Libya: further thoughts on UNSCR 1970 (2011) and paras 22-23 in particular

Thinking further about the resolution, I think there is an interesting provision in paras 22-23 of the text (see here for the final version of the text).  The referral to the ICC is very important, and will allow the court to begin immediate investigations.   This will of course take time and we are no doubt a long way from actual prosecutions let alone punishment. But paras 22-23 offer a more immediate course of action.  These paras invite states to nominate regime members (inc military, police etc) who are responsible for human rights abuses and attacks on civilians.  These individuals will be added to the list of those subject – immediately – to the assets freeze and travel ban: the sanctions imposed in other paras of the resolution.  I don’t claim that this will bring about the immediate end of the Gadhaffi regime, but it’s something, and may have some deterrent effect.


The invitation to states to nominate these criminals is all very well, but with no diplomats in situ I don’t see how outside states can know who these people might be.  Instead, how about providing a channel for Libyans on the ground observing the crimes of the regime to nominate people?  Perhaps Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and others could think about this.  Why don’t they invite nominations?  Why don’t some right-thinking states including those who drafted and pushed this resolution do so too?  I’m thinking perhaps of an email address where Libyans can nominate people for sanctions, or as others like Richard Robbins have suggested more imaginatively, what about a wiki which people on the ground could contribute evidence of crimes and abuses?  Wouldn’t it be great if the UN itself – and quickly -were to set up such a site?  But it needs to happen fast!

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