing marches, conferences, workshops and all
other civil activities.
• The right to publish reports and information, print newsletters and conduct opinion polls.

Public entities shall not directly or indirectly hinder or impede the activities of an association
except by a judicial order. Competent public entities shall take all necessary actions to provide
protection for an association, its members, or any person against any violence, threat, pressure or
arbitrary acts as a result of practicing rights stated in this law by the association.

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Article ( 8): Association bodies
The supreme authority in the association is its members through their ordinary or extraordinary
G eneral Assembly. The articles of incorporation shall detail the competencies of both types of
Assemblies and the methods for invitation, convocation and decision making.

The association shall have a Board of D irectors and the articles of incorporation shall state the
method for formation of the Board of Directors , its competencies, decision making and delegation of

The chairman , or the vice-chairman in case of the former ’s absence, shall be the legal representative
of the association before courts and in its relations with third parties.

Article (9): Conflict of Interest Principle
It is impermissible for members of the association or its staff to participate in or attempt to
influence decisions that may lead to conflict between th e interests of the association and [1] their
personal interests, [2] their professional interests, or [3] the interests of their relatives up the
fourth degree.

Article (10): Resources, revenues and budget of the association
The principal rule is that the association is self -funded from the subscriptions of its members. The
association may accept grants, donations or bequests that are unconditional except if such
conditions are related to its proper functioning or the achievement of its goals. The association may
also have revenues from its properties, projects or activities.

The state shall allocate necessary funds in its b udgets to support and assist associations on the
bases of efficiency and feasibility of projects and activities. The executive regulation of this law shall
define controls and mechanisms of public funding. Associations receiving public funds shall submit
a nnual financial reports to the Audit Bureau showing their sources of funds and the disbursement
of public funds allocated to the association .

Article (11): Accounting books to be kept
The association shall keep books required by the law in accordance with the accounting principles
as stated in the executive regulation of this law.

Any association accepting grants, donations or bequests or having revenues from its properties or
projects shall appoint an external auditor to audit its accounts. In addit ion to above, the association
shall keep a special register for grants, donations and bequests and a special register for revenues
from its properties, activities or projects.

In all cases, the association must utilize its resources for activities achiev ing its objectives and shall
in no case invest its funds for any commercial purposes.

Article (12): Declaration of financial resources
The association must declare the acceptance and identify the source of any donations, grants or
bequests from foreign entities in a daily newspaper and on its website within one month of the date
of accepting the donation, grant or bequest.

The association must also publish the annual reports of its activities and finance s on its website.

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The association must send off icial copies of the above mentioned documents to the Supreme Council
for Public Freedoms and Human Rights within two weeks as of the date of accepting domestic or
foreign grants, donations or bequests or from the date of preparing the report as the case may be.

Article (13): Prohibited Transactions with Foreign Entities
It is impermissible for an association to deal with countries with which Libya has no diplomatic
relati ons. An association is also prohibited from accepting donations, grants or bequests from
organizations adopting the policies of these countries or defending their interests.

Article (14): Maintenance of Association Documents and Registers
An association shall maintain its financial documents and registers for a period of ten years.

Article (15): Branches of foreign associations
Foreign associations may open branches in Libya.

It is a requirement that those managing the branch must be of Libyan citizenship without prejudice
to the right of the association to send [foreign] experts and specialists to assist in its functions.

A resolution from the Council of M inisters shall define the competent entity for granting a permit to
establish the branch and define the required declaration documents, duration of the permit, type of
activity [which may be undertaken] and fees for the permit.

Article ( 16): Litigation powers for a ssociations
Associations have the interest and capacity to appeal before the judiciary against any law or
resolution directly or indirectly related to their objectives for the public interest. The provisions
related to the conditions of “capacity” and “interest” in appeals in this context shall be broadly

Article ( 1 7): Merger, dissolution and l iquidation
Associations of similar objectives may merge to establish one association based on [the processes
defined in] their articles of incorporation . Associations are dissolved by the will of their members as
expressed by a resolution of the General A ssembly or by a ruling from a competent judge at the
competent court where the association is located based on a request from the Council. In case the
association is dissolved, its assets shall be liquidated following accepted accounting standards. The
association ’s funds, following payment of all of its obligations, shall inure to an association with
similar objectives or any other association as determined by the G eneral Assembly , the liquidator ,
or the court .

[Note from Translator: Arabic version is missing Article 18. It is not clear if this version is
improperly numbered or if an Article was accidentally omitted].

Article ( 19): Association networks and coalitions
Two or more associations may establish a network to cooperate in realizing their shared objectives
and to mobilize their capacities for lobbying. The formation of a network shall be based on a
written agreement binding on its parties. The network shall be given a uniq ue name and may
choose whether or not to register as a legal entity. In the event that that network is not declared, it
does not acquire legal personality. Associations of similar objectives may also establish coalitions to
implement major activities that exceed the ability of a single association or network.

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Article ( 20): Executive regulation
The Supreme Council for Public Freedoms and Human Rights shall issue an executive regulation for
this law as well as examples of declaration applications, petitions and a registration insistence form
as set forth here in. It shall also issue model articles of incorporation to assist founders in
developing their articles of incorporation . The executive regulation shall cover all detailed
c onditions for issuing a permit for a foreign association to open a branch in Libya . The non-issuance
of this regulation shall not jeopardize the right of individuals to establish and declare their
associations pursuant to this law.

Article ( 21): Transitional p rovisions
A ssociations existing at the time of issu ance of this law shall adjust their status to comply with the
provisions of this law within no more than one year of the date of its issuance. These associations
shall notify the Supreme Council for Public Freedoms and Human Rights of the actions they have
taken in this regard . The provisions of Article 7 here in shall be applicable to any objection from the
declaration entity.

Article ( 22): Penal a ctions
In the event that an association violates a provision of this law, the Supreme Council for Public
Freedoms and Human Rights may take the following actions in sequence:
1. Notify or inform the association and require it to resolve the violation within two weeks
from the date of notification, clearly identifying the violation of the law in the notification.
2. Warn the association if it does not respond to the notification.
3. Suspend the activities of the association for a defined period. The suspension shall be issued
by a competent judge upon the submission of a petition from the Council following the
expiration of the two week notification period.
4. Dissolve the association based on a ruling of a competent court following the submission of
a petition from the Council in the event that the associati on fails to remedy or repeats the

In the event that an association violates Articles 5, 12, or 13 of this law, the Council need not adhere
to the sequence provided from in this Article and may immediately request suspension or
dissolution of t he association.

Article ( 23): Effectiveness
This law is effective as of the date of issue and shall be published in the Official G azette. This law
repeals Law Number 19 of the Year 2001 on the Reorganization of Local A ssociations. It also
repeals any ot her law contradictory to its provisions.

Issued in () on ()