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Article 47 of the Criminal Procedure Code

Official Gazette - Issue 41 - 10/22/2020
Law No. 191
It aims to strengthen basic guarantees and activate defense rights

The House of Representatives approved,
The President of the Republic publishes the following law:

Article Three: Article 47 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is amended to become as follows:
Judicial officers, in their capacity as assistants to the Public Prosecution, undertake the tasks assigned to them by the Public Prosecution in which they investigate unwitnessed crimes, collect information about them, carry out investigations aimed at uncovering their perpetrators and those who contributed to their commission, and collect evidence against them, including the seizure of criminal materials, conducting physical examinations of the places where crimes occurred and studies. Scientific and technical examinations of the traces and landmarks they left behind, as well as hearing the testimonies of witnesses without taking them under oath and the statements of the complainants or suspects.
If the suspects or complainants refrain from speaking or remain silent, this shall be noted in the report, and they have no right to be forced to speak or to be interrogated on pain of invalidating their statements.
They must inform the Public Prosecution of the procedures they are taking and adhere to its instructions. They do not have the right to search a house or a person except after obtaining prior permission from the Public Prosecution. If they are given permission to search, they must observe the procedures specified by law for the Public Prosecutor in the crime witnessed. Every inspection they conduct, in violation of these principles, is invalid. However, invalidation is limited to the inspection transaction and does not extend to other procedures independent of it.
They are prohibited from detaining a suspect in their custody except by a decision from the Public Prosecution and within a period not exceeding forty-eight hours. It can be extended for a similar period only upon the approval of the Public Prosecution.
The period of his detention is calculated from the period of his detention.
After the end of the detention period, the Public Prosecution may not take any action of any kind against the detained person, and members of the judicial police must transfer the detainee from the detention center in which he was interrogated to any other center that is not affiliated with the same area, provided that this is recorded in the The report before its conclusion is subject to penalty of invalidity.


The suspect or complainant, before hearing his statements regarding the witnessed or unwitnessed crime, whether the person conducting the investigation is the Public Prosecution or the judicial police, and immediately after his detention for the necessities of the investigation, shall enjoy the following rights:
1- Contact a lawyer of his choice, a member of his family, his employer, or an acquaintance.
2- Seeking the assistance of a lawyer to attend his interrogation or listen to his statements and interview him.
The person conducting the investigation, before starting the interrogation or listening, must inform the suspect or complainant of these two rights, write down on the report his position regarding whether or not to benefit from them, and obtain his signature on it.
The lawyer is appointed according to a statement recorded on the record without the need for a duly organized agency, provided that he presents a duly authorized agency in the first investigation or trial session.
The interview between the suspect or complainant and the lawyer takes place in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of the conversation between them, and that it lasts a maximum of thirty minutes.
The date and time of the start and end of the interview are recorded in the record, and it is signed by both the lawyer and the suspect or complainant.
If he is given time to appoint a lawyer, he shall be given twenty-four hours to do so.
If the lawyer is not present, the suspect or complainant shall be given two hours to appear.
It is not permissible to initiate an investigation in the absence of a lawyer except in the case of a witnessed crime and when there is an extreme necessity that justifies not waiting, provided that it is explained in detail in the record.
If the lawyer does not appear after the expiry of the time limit, he shall begin the interrogation immediately.
If he arrives late, he joins the investigation from the point he reached after being informed of the content of his client’s statements.
In all cases, he has the right, upon completion of listening to his client’s statements, to ask the latter the questions he deems appropriate and exclusively related to the subject of the investigation.

If the suspect or complainant is unable to appoint a lawyer for financial reasons, the judge supervising the investigation shall appoint a lawyer for him through a representative specially appointed for this purpose by both the Beirut and Tripoli Bar Associations. The procedures for hiring a lawyer must be recorded in the record.
3- Quickly listen to what he says and do not procrastinate in doing so.
4- Not taking the oath before starting to listen to his statements.
5- Informing him of the nature on which he is being interrogated, the suspicions against him, and the evidence supporting them, so that he can implement them and defend himself. The investigator is not obligated to give him a legal description of the facts.
6- Seeking the assistance of a sworn translator if he is not proficient in the Arabic language, and for every foreigner from a country where Arabic is not the official language, provided that the translator is appointed as soon as possible. A non-sworn translator may be used provided that he does not begin his task until he takes an oath to carry out his work honestly and honestly.
7- Submit a request directly, or through his agent or a member of his family, to the Public Prosecutor, to have him referred to a forensic doctor specializing in physical or psychological health to examine him at the expense of the public treasury.
The Public Prosecutor will appoint a doctor immediately upon submitting the request to him. The doctor must conduct a physical or psychological examination without the presence of any judicial officer, and submit his report to the Public Prosecutor within a period not exceeding twenty-four hours.
The Public Prosecutor shall inform the summoner of a copy of this report immediately upon receipt of it, and the detainee and any of those previously mentioned have the right to request physical or psychological medical examination whenever they deem it necessary.
The Public Prosecutor has no right to refuse to respond to a re-request for medical examination except in the case of abuse of the right by the suspect or complainant, and provided that his decision to refuse is sufficiently justified.
The judicial police must inform the suspect, before hearing his statements and immediately after detaining him, in flagrante delicto or in flagrante delicto, of his rights recorded above and record this procedure in the record, at the risk of its invalidity and the invalidity of subsequent procedures.