Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stuart Cullen & William H. McDonald
Situated in the Middle East, bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Syria, the Lebanese Republic has an area of 10,400 square kilometers and a population of 3.7 million people (July 2003 estimate). The official language is Arabic, although English and French are also spoken widely. The nation is undergoing substantial political, social, and physical reconstruction following 16 years of violent internal conflict that ended in 1991. Historically, French traditions influenced the development of the police and criminal justice system. The first national police, the Lebanese Gendarmerie, was created in 1861 on a military police model. It has been replaced by the Internal Security Forces (ISF), the nation's primary police agency. Although still organized along military lines, the ISF has evolved into an armed, increasingly civilian, service-oriented professional police force. The current strength is 15,000 personnel, with a ratio of 1 police officer for every 249 citizens. The head ...