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On 3 July 2019 the European Union marked the successful completion of the civil cassation courts' automation, automation of remaining courts and inauguration of the data centre at the Ministry of Justice. The event held at the Judicial Palace of Beirut under the Patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Saad Hariri, saw the participation of the Minister of Justice Judge Albert Serhan, Minister of State for Administrative Reform Dr May Chidiac, EU Ambassador Christina Lassen and the President of the Higher Judicial Council Judge Jean Fahed and gathered key stakeholders from the judicial sector in Lebanon.
The courts' automation projects represent one of the most important initiatives supported by the European Union in Lebanon to improve justice services for citizens in the country. Key innovations introduced will gradually ensure the population has better access to justice services.
EU Ambassador Christina Lassen emphasized that the EU invested almost 8 Million Euro for the automation of courts in Lebanon which is aimed to make the Lebanese judicial system more efficient, effective, transparent, accountable and independent vis a' vis the citizens that it serves. She stressed that "All this is to support the Lebanese government's reform agenda to build a modern and integrated justice system which is able to deliver better services to its citizens".
EU supports the automation in courts in Beirut, Jdeideh and Jounieh. Based on international best practices, automation can contribute to upholding the rule of law, enhancing the speed and fairness of judicial proceedings and in turn increase the trust of citizens and businesses in the legal system.
An efficient and modern justice system is essential for the consolidation of the rule of law, including fighting corruption and other malpractices. The EU in Lebanon supports key reform priorities set by the Government, including the implementation of the electronic government in public administrations, and Lebanon's efforts and strategy in fighting corruption in the public administration. The partnership is also fully aligned with the Master Plan for automation of the Ministry of Justice.
The event included a visit to the a Data Center in the Ministry of Justice, showcasing some of the the EU-Lebanon partnership results. The courts' automation projects among others support the development of the judiciary ICT infrastructure and systems required for judicial dossier and document management, archiving, decision-making and final rulings where key changes were introduced. They also provided tailor-made IT Training to over 3100 judiciary staff who moving forward will no longer need to handle manually many of their tasks.
The EU support courts automation complements other ongoing EU investments in Lebanon to support critical reforms in the area of prison administration and detention conditions, including the development of a human rights-based juvenile justice system and improving access to justice by updating legal aid structures and ensuring better access to free legal aid services.