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Communiqué of July 20, 2017

The Beirut Bar Association Council held an extraordinary session on Thursday, July 20,2017, at 2 p.m., chaired by the President of the Bar Association, Antonio Al-Hashem, to discuss the risks arising from the law on the grade and salary scale.

The following communiqué was issued following the deliberations:

Several gaps have affected the bill set out in Decree no. 10415 on the funding of the grade and salary scale. Indeed, the recent adoption of some articles in the legislative sessions, revealed a series of unjustified measures to increase fiscal revenues and many others.

Instead of exposing the sources of corruption and waste in most state administrations, which are genuine sources of funding that relieve citizens from paying, the scale funding has returned to the front scene, raised by the officials to hit the legitimate demands of the people, and thus to confiscate what they still have as a daily source of life, as if the citizen was responsible for all that was quoted.

Moreover, the absence of the general budget and the budgets of the past years has had a negative impact on the financial situation. Indeed, the public administration was and is still facing a lack of income that would have covered the increased spending, which led to the doubling of the public debt.

The struggle of the Bar Association, which will reach its first centenary in a year and a half, is an ongoing struggle with the Judiciary. We are with it in the same gap, and we have the same objective: doing justice and drawing the its best image. Our consolation is that it is a struggle for justice and dignity. It is the most dignified and the happiest of struggles, in the two most honorable paths of life.

We therefore loudly proclaim: no to the persistence in repeated attempts to take forward impulsive and thoughtless projects. These projects have undesirable results, and this will remain so as long as the concerned liberal profession associations have not been consulted on their views. These associations represent groups in the society; and it is their responsibility to provide means that will lead to a rebirth in support of the equitable State project.

As a Bar Association, we confirm our support for the Judiciary in its legitimate demands that will enable it to continue its work in order to ensure justice and achieve the project of the State and not that of power, with the aim of eradicating corruption and waste in the government.

We do caution against the imminent risks that will surely result from the hazardous and unjustified increase in taxes. This will also lead to the collapse of the economic situation and the citizen will be under threat with respect to his work, medical care, hospitalization and education of his children.

The Council has announced that it will keep its sessions open, to move forward to correct what has happened, and to prevent what might happen as steps that would increase the risks to which it is cautioning.

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