The Latest Legal Row over Libyan Oil: PC Clashes with NOC

Libya Business News
April 6, 2017

Mohamed Karbal, managing partner of the international law firm Karbal & Co., observes that a recent conflict between the Presidency Council and National Oil Corporation is legal in nature – in contrast to Libya's myriad political conflicts and violent conflicts. In late March, the PC issued a decree that dissolved the Ministry of Oil & Gas and assigned its former (limited) powers to the NOC. Mustafa Sanallah, the NOC chairman, denounced the decree for violating separations of power stipulated in the Libyan Political Agreement. However, Karbal notes that the LPA language may technically permit such an action by the executive branch. The issue is further complicated by the HoR's establishment of a parallel NOC and nonrecognition of the GNA. Ultimately, Karbal concludes that the decree is "unnecessary and illegal based on constitutional law since a law issued by a legislative body could not be amended through the issuance of a decree by the executive branch."