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Policy Practicum: Constitutional Design in Libya: The Division of National & Provincial Powers

Course Description: 

Libya's government has experienced significant strains stemming from various interest groups and armed militias calling for federalism. The General National Congress, elected in 2012, is mandated to form a government, promulgate legislation for Libya's transitional period, and establish a constitution-drafting entity. A de facto federal structure has emerged since the fall of the Qaddafi regime, and it appears that a federal state structure is the only way forward for Libya. Even a decentralized framework may be threatened, however, if it does not clearly delineate the powers of the executive heads of provincial territories. Students in this Practicum will work to support the Public Interest Law and Policy Group PILPG), a pro bono international law firm, which in turn is providing advice to civil society groups in Libya. To assist PILPG in supporting its clients' engagement on constitutional issues and decentralization, students in this Practicum will develop a legal memorandum analyzing comparative state practice of the distribution of powers between the national executive and provincial level executives in federal or decentralized states. The memorandum will address approaches states have taken on key issues such as whether the national executive can remove the heads of provincial governments; whether the provincial executive has a role in national-level policies; whether provincial executives maintain any control over the military; and whether the provincial executives' powers can supersede the national executive's powers on certain regional issues. State practice from the Middle East and North Africa region will be of particular relevance to PILPG's Libyan clients, but state practice examples will ultimately be selected based on their value in explaining or illustrating mechanisms and processes that shed light on the efficacy of different approaches to distributing powers between national and provincial executives. Students may normally receive no more than four units for a Policy Lab practicum and no more than a total of eight units of Policy Lab practicums and Directed Research projects combined may be counted toward graduation unless additional units for graduation are approved in advanced by the Petitions Committee. A student cannot receive a letter grade for more than eight units of independent research (Policy Lab practicum, Directed Research, Senior Thesis, and/or Research Track). Any units taken in excess of eight will be graded on a mandatory pass basis. Consent Application: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline. Elements used in grading: Class participation, Written Assignments.

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