The sad events in Beirut this week have shocked the world resulting as they have done in the deaths of at least 135 people, over 5000 injured and up to 250,000 now homeless after ammonium nitrate which had been stored in the port for over six years caused a massive explosion. As is now emerging it began with a legal story – the arrest of an indebted Russian leased cargo ship which had made an unscheduled stop at the port. It is being reported that customs officials had repeated sought clarification from the courts on what they should do with the seized cargo and had made suggestions including handing it over to the army or selling it to a private company.
It is understood the Cabinet have now ordered the house arrest of the officials who were responsible for storing the material so there will undoubtedly also be further legal developments in this case including litigation, possibly new laws and regulations, and even potentially changes of legal procedure.
We began our analysis yesterday on Lexis Middle East with an article by Michael Kortbawi of BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP on the potential compensation sources https://www.lexismiddleeast.com/eJournal/2020-08-05_22/
In the coming months as matters are unearthed and authorities in Lebanon and potentially elsewhere in the region too, learn the lessons from this event and make legal changes, we will continue to follow this story and provide further analysis.