Opinion articles

To you, our enemy

To you, our enemy

Reading Time: 2 minutes The massive destruction caused by criminal negligence on behalf of our politicians is impossible to assess. Innocent lives were lost. Property, seaport, livelihoods, schools, hospitals, homes, jobs, businesses, trade, dreams, and aspirations were totally destroyed. The impact of this deadly criminal act will reverberate for years to come.  Beyond razing the wonderful cultural heritage from

FUCK OFF

Reading Time: 12 minutes Truthful words are not beautiful. Beautiful words are not truthful. Good men do not argue. Those who argue are not good. Those who know are not learned. The learned do not know. Lao Tzu At this pivotal moment of Lebanon’s history, it would be counterproductive and even evil to mince words. It is, in the

Toward building a more inclusive and resilient ecosystem

Reading Time: 3 minutes It is a time when Lebanon is constricted in boundaries like perhaps never before. Its physical land boundaries have long been—as once again recently demonstrated—marked by the contradiction of being repressively impermeable and permanently under threats, and at the same time too permeable and uncertain to offer the full protection of a territorial demarcation. Long

Lebanon’s anti-corruption movement

Reading Time: 8 minutes Editor’s note: This piece was slightly modified after the Beirut Port explosion. It was, however, largely written prior to August 4 along with the other contributions to the anti-corruption special report. There has not been a time in Lebanon when anti-corruption was a nationwide demand and a necessity for the preservation and development of the country

Lebanon’s struggle for the right to information

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the three and a half years since Parliament passed Law 28/2017 on access to information (A2I) some progress has been made but there remain barriers to full implementation. Calls for greater transparency and accountability were a major component of the demands of the Lebanese who took to the streets in October last year, seen

How could asset recovery work for Lebanon?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Each year, developing countries lose between $20 to $40 billion due to bribery, misappropriation of funds, and other corrupt practices. These criminal acts drain economic development initiatives, contribute to further impoverishment, and come with other societal costs, such as the negative impact on education and public health services. One way of combating these practices is

How Lebanon can learn from other countries’ experiences with asset recovery

Reading Time: 5 minutes Recovering assets corrupt officials have stolen while in government service is a critical part of a government’s fight against corruption. First of all, it deters corruption. If those who would steal from the public while ostensibly serving it know they have little chance of keeping what they take, they will be less tempted to steal

Does Lebanon need a special anti-corruption court?

Reading Time: 3 minutes In June, Parliament’s Anti-Corruption Subcommittee began discussing the establishment of a special court on financial crimes. Its proposed jurisdiction ranges from counterfeit and forgery of money and documents to bribery and abuse of power by public officials on active and former duty. Such a scope of offenses would fall under what we at the U4

Lebanon could utilize unexplained wealth orders to recover stolen assets

Reading Time: 4 minutes Asset recovery requires global cooperation. According to the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative database, in 2018 the approximate amount of stolen funds that have been frozen, confiscated, or returned to affected countries since 1980 equals $8.2 billion, involving over 50 requesting and over 40 requested jurisdictions. These numbers, however, pale in comparison to the estimates

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