The Faculty of Law and Political Science at Beirut Arab University organised a seminar entitled “Fighting Corruption: Means and Obstacles” lectured by the Financial Attorney General Judge Ali Ibrahim and introduced by the Faculty Dean Professor Mohammad Kassem.
Professor Kassem commenced the seminar saying that corruption is a crime, a phenomenon, not a local or a regional phenomenon but a global one. This is evidenced by the French legislations that addressed this phenomenon with two new acts issued in September 2017 contrary to the decrees applied to them.
Professor Kassem showed how serious the phenomenon of corruption is as it wastes all efforts of development and peoples’ capabilities, and plunders the nations’ wealth, ensuring that a nation plagued with corruption shall never rise again. He added that, due to the seriousness of this phenomenon, many heads of states considered fighting corruption their priority and set strategies to face and fight corruption or at least control it. Therefore, numerous agencies have been tracking corruption, pointing in this regard to the establishment of the Ministry of State for Combating Corruption in Lebanon.
The Dean criticized the Egyptian project as he did with the French legislator, for considering the possibility of reconciliation in the crimes of corruption which he believes is unacceptable. For him, the phenomenon of corruption has exacerbated in our society and should be firmly confronted away from the policy of reconciliation, calling for refusal to reconcile crimes of corruption being at-all-time punishable. "If corruption were a man, I would kill him," he said, indicating the seriousness of this crime and the need to decisively confront it without any compromises.
Judge Ibrahim emphasised the role of education in fighting corruption saying that education begins at home which is the basis of sound education. He also highlighted the role of the school and the university in sound upbringing away from the diverse forms of corruption which is not limited to money only. Judge Ibrahim also focused on the role of men of religion in confronting the phenomenon of corruption by calling for old behaviour which is undoubtedly incompatible with corruption and its means regardless of its type.
He stressed the complexity of the phenomenon of corruption, its dimensions and the need for concerted efforts to confront it. For him, the problem does not lie in legislation only, but in education as well, and the regulatory bodies must be strengthened as an essential tool to face corruption.
In their interventions, the attendees stressed on the necessity of the completion of the legislative system to confront corruption, hinting at the Right of Access to Information Law in Lebanon, as well as the necessity to issue anti-corruption acts and to activate the role of the regulatory bodies in order to combat this phenomenon.