25 June 2022 08:35 PM

COURTS > Organization of administrative Judiciary Back


There was, alongside the State Council, a special administrative tribunal that was established according to Legislative Decree number 3 published on 30 November 1954. It was abolished by the urgent project of law executed by virtue of decree number 10434 issued in 1975. However, it was reinstated pursuant to Law number 227 dated 31 May 2000 which amended a number of articles of the said decree. Therefore, the administrative judiciary consists, according to the current regulation of the State Council, of the State Council and the administrative tribunals, which became the regular courts for administrative litigations. Administrative tribunals as well as the State Council are together deemed to be part of the judicial regulations of the Department of Justice (Article 2 of decree number 10434/75, amended by Law number 227/2000).

Thus, according to the latter law, the Administrative Judiciary in Lebanon became composed hierarchically of two degrees: Administrative Tribunals, as base of the pyramid, and State Council, as the head. But, the establishment of administrative tribunals remained pending, under said Law, on the issuance of a decision by the Minister of Justice in this regard; the issue that did not occur till this date. Therefore, the courts remained established, according to the law stipulations while not operational, indeed.

State Council

Bodies of the State Council

The chambers
The Council consists of six (6) chambers; one administrative and five judicial.
  • Each judicial chamber consists of a president and at least two counselors followed by one or more assistant counselors to assist with cases. The President of the chamber may appoint a rapporteur and complete the body upon need. In case of absence of the chamber’s president, the highest rank counselor shall assume his duties;
  • As for the administrative chamber, it is headed by the President of the State Council who may nominate as his substituent one of the other courts presidents, and he may assign one or more counselors or assistant counselors to participate in the cases of this chamber as members. The President of the State Council may head as well any of the judicial chambers.
The Chambers are composed and tasks are distributed between them according to a decision taken by the Minister of Justice upon proposal of the State Council President.

The Council of cases
The Council of Cases consists of the State Council President as president, presidents of the chambers and three counselors selected by the State Council President at the beginning of the judicial year. The Council of Cases cannot render decisions unless approved by the president and four (4) members at least, provided that the president vote is preponderant in case votes are even.
The Council of Cases will work on all pending cases before the State Council that may be referred to him by the State Council president at any of the trial phases, provided that the chamber desists of the lawsuit definitely, as soon as the referral decision is rendered by the president.
The State Commissioner or the President of the Chamber may request the referral of a lawsuit to the Council of Cases. The office of the State Council may approve the request or refuse it within (3) days as of the date of filing the request.
The cases concerning Judges and the lawsuits lodged as avail to law are considered of the jurisdiction of the Council of Cases.

The State Council office
The State Council office consists of:
  • The State Council President (as President);
  • The State Commissioner at the State Council (as Vice President);
  • The Head of judicial Inspection body and The presidents of the chambers at the State Council (as members); and
  • Three (3) presidents of the Administrative Tribunals of the highest rank (as members).
[With reference that these courts were not established]
The State Council Office seeks the good course of administrative justice, its dignity, its independence and proper workflow and takes the necessary decisions in this regard.
The State Council Office exerts, in all the matters not contradictory to this law, the same powers practiced by the Supreme Judicial Council, vis-à-vis judges under the law of judicial courts.
The Sate Council Office holds meetings upon convocation send by its president and in case of his absence, upon convocation sent by the Vice-President. The Minister of Justice may also call for its meeting in order to discuss a particular issue.
Meetings will not be considered legal unless the President or the Vice-President and fifty per cent of the members are present.
Decisions are taken by the majority of votes of the present members, and in case of evenness, the vote of the president of the session will be preponderant.

The State Commissioner
He will have at most four (4) assistants, to be appointed amongst counselors or assistant counselors as per a decree.
The State Commissioner or the delegated associate Commissioner submits his justified views in all lawsuits filed to the State Council and submits in person his views before the Council of Cases.

The General Assembly
The State Council holds a meeting in a General Assembly once per annum in October upon convocation sent by the President.
The General Assembly consists of all the Sate Council members and cannot deliberate unless fifty per cent (50%) of its members are present.
The resolutions are taken by the majority of votes of the present parties, and in case of votes evenness, the president’s vote shall be preponderant.
The General Assembly meetings should be held secretly. The chief clerk drafts its minutes which will not be published in any way.
The President submits to the General Assembly a report describing the Council's acts during the previous year, in addition to the legislative, regulatory and administrative reforms that he sees as compliant with public interest.

The Disciplinary Council
The Disciplinary Council consists of five (5) members:
  • The State Council President (as president);
  • The State Commissioner at the State Council (as Vice-President);
  • Two Presidents of the highest ranks amongst chambers presidents (as members);
  • The President of an administrative tribunal of the highest rank (as member).
The Disciplinary Council shall be competent in the prosecution of State Council members.
The judge is referred before the Disciplinary Council by decision of the Minister of Justice, if the investigation conducted upon the request of the State Council President justifies this referral, such as the judge has breached the duties of his function or committed an act prejudicing honor, dignity or discipline.
The Disciplinary Council President appoints one of the Council members as rapporteur. The rapporteur will conduct all the necessary investigations and interrogates the concerned party and the plaintiff, where appropriate. He listens to the witnesses under oath, and then presents his report without any delay to the Disciplinary Council.
The judge referred before the council, may seek assistance by one lawyer or one of his colleague judges from the State Council.
The Disciplinary Council renders a justified decision, on the same day or on the following day at most; this decision may not be challenged by any review means including cassation. The decision shall be effective, in itself, simply upon being notified to the concerned party by administrative means.
Sanctions which may be rendered by the Disciplinary Council are as follows:
  1. Blame;
  2. Suspension from work without salary for a period not exceeding one (1) year;
  3. Delaying the promotion for a period not exceeding two (2) years;
  4. Decreasing the degree;
  5. Decreasing the category;
  6. Dismissal from duty;
  7. Secluding with deprivation of obtaining end of service compensation or retirement pension, and in case of seclusion with deprivation of obtaining end of service compensation or retirement pension, retirement deductions shall be returned to the person.

The Judges of State Council
The State Council is constituted under Article IV of the present regulations issued by virtue of decree number 10434/75, amended by Law number 227/2000, of the President, the State Commissioner, the presidents of the chambers, the counselors, and the assistant counselors.


The State Council Jurisdiction

Administrative and Legislative Matters
The powers of State Council in administrative and legislative matters were not always stated in previous legislation.
Pursuant to regulation of 1924, the State Council was entitled to judicial function without the advisory one (Decision number 2668 of 1924). Its advisory function emerged for the first time under regulations of 1941. However, the regulations of 1953 cancelled its advisory function. Then, the advisory function of the State Council was reinstated by Legislative Decree number 119 of 1959, once again along with the judicial one. In the same sense came the new regulations of 1975, actually in force, along with its amendments applied in 2000.
These administrative and legislative powers are confined to giving comments on all draft laws, draft legislative decrees, organizational decrees, drafts of international treaties, draft circulars, concessions, public services, and public terms of reference.
The State Council opinions or comments are not of judicial nature; hence, they do not have the res judicata force, this means that the judicial chambers at the Sate Council may adopt a solution different from what the administrative chamber deemed appropriate.

DRAFT LAWS
The State Council contributes in the preparation of laws. He gives his opinion on the draft-laws submitted by Ministers. He proposes amendments and prepares texts that are requested. For such purpose, he has to perform the necessary inquiries and obtain assistance of experts. Consultation of the State Council, at this level, is optional and cannot be made mandatory for many reasons. Firstly, parliament members are entitled to submit directly to the parliament proposals of laws without referring them via the government. Secondly, the proposal of law cannot be challenged for infringing such procedure. Thirdly, the proposal of law is studied adequately by the parliament committees.

DRAFT LEGISLATIVE AND ORGANIZATIONAL DECREES
The State Council is consulted concerning draft legislative decrees and draft organizational texts aiming at implementing laws and in all matters stipulated by laws and regulations requiring its consultation. Consulting State Council in this case is compulsory for many reasons, some of which are that legislative and organizational decrees are challengeable before administrative tribunals. Therefore, they must be strengthened with sufficient guarantee with regard to their legality.
Consultation should be performed beforehand, that is, it is necessary to take the opinion in advance or otherwise the decision is considered void for violating law.
The views of State Council do not compel the administration to follow their contents; in other words the consultation is mandatory in itself as a procedure and a non-binding in its outcome.

DRAFTS OF INTERNATIONAL TREATIES, DRAFT CIRCULARS, CONCESSIONS, PUBLIC SERVICES, AND PUBLIC TERMS OF CONDITIONS
The Council of State may be consulted in these matters. Consultation is made optional due to the diversity and number of such matters, and due to the fact that they are studied by specialists without having to submit them to the Council, unless when they include important legal points.
Opinion is requested from the State Council in matters mentioned herein above through the competent minister.
The Commission at the State Council deliberates prior to giving its opinion, with reference to the report written by one of its members.

Judicial Matters
The text specifies the jurisdiction of the State Council in judicial matters in Articles (60), (65) and (66) of the new regulations.
According to Article (60) of said regulation, the State Council is considered as the appeal authority for all the sentences rendered by the administrative tribunals as well as the appeal or cassation authority for administrative matters to which the law has appointed a special tribunal, in addition to being the trial court and last instance for some actions, identified by Article (65) thereof. Furthermore, it has jurisdictions with regard to the urgent procedure.

MATTERS WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION AS BEING APPEAL AUTHORITY
Matters examined by the State Council for being an appeal authority are those cases settled in first instance court: administrative tribunals considered as ordinary courts of administrative cases, and administrative bodies having judicial status, that the special laws and regulations stipulate that its judgments might be appealed before the Council.

MATTERS WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION AS BEING CASSATION AUTHORITY
The State Council by cassation examines all matters settled in last degree by administrative bodies of judicial status, whether law stipulates so or not.
Some of the decisions that the State Council examines as cassation are as follows:
  • Decisions of the Court of Audits concerning the delayed judicial control;
  • Decisions of private expropriation committees established by virtue of decree number 16053/57 and Supreme Expropriation Committee for the implementation of constructional projects established by virtue of decree number 6839/61; and
  • Disciplinary decisions rendered by disciplinary councils, Supreme Commission of Discipline and Central Inspection Commission.

MATTERS WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION AS BEING FIRST INSTANCE AND FINAL COURT
The State Council examines the following litigations in first instance and final resort:
  1. Nullification requests due to authority abuse concerning organizational and individual decrees as well regulatory acts issued by Ministers;
  2. Lawsuits of civil servants appointed by virtue of decrees;
  3. Cases regarding individual administrative decisions, which scope of application exceeds regional jurisdiction of one administrative court;
  4. Requests for interpretation or for evaluation of the validity of administrative acts, which are of jurisdiction of the State Council in first instance and final resort; and
  5. Cases of dependence.

JURISDICTION IN URGENT PROCEDURE
Pursuant to amendment of State Council regulations dated 16 OCT 1992 (Law number 259) as well as the one of 2000 (Law number 227), its jurisdiction was expanded in regard to urgent procedure.
Pursuant to the regulation of 1975, the Council had to appoint, upon the request of the concerned parties, an expert to verify the damages before it disappears. However in 1993, one of the functions of the council was ordering urgent measures including the necessary administrative and financial measures. The State Council president or whoever he delegates amongst judges became therefore entitled to take all the necessary, possible, temporary and provisional measures to preserve rights and prevent damages, without affecting the right in itself. Furthermore, he may, upon the request of the concerned party who filed the lawsuit, oblige his opponent to pay a temporary advance, when the case is based on serious and important reasons and against a bail.
However, decisions in urgent procedure have no res judicata force and may be amended or canceled upon the request of one of the parties if new circumstances arise justifying so.

The Administrative Tribunals

The Organization of Administrative Tribunals
Article 34 states “it is determined by virtue of a decision rendered by the Minister of Justice after the approval of the State Council office, the date on which the courts of first instance proceed with their tasks as well as their number, locations and number of judges of each chamber”. The law has established six (6) administrative courts; one principally for each of the six (6) provinces. Therefore, the powers of the Minister of Justice are limited, within this scope, to appointing courts locations and their commencement dates of their performing their duties, taking into consideration that this is influenced by the financial obligations of the government and its political trends.
Such decision has not yet been issued by the Minister of Justice; therefore, the administrative courts are not yet formed.
These courts consist of one president and two members. The court president is similar to the president of the chamber before the State Council and the member is similar to the assistant counselor before the Council

The Administrative Courts Jurisdictions
The Administrative courts are the ordinary courts for administrative matters. After the law has defined general rules of jurisdiction, it has listed, as an illustration but not as a limitation, a number of these powers.
  • SUBJECTS OF COMPETENCE
Article (60) of State Council regulation stipulates that “the administrative courts are the ordinary courts for administrative matters” and article (61) thereof states the most important topics that fall within the jurisdiction of administrative courts, according to the following:
Administrative courts examine particularly the following in first instance:
  1. Claims of compensation for damages occurring due to public works or execution of public services or for damages resulting from administrative workflow in the parliament;
  2. Administrative matters related to administrative contracts, deals, undertakings or concessions carried out by the public administrations or the administrative departments in the parliament for the purpose of ensuring performance of public interests;
  3. Cases of civil servants and individual litigations related to the employees of the parliament;
  4. Cases related to occupying public properties;
  5. Cases where the administrative authority files lawsuit against civil servants in case they have committed misconduct that led to its condemnation;
  6. Cases related to direct and indirect taxes and fees, contrary to any other general or particular text. Claims for compensation of damages resulting from vehicles accidents do not fall under the jurisdiction of administrative courts and should be examined by judicial courts.
These topics are in general part of the so-called comprehensive judiciary.
As for the judiciary of nullification, the subject jurisdiction was defined by virtue of Article (63) of the State Council regulation, according to the following:
  1. Administrative courts examine nullification requests, due to authority abuse, of administrative decisions, whether related to individuals or regulations rendered by local public authority (Governor, deputy governor, municipal council, etc.)
  2. Litigations related to the legality of administrative council elections as municipal councils, “moukhtar” committees, and others;
  3. Litigations related to disciplinary actions taken against civil servants.
The administrative court has the same powers vested in the State Council in the field of urgent procedure as for the appointment of experts, stay of execution and taking all measures leading to preserving rights and preventing damages.
  • REGIONAL JURISDICTION
The regional jurisdiction of the administrative court is determined according to the following rules:
  1. Domicile of the plaintiff in litigations related to individual matters concerning security;
  2. Location of constructed and unconstructed properties related in general to works concerning those properties;
  3. Place of contract implementation. In case the implementation exceeds the scope of the regional administrative court jurisdiction, the place where the contract was concluded;
  4. Domicile of the plaintiff if the damage was caused by an administrative work;
  5. Place of the incident that caused the damage, if the damage was caused by public works or an administrative act;
  6. Place of appointment concerning employees matters which does not fall within the jurisdiction of the State Council in first degree;
  7. Place of administrative councils concerning litigations of elections;
  8. Place of administrative councils or public and private institutions concerning litigations related to their organization and workflow, particularly, administrations of control and guardianship adopted on their behalf.
  9. Default of implementing abovementioned rules, headquarters of the authority which undertook the administrative action, subject of complaint, or headquarters of delegated authority of such act or place where the contract was concluded.
The court competent to examine the original request is competent to examine as well every incidental, counter request or linked to another request, as well as any place.

NEWS & ACTIVITIES

افتتاح الموقع الالكتروني الجديد لوزارة العدل

02 June 2017

 

Read More

طلب وزير العدل إجراء التعقبات

29 March 2017

 حضرة مديرة الوكالة الوطنية للإعلام السيدة لور سليمان المحترمة المكتب الإعلامي لوزير العدل عملاً بالمادة ...

Read More