Rupert Colville, a spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, said Tuesday a Libyan decision to investigate the government of late dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi was "the most important" step the government has taken on transitional justice.
Colville said in a statement from Geneva, Switzerland, the measure sets up a fact-finding commission charged with providing a detailed assessment of human rights violations committed under Gadhafi's government "as well as after it fell from power."
Gadhafi died after falling into rebel hands during the waning stages of Libya's civil war in 2011. He, along with several former regime members, was accused of sweeping human rights violations.
"We also welcome the fact that a controversial provision setting up a specialized prosecution department for the crimes of the former regime has been eliminated," the spokesman said.
He made no mention of trials under way in Libya for Saif al-Islam, Gahdafi's son, and former intelligence director Abdullah al-Senussi. Both men are accused of committing crimes against humanity during Libya's civil war.
A Libyan court last month sentenced former Libyan Minister of Education Ahmed Ibrahim to death for crimes committed during the civil war.