Requests to Amend or Cancel the Crimes Prevention Law

10/30/2018

The Economic and Social Council held a session today, the 30th of November 2018, to discuss the Crimes Prevention Law. Participants of the session include, the ESC’s President Dr. Mustafa Hamarneh, the ESC’s Secretary General, Mr. Mohammad Nabulsi, in addition to lawyers and representatives from official organizations such as the Judiciary, the Public Security Directorate, the National Center for Human Rights and civil society institutions.

 The session was conducted in response to legal and societal requests to discuss this law and its controversial content. Views expressed in the session differed and were divided. On one hand, participants explicitly expressed their view for the necessity to cancel this law. The argument was that as the law provides judiciary authoritative powers to those outside the judiciary system, it conflicts with the constitution. This also allows for the possibility of the law to be misused, especially with regards to house arrest and administrative detention. Participants emphasized the importance of addressing this issue according to the international best practices, such as through the use of electronic bracelets. 

 On the other hand, some participants expressed their belief on the importance of this law as a precaution to prevent crime and how it actually did prevent crime in many instances. However those against revoking the law, did agree to the fact that the law should be significantly amended, especially since it has been in use since 1954 without being amended since.  

 Participants stressed the importance of reaching consensus on the philosophy and motivating reasons behind proposed amendments, such that the essence of the law in serving as a precaution to prevent the occurrence of crime is maintained, without conflicting with the law, the judiciary system or any human rights.

On a similar note, participants requested the review of the prevailing tribal laws, due to the societal harms that some entail, specifically those through which individuals are negatively affected by the law for being part of a certain family and tribe, regardless of whether they are actually involved in the issue at hand. Emphasis was made on the importance of having the rule of law fall exclusively under the judiciary system.

 The session was concluded by forming a committee to meet the following week to review the content of this law and form a draft law with the necessary amendments before presenting it to the Prime Ministry.