JUSTICIA Foundation for Development and Human Rights (Declaration n° 1147/2008) is a nonprofit Lebanese civil society organization. JUSTICIA was founded by jurists and civil society activists who believe in democratic values, human rights, the rule of law, and equal opportunity for all. JUSTICIA’s main objective is to protect and promote human rights. It also works to empower marginalized individuals, strengthen democracy, and encourage good governance.

To accomplish its objectives, JUSTICIA does the following:

  • Organize and implement legal awareness and citizenship training programs to engender a culture of human rights.
  • Publish basic information about everyday legal issues and helpful how-to guides to assist members of the public in determining their legal rights.
  • Network with governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to gain support for its programs and assist organizations with similar goals.
  • Design and implement projects aiming at addressing gender issues, necessary legal reform, and public integrity problems.



Drafting Law Decree on National Oil Spill Contingency Plan

In line with the international best practices, Lebanese Petroleum Association has developed a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) in the Lebanese Waters.

In order to give the plan an executive form and legal structure, JUSTICIA has drafted a law decree which will decide the entities involved in the implementation of the plan and that will ensure the quick and effective response for any oil spill incident. The decree also establishes a mechanism for mutual understanding among governmental and non-governmental entities, private and public sector organizations, and international agencies to co-ordinate and integrate their resources to respond effectively.

The decree precises how to guarantee a timely and effective response to oil spills and prevent further pollution, identify the national high-risk areas and priority coastal areas for protection and clean-up, and establish processes for assistance and cooperation with other countries and international agencies.

The law decree shall address the response to oil spills in the Public Maritime Domain including the Territorial Sea, and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It covers as well oil spills entering the Lebanese EEZ from cross boundary sources.

Improving Enforcement of Administrative Courts’ Decisions in Lebanon

In order to enable the Lebanese Administrative Court to enforce its decisions and implement them, JUSTICIA has drafted a study and launched a program with the support of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation where the implementation process of the verdicts of the State Council was mapped and analyzed, the current structure and the latest circumstances that occurred in the State Council, and the independence of the judges of the State Council are implemented. A fair enforcement system is just as important as reliable judicial decision-making in a system where governmental powers are supposed to be controlled by the administrative Court (State Council). In the same context, the enforcement of decisions against administrative agencies and officials faces even larger obstacles than the enforcement of decisions against private entities. This is the reason why the Prime Minister in person pledged on 18/09/2014 to implement the decision of the Administrative Court concerning the fate of more than 600 Lebanese missing in Syrian jails since the 1970s.

In addition, concerning the employee’s appointments, 35 decisions of the Administrative Court were unapplied to date. As shown, this leads to a typical violation of the judicial independence principle due to the clear contradiction between its judicial consulting role for the Lebanese state in administrative issues and its role as an Administrative Court. Furthermore, the decisions of the administrative Court are not necessarily enforceable in practice, since they are left up to the goodwill of the state. As a result, there is a definite need for a review of the implementation tools of the Court’s decisions where public agencies are involved.

The Restriction of the Military Courts’ Jurisdiction to Military Personnel

Despite its exceptional status, the military judiciary in Lebanon has very broad powers that need to be reconsidered in two ways: the first is the trial of civilians; the second is its incompatibility with the conditions of a fair trial in terms of transparency, neutrality, and equality among citizens.

In comparison with two Arab countries, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, JUSTICIA suggested in its study, with the support of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation a project for an integrated vision for the typical military judiciary in Lebanon, providing the litigants with independent and impartial judiciary trials, while respecting the rights of the defense and the necessary explanations of the judgment.


The KNOW YOUR RIGHTS series of guides on Lebanese law assist Lebanese citizens in managing their legal risks by clarifying their rights and obligations. To be equal under the law, one must know his or her rights. Because Lebanese Law is complex, those who cannot afford effective legal representation are at serious disadvantage.

Ignorantia juris non excusat, Latin for “ignorance of the law does not excuse”, is a legal principle providing that a person is not excused for violating the law merely because he or she was unaware of it. Lebanon also adopts the maxim of Roman law: nemo censetur ignorare legem or “nobody is considered to ignore the law.” Thus knowledge of all laws is imputed to everyone. But these maxims assume that the law in question has been properly published and distributed. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Lebanon. Here, the abundance of legislation and amendments in the agenda of the Chamber of Deputies and the Council of Ministries make it very difficult for the average person to be aware of the law.

Consequently the legal system presents challenges for lower and middle class citizens because many times they find themselves in court without the necessary information or know-how to argue their positions effectively.

The objective of the KNOW YOUR RIGHTS project is to provide members of the public with tools to help them better understand their rights and obligations-thus ensuring transparency in the administration of the law. The guides relate to key areas of public life like employment rights, taxpayer’s rights, patient’s rights, municipal rights, bank customer rights, and business and industry rights.

Although other civil society organizations have produced informational booklets on similar subjects, JUSTICIA’s guides take the reader a step further as they provide specific advice on issues that may help the reader avoid the perils of litigation. Copies of the guides are available at no charge. They may also be downloaded from this website.


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