Universal Syriac Union Party Secretary-General Michel Mallo explains work of party’s legal department

BEIRUT — In comments to Suroyo TV, Secretary-General of the Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP), Lawyer Michel Mallo spoke about the role of the patry’s legal department, in addition to the judicial crisis in Lebanon and its impact on Lebanese society. The statement came against the background of the poor state of the legal field which has degraded over the past two and a half years.

Secretary of Legal Affairs of the USUP and head of the legal department Lawyer Wadih Nasr announced that the Legal Department is concerned with following up on legal issues affecting the Lebanese people, particularly the Christian community. The legal assistance provided by the USUP Legal Department is done on a pro bono basis in service to the long-suffering people of Lebanon, he added.

Mallo stated that the recent period has witnessed several judges go on strike, leading to the suspension of judicial work and consequently to a legal crisis in the country.

The USUP Legal Department is concerned with helping people from across the country secure lawyers to defend them pro bono, an important aspect of the department’s work given the high costs of litigation and lawyer’s fees in the country, he stated.

Mallo noted that the striking of legal professionals and members of the judiciary, which could last for two weeks, could lead to an explosion within Lebanese society due to the expiration of the period of detention of thousands of prisoners. Some of them could remain in detention for months without trial and without any charges being brought against them.

A large number of judges were appointed to the Supreme Judicial Council based on political directives, he said, meaning that they are not independent. This will impede the functioning of the independent judiciary and will prevent the judges from holding the political class accountable, he added.

Mallo also stated that judge’s salaries do not exceed, at best, 140 US Dollars per month and such low salaries will inevitably lead to the spread of corruption. For Lebanon to pull itself from crisis and to prosper in the long-term, it is important that the judiciary be independent, free of corruption, and operate efficiently.