Judiciary, Administration & Censorship

First - The status quo:

  1. Political interference is affecting the judicial system’s independence and role as the guardian of the citizens’ rights. However, there is a significant number of brave judges who are still resisting this intervention.
  2. Political actions have transformed public departments into a tool serving the political system for clientship purposes.
  3. Poor management of human, structural and organizational resources, in addition to random employment practices have led to an inflated, inefficient and incompetent public sector, despite the presence of a significant number of public sector employees who have a high level of competence and ethics.
  4. Alternate departments and specialized funds have been established to carry out administrative tasks under the pretext that the public departments have failed, but such alternate departments are not immune to the public departments’ bad practices as they fall under the same clientship system.
  5. The supervisory institutions’ role is largely disrupted, corruption is henceforth being covered, and decisions contradicting the law and the Constitution are legitimized.

Second - The principles:

  1. Any system that fails to respect the judiciary’s independence is not considered as democratic nor does it serve the citizens and their dignity.
  2. Physical and moral support protects and immunizes public servants against political influence, thus enabling them to carry out their duties in the best possible way.
  3. Competency, transparency, and accountability are the three pillars that ensure the departments’ productivity.
  4. Lebanon’s departments must serve the citizens, not vice versa.
  5. Corruption along with its multiple facets like financial corruption, the conflict of interests, and the abuse of power must be addressed. In parallel, corrupt individuals and the ones who sow corruption should be brought to justice.

Third - The vision:

  1. Efforts must be exerted to apply Article (z) of the Constitution’s preamble pertaining to the concept of separation of powers, and laws enforcing and guaranteeing the judiciary’s independence must be drafted.
  2. Criminalizing harshly all individuals working in the judiciary or in public departments who give in to political interventions by activating and fortifying supervisory institutions through the appointment of impartial and honest personnel.   
  3. Introducing reforms to the Supreme Judicial Council and the State Shura Council bureau with respect to the process of formation, appointment, and operation to protect the judiciary and judges. Reforms should also include a judicial organization of the rules governing the process of selecting, training and appointing judges, of the process of serving their apprenticeship, and of the conditions of their jobs and their discipline, while respecting their right to the freedom of opinion which does not affect their impartiality, and the right to form associations and assemblies at two levels - de jure and de facto.
  4. The judicial structure must be re-considered, and judicial departments should be modernized to enhance the judiciary’s authority. Furthermore, restructure the central and regional departments should be restructured, and reorganize the salary scale law.
  5. The judiciary and public departments must be computerized so as to rationalize expenditures, increase their productivity and transparency, and free the employees from useless routine work.
  6. Given that the sectarian system will temporarily remain in place, employees can be appointed by choosing the most competent individuals within each sect to avoid clientship and immunity.
  7. Give judges and government employees their fair share financially and establish an ongoing training program to empower them
  8. All international laws and conventions against corruption must be adopted and enforced.
  9. Presidents, deputies, ministers, senior employees and senior officials must make the necessary asset declarations, concerning their properties and bank accounts, on a periodic basis. Therefore, the Illicit Enrichment Law should be applied after the necessary amendments are made to facilitate the process of filing complaints against those suspected of enrichment at the expense of the state’s treasury and public funds, while preserving the dignity of such suspects until proof is provided that their enrichment is illicit. All this, considering that of the most renowned laws that the National Bloc Party was associated with is the Illicit Enrichment Law of 1953, which was dubbed “Where did you get this from law”.
  10. Activating and applying the laws on the citizens’ right to access information.

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