Rights of the People

Every person who resides in Libya and has no other nationality, or is not the subject of any other State, shall be deemed to be a Libyan if he fulfils one of the following conditions:-
  1. That he was born in Libya.
  2. That either of his parents was born in Libya.
  3. That he has had his normal residence in Libya for a period of not less than ten years.
Subject to the provisions of Article (8) of this Constitution, the conditions necessary for acquiring Libyan nationality shall be determined by a law. Such law shall grant facilities to expatriates of Libyan origin residing abroad and to their children, and to citizens of Arab countries, and to foreigners who are residing in Libya and who at the coming into force of this Constitution have had their normal residence in Libya for a period of not less than ten years. Persons of the latter category may opt for Libyan nationality in accordance with the conditions prescribed by the law, provided they apply for it within three years as from the 1st of January 1952.

No one may have Libyan nationality and any other nationality at the same time.

Libyans shall be equal before the law. They shall enjoy equal civil and political rights, shall have the same opportunities, and be subject to the same public duties and obligations, without distinction of religion, belief, race, language, wealth, kinship or political or social opinions.

Personal liberty shall be guaranteed and everyone shall be entitled to equal protection of the law.

No forced labour shall be imposed upon anyone save in accordance with law in cases of emergency, catastrophe or circumstances, which may endanger the safety of the whole or part of the population.

Everyone shall have the right to resource to the Courts, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Everyone charged with an offence shall be presumed to be innocent until proved guilty according to law in a trial at which he has the guarantees necessary for his defence. The trial shall be public save in exceptional cases prescribed by law.  

No one may be arrested, detained, imprisoned or searched except in the cases prescribed by law. No one shall under any circumstances be tortured by anyone or subjected to punishment degrading to him.

No offence may be established or penalty inflicted except shall be subject to the penalties specified therein for those offences; the penalty inflicted shall not be heavier than the penalty that was applicable at the time the offence was committed.

No Libyan may be deported from Libya under any circumstances nor may he be forbidden to reside in any locality or compelled to reside in any specific place or prohibited from moving in Libya except as prescribed by law.

Dwelling houses are inviolable; they shall not be entered or searched except in cases and according to the manner prescribed by law.

The secrecy of letters, telegrams, telephone communications and all correspondences in whatever form and by whatever means shall be guaranteed; they shall not be censored or delayed except in cases prescribed by law.

Freedom of conscience shall be absolute. The State shall respect all religions and faiths and shall ensure to foreigners residing in its territory freedom of conscience and the right freely to practice religion so long as it is not a breach of public order and is not contrary to morality.

Freedom of thought shall be guaranteed. Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion and to publish it by all means and methods. But this freedom may not be abused in any way which is contrary to public order and morality.

Freedom of press and of printing shall be guaranteed within the limits of the law.

Everyone shall be free to use any language in his private transactions or religious or cultural matters or in the Press or any other publications or in public meetings.

The right of peaceful meetings is guaranteed within the limits of law.

The right of peaceful associations shall be guaranteed. The exercise of that right shall be regulated by law.

Individuals shall have the right to address public authorities by means of letters signed by them in connection with matters which concern them but only organised bodies or justice persons my address the authorities on behalf of a number of persons.

Every Libyan shall have the right to education. The State shall ensure the diffusion of education by means of establishment of public schools and of private schools which it may permit to be established under its supervision, for Libyans and foreigners.

Teaching shall be unrestricted so long as it does not constitute a breach of public order and is not contrary to morality. Public education shall be regulated by law.

Elementary education shall be compulsory for Libyan children of both sexes; elementary and primary education in the public schools shall be free.

Property shall be inviolable. No owner may be prevented from disposing of his property except within the limits of the law. No property of any person shall be expropriated except in the public interest and in the cases and in the manner determined by law and provided such person is awarded fair compensation.

The penalty of general confiscation of property shall be prohibited.

The family is the basis of society and shall be entitled to protection by the State. The State shall also protect and encourage marriage.

Work is one of the basic elements of life. It shall be protected by the State and shall be the right of all Libyans. Every individual who works shall be entitled to fair remuneration.

The State shall endeavour to provide as far as possible for every Libyan and his family an appropriate standard of living.