What is corruption?

Corruption can first be defined as "the abuse of power, function or service by a public official for the purpose of gaining improper gain or advantage". It can also be defined more broadly as “the abuse of power, of function or service in connection with public money with a view to achieving improper gains or advantages for one's own benefit or for the benefit of others direct or indirect” (Law No. 175 of 08/05/2020). This includes bribes and gratuities; traffic of influence, theft, embezzlement or other illicit use of property or funds; abuse of post; as well as illicit enrichment. Corruption or influence peddling which has illegally facilitated the award of public contracts and public contracts, licenses or the delegation of public services or their improper performance for personal gain may also be treated as corruption. As well as insider trading and improper use of confidential or sensitive information for private use resulting in improper gain or advantage.

How to fight corruption?

First, identify situations of corruption and require from any person in public office and any civil servant (including judges, military forces, other persons connected with public funds) to declare their fortune and their assets as well as those of their immediate family (spouse and minor children) and to be submitted to a permanent control of competent authorities in order to identify cases of illicit enrichment and corruption.

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The restitution of ill-gotten money

The return of ill-gotten money or "Asset Recovery" is now enshrined as a fundamental international principle in Chapter 5 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. This principle, or rather this objective, is an integral part of our national anti-corruption strategy.  It concerns, in the current Lebanese context, public money that has been misappropriated through acts of corruption by public officials or any person holding public office (parliamentarians, ministers, high-ranking civil servants, judges, etc.). When it is the subject of ill-gotten money, it is any kind of movable or immovable property (stocks, bonds, land, bank accounts, etc.). 

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Whistleblowers: definition and rights

Lebanon adopted a law for the protection of whistleblowers on October 10, 2018 (Law 83).

A whistleblower is defined as any natural or legal person who discloses information he believes is related to corruption, regardless of his position or interest. The law provides protection for whistleblowers under three headings: it provides for compensation and penalties in their favor if they suffer damage as a result of the disclosure of information, it also provides for protection of the whistleblower's physical integrity, which could be ensured by law enforcement bodies if necessary, and it provides for their protection in the sense that they are not prosecuted for the crime of corruption. In addition, the law provides a reward for whistleblower that can reach up to 5% of the amounts returned through disclosure. However, the mechanisms for this protection and reward are linked to the existence of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which was recently established by Law 175 of May 8, 2020. This commission has not yet been effectively established and therefore to date, the whistleblower is not effectively and fully protected. 

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Corruption: In Lebanon, the rules exist ... they must be applied!

by Me Karim DAHER

Once the euphoria, positive or negative, that prevailed during the holding of the Economic Conference for Development through Reforms and with Businesses (CEDRE) has subsided, the main questions concern the ability of Lebanon to keep its promises in in terms of modernizing the economy and infrastructure and implementing real structural reforms so that, in the long term, they will be able to benefit from all or part of the envelope of $ 11 billion in subsidized loans promised by its partners.

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FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION: PROTECT THE JUDGES AND SECLUDE THE POLITICIANS

By Pr. Pascal Monin

Asked by his peers about the secret of the unusually rapid approval by the Lebanese authorities of the creation of the Arab Organization to Combat Corruption at the organization's first meeting in 2005, former Prime Minister Salim Hoss gave, according to an article published last March 7 by the newspaper Arrakeeb, this response, to say the least sarcastic: “Thanks to the help of the bribes that we paid them!"

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HOW TO FIGHT CORRUPTION

7 tips to reduce corruption
Tip 1

Vote anti-corruption laws

Tip 2

 Identify and effectively control the assets of people in public office

Tip 3

Activate public expenditure control bodies and mechanisms within the state

Tip 4

Effectively protect and reward whistleblowers

Tip 5

Consecrate the independence of the judiciary

Tip 6

Prosecute acts of corruption in court and return the ill-gotten money

Tip 7

Raise awareness with regards to corruption among the public

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