LAW 105

Law on Missing and Forcibly Disappeared Persons
Published by UMAM Documentation & Research
In cooperation with the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon

2019 - English & Arabic
On November 13, 2018, the Lebanese Parliament passed the Law 105 (Law on Missing and Forcibly Disappeared Persons). Advocacy for the implementation of this law will test the political will of those in power. The discussions that took place in parliament during debate of this law, as well as the comments and reservations expressed by some MPs, are a reliable measure of political will (and lack thereof), and could point to new directions for further advocacy, whether regarding application of the Law in both letter and spirit, or on dealing with Lebanon’s past more broadly.

WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH THIS "PRECEDENT"?

Charting the various milestones in the long road that led to the promulgation of 105 Law regarding Missing and Forcibly Disappeared Persons, passed by the Lebanese Parliament on 13 November 2018, is no easy task.
Three factors, at least, lay behind this difficulty.

Firstly, the Law was passed twenty-seven years after the end of the "wars" that officially started in Lebanon on April 13, 1975.

Secondly, those twenty-seven years were not characterized by dormancy, but by conflicting dynamics between "truth-seekers" and "denialists." On the one hand, tireless advocacy efforts were made by the families of the missing and forcibly disappeared of Lebanon's bloody war years. They were supported by civil society organizations contending that to ignore the wars' legacies cannot be excused, and that these legacies must be dealt with in order to overcome the country's past. On the other, political decision-making circles obstinately rejected this advocacy, some even going so far as to claim that meeting the families' demands would undermine the fragile "civil peace." 

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the Law, as introduced and justified in its Rationales, tackles an issue that Lebanon failed to address after the wars ended. In this sense, it sets a precedent in the full sense of the word, as dealing with enforced disappearance is perhaps the most widely agreed upon feature of what we call the "legacies of the war," and paves the way, theoretically at least, to also tackle other issues that were equally overlooked.

 
Excerpt of the Introduction.