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June 27, 2019 | Sami Atallah, Nancy Ezzeddine
Has the Lebanese Parliament Abdicated its Role in Governing the Oil and Gas Sector?

Despite broad oversight and legislative authority stipulated in the Taef Accord, the Lebanese Parliament in the post-civil war era has yet to assume its role in the policy-making process, a point accentuated by its role (or lack thereof) in the national oil and gas sector. This policy brief argues that the offshore petroleum law (OPRL) of 2010 fails to incorporate a robust governance framework and that the parliament’s legislative process, which should have been integral in the formulation of that law, is devoid of democratic decision-making. Additionally, the parliament failed to exercise its oversight role despite a more than thirty-month delay in the development of the sector. To this end, this brief argues that reform and rehabilitation within the sector should be initiated by enhancing legislative and oversight practices within the parliament and that the parliament must develop an integrated legislative vision for the sector by capitalizing on communication with experts and CSOs. The parliament also must strengthen the role of committees and supporting bodies, particularly oversight agencies, and enhance its role by championing greater access to knowledge, expertise, and transparent information for its members and the public at large.

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