The United Nations Development Programme held a conference entitled “The State of the Environment in Lebanese Courts” on Monday 7 June 2010 at “Maison de L’avocat” in Aadlieh-Beirut, on the occasion of the World Environment Day and Week of the Environment.
This conference took place under the patronage and presence of their Excellencies Ministers of Environment and Justice, Me. Mohamad Rahhal and Professor Ibrahim Najjar represented by Mr. Omar Natour, Director General of the Justice Ministry. Mr. Seifeddine Abbaro, UNDP Director, Mr. Demba Ba, World Bank Country Manager, a number of International specialists in Environmental law, judges, and environmental activists were also present in this event. Following the opening ceremony, “The State of the Environment in the Lebanese Courts” book published by the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Justice in cooperation with the World Bank was distributed to the audience. The book holds several cases brought to Lebanese courts concerning environmental laws and jurisprudence. The publication of this study falls under the framework of the SEEL project (Supporting the Judiciary System in the Enforcement of Environmental Legislation), which aims to support the Judiciary system in the enforcement of environmental legislation.
In his speech, Mr. Natour highlighted the importance of such publication that underlines the strengths and weaknesses of the Lebanese judicial system and explained that the ministry of Justice under the framework of the SEEL project introduced the environmental course at the Institute of Judicial Training.
“ This project with the development of the book on cases of environment jurisprudence and the curriculum on environment legislation that will be taught from now on at the national institute of judiciary, will develop the capacity of judges and lawyers alike and provide them with the technical means to trial cases based on environmental legislation” said Mr. Abbaro.
H.E Minister Rahhal stressed on the role of youth, civil society, municipalities and Nongovernmental organizations in the protection of the environment and in tackling issues of environmental jurisprudence, public health and climate change…
Mr. Rahhal also stressed the need of establishing a judiciary police to counter corruption. “The Ministry is currently working on introducing three new sectors which are environmental police, environmental prosecutors, and judiciary police.”
The conference which followed the inauguration session shed the light on the state of the environment in the Lebanese court. International specialists in Environmental law delivered lectures on several topics, such as: definition of the environmental law and principles, presentation on the state of the Lebanese Environmental Law and challenges facing its application in the Lebanese courts.