For much of 2013, Dr Shane Bryans, Director of Panopticon Consulting, worked as the Special Advisor to the Minister of Justice in Libya. He provided advice and support on a range of strategic, operational and tactical issues in relation to the court and prison systems, and the management of the Judicial Police. Shane is currently providing support and advice to a number of international bodies who are working with the prison system in Libya.
Following the revolution in 2011, and the subsequent overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi’s regime, Libya faced significant challenges in re-establishing the Rule of Law and putting in place Transitional Justice arrangements. Large numbers of detainees (estimated at the time to be around 10,000) were held by revolutionary groups and local militias. The Judicial Police, who run the prisons, had limited capacity in terms of prisons (many had been destroyed during the revolution or had been reclaimed by local people) and staff (over half of the Judicial Police employees did not return to work after the revolution). While problems persist in terms of rule of law, there are improvements and, while working as Justice Advisor, Dr Bryans advised on the building of a new prison at Misrata and attended a judicial police graduation ceremony.
Panopticon Consulting, working for the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS), supported the Judicial Police during 2012 by:
Dr Shane Bryans undertook a follow-up visit in February, 2013 and, among other things, inspected trainees, a new-build prison site and met with the Ministry of Justice.