BEIRUT — The head of Lebanon's Higher Judicial Council, Souheil Abboud, has sounded an alarm about the potential collapse of the country's judicial system, highlighting the persistent issue of political meddling in the shadow of Lebanon's overarching crisis and rampant corruption.
During a conference held in France last week by the Francophone Network of Judicial Councils (Réseau francophone des conseils de la magistrature judiciaire – RFCMJ), Judge Abboud spoke about the manifold challenges and difficulties faced by Lebanon's courts, which he described as "on the brink of complete collapse." He stressed the dire nature of the situation, calling for immediate action.
In a statement reviewed by L'Orient Today, Abboud detailed several ways in which "the efficiency of the judiciary has been weakened or disrupted, with numerous judicial positions left vacant and justice being obstructed in many cases."
He cited specific examples of these challenges, emphasizing the failure of the Lebanese Parliament to pass a law on judicial independence and the executive's refusal to publish decrees for comprehensive and partial judicial transfers approved unanimously by the Supreme Judicial Council on several occasions.
Abboud also accused Lebanese officials of attempting to establish a judiciary that suits their own agenda, referring critically to a "tailor-made authority."
The plan to rotate judicial assignments has been stuck since 2020 after former President Michel Aoun refused to sign it. Meanwhile, Lebanon has been without a head of state since Nov. 2022.
Judge Souhail Abboud consistently condemns the political interference in the judiciary by Lebanese politicians, highlighting the entanglement of political agendas with legal processes.
This article originally appeared in French in L'Orient-Le Jour.