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Symposium: "Towards a Rule of Law State: Challenges and Aspirations"

by Salam Al-Zahran, Philipp Bremer

A collaboration with the Human Rights Center (HRC-BAU) and the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at Beirut Arab University

On the 15th November, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law Programme Middle East and North Africa, in partnership with the Human Rights Center (HRC-BAU) and the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at Beirut Arab University organized a symposium, under the title of “Towards a Rule of Law State: Challenges & Aspirations".

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The symposium aimed to bring to the attention of university students (primarily law students) the major issues that have arisen in recent years regarding the Rule of Law in the country, its principles, and its application in Lebanon. Among these issues are the Taif Accord, the Constitution of 1990 and its practice, the judicial council’s mandates and role, especially in the light of the judiciary's impartiality during the recent crisis, juxtaposed with the exceptional military courts in the realm of fair trials. The symposium also covered current legislation that attempts to re-establish the Rule of Law.

The opening speech was delivered by Professor Amr Jalal El- Adawi, President of the University and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center for Human Rights, who stated that "the Center is playing an important role in promoting and spreading the culture and values of human rights. It also played a role in promoting communication and cooperation with human rights-related institutions, universities, and local and international organizations”.

His speech was followed by Mr. Philipp Bremer, Director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Rule of Law Programme Middle East and North Africa, who introduced the students to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and its programs in Lebanon and the region, mentioning that the foundation's concept is based on a deep respect for human dignity, fundamental rights, and the principles of social market economy. Regarding the seminars topic, he added: “In the entire region the rule of law as we know it - as it is laid out in international agreements and treaties, withholding not only the separation of powers but also the protection of human rights – is facing a dire time. In several countries we are experiencing heated constitutional discussions and possible malpractices, a judiciary – and Lebanon I believe is a good example of this – that is fighting for its constitutionally granted independence, challenged by political interference and an economic crisis, making day to day work extremely difficult.

But through all the challenges, no matter their difficulty, I believe it is even more important to aspire. To tackle them. To discuss them. To continue believing in the rule of law.“

 

The symposium panelists and topics were as follow

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Kassem – Dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science; Seminar moderator and panelist, spoke about “the Rule of Law and Oversight on the Constitutionality of Law – The Egyptian Experience”.

H.E. Minister Rachid Derbas tackled “The Rule of Law and the Judicial Reality in Lebanon”.

Judge Najat Abou Chacra – Military Investigative Judge tackled “The Fair Trial Guarantees before Military Courts”

Dr. Omar Houri – University Secretary- General and Director of the Human Rights Center tackled “The Ta’if Agreement and the Rule of Law”.

The seminar was attended by around 200 students from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Officers from the Lebanese Army and Internal Forces, Judges, and further Officials. A Q&A session followed the seminar.

 

You can watch the entire symposium on our YouTube channel here:

Symposium: "Towards a Rule of Law State: Challenges and Aspirations" at BAU, 15th November 2021

 

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You can watch the opening speech of Philipp Bremer, Director of the Rule of Law Programme Middle East & North Africa of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung above: 

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Contact

Salam Al-Zahran

Salam Al-Zahran

Project Manager

Salam.Alzahran@kas.de +961 1 385 094 | +961 1 395 094

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