Libya‘s Media Regulation Framework and Possible Ways Forward


Terms of Reference

Study: Libya‘s Media Regulation Framework and Possible Ways Forward


General Context:

Media professionals in Libya work under extremely difficult conditions. Often their most elementary professional rights such as freedom of expression and free access to information are restricted. Many journalists, from both Libyan and foreign media, have been attacked or kidnapped with no recourse to justice. According to the international NGO and media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) around 20 journalists have been killed with “total impunity” over the past decade. The organization ranks Libya 164th out of 180 countries in its 2020 press freedom index.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that no clear legal framework exists regarding the rights, duties and functions of public and private media in the Libyan society. The rule of law in Libya is weak in general. This concerns all aspects of legal practice and law enforcement. Many laws date back to the times of the Gaddafi regime and there is a high level of uncertainty regarding the country’s current legislation and the implementation of laws. Many non-state actors have made use of this legal vacuum and the impunity that comes with it to ruthlessly enforce their own interest – including the use of violence.

Many media professionals in Libya see some hope at the moment as a new Libyan Unity Government was sworn in on 15 March 2021. Violence has significantly decreased in all parts of the country, embassies and businesses are slowly returning to the country and general elections are planned for December 2021. Therefore the current situation seems to offer a good opportunity to assess the current state of media regulation in Libya and – most importantly – to present ideas for regulatory improvements that can inform a constructive political debate on the issue.

This study is commissioned in the framework of Deutsche Welle Akademie EU funded Project “Media in Libya Stability through Reconciliation”

This study could be conducted by experts in pairs (non Libyan and Libyan National) or individually.

Expected Content:

  • Part One: Assessment

The study should give a comprehensive overview of the current regulatory framework for Libyan media. It should help answer the concrete questions listed below. Media regulation in this context refers to all laws, rules and procedures governing the media sector in its entirety (traditional and Digital Media including social media). This can refer to aspects of laws in relation with freedom of expression and the the production process and/or technical distribution of media content as well as the regulation of the media market as a whole.

  • Historical perspective: What sort of media regulation existed in Libya before and after its independence?
  • What have been the main political and legal developments in the media sector since the end of the Gaddafi regime? Which old laws and regulations are still in place? Which new major initiatives have been taken since 2011?
  • How has the media sector developed since 2011 in reality? Are there any differences regarding the implemented regulations in the various regions in Libya?
  • What are the main stakeholders that are currently involved in shaping a new media regulation framework in Libya on a regional, national, and international level (Ministries, Parliament, other state/non-state actors, national and international bodies etc.)?
  • What are international “best practice” examples (in the Arab World and beyond) regarding a media regulation framework with a sufficient degree of democratic legitimacy, respect for freedom of expression, clarity and practical applicability which could be adapted to the media sector in Libya?


  • Draft Road Map

Based on the assessment in part one, the study should come up with recommendations regarding possible ways forward in order to establish a media legal framework. This comprises a clear perspective how future media regulation in Libya should look like and concrete steps in this direction. It is crucial that this road map indicates the concrete rights of media producers (freedom of expression, personal safety etc.) as well as their responsibilities (professionalism, neutrality, accuracy in research and publication of content, no participation in disinformation campaigns and in the incitement of violence etc.). The road map should serve as a basis for further political discussions and decision-making processes.

  • How should a future media regulation framework for Libya look like (consultations and interviews with Media professional, specialised NGOs and researchers in Libya are required)?
  • What are the criteria to determine the quality of such a framework and how can they be measured (applicability of rules, democratic participation, level of editorial independence of media outlets, compliance with rule of law, guarantee of freedom of expression and access to information, digital rights and safety for media professionals etc.)?
  • What are the concrete steps in order to develop a new media regulation in Libya?
  • What are the stakeholders that should be involved in the consultation process of drafting a media law in Libya? how should other stakeholders and the general Libyan public be involved in the process?
  • What are the most promising communication concepts to inform the general public about the process and to raise awareness on the importance of a new media regulation?
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Any ideas concerning future media regulations should cover traditional concepts of media (print, television, radio and magazines) but and explicitly focus on social media and the challenges connected with the rapid transformation and digitization of the media landscape (esp. the increasing role of social media, the growing problems of disinformation, hate speech etc.).

Expected Scope:

There should by two final versions of the study:

  • A longer version that fulfils all criteria of quality scientific work (footnotes, definitions, clear indication of sources etc.) and comprises between 50-80 pages
  • An essay version of around 8-10 pages that summarizes the matter in a more pointed and readable manner

The work should be accompanied by a comprehensive bibliography (Annex 1) that indicates all literature, conducted interviews (Annex 2) and other forms of online/offline sources used to compile the study (Annex3).

Required Profile:

The author of the study must have a solid background in media law in the Libyan context. His/her academic background can either be in law studies or mass communication/social science. His/her academic qualification should be at least on M.Sc./M.A level with a clear record of publications in relevant fields. The author must furthermore have a high proficiency of the English and Arabic language and the ability to write structured, analytical texts about complex topics in English. He/she must have the capacity to work critically, independently, and reliably and to meet tight deadlines.


A first draft of the study will be delivered as a Word document (.doc) no later than three months after the beginning of the assignment. A final version must be delivered within two weeks after a revision by the project management. The working language is English.


The payment of the total amount will be made upon submission of the invoice once the final product is approved. The expert/s have to have a bank account outside of Libya.


The application package must include the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proposed methodologic approach, structure of study and timetable
  • Financial offer (Per day and number of days)

Interested candidate can send offers until the 30.06.2021 by COB to the email address