Iraq and the rule of law

For many years, the ICJ has been concerned with the human rights situation in Iraq. Long before the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, it brought the case of Iraq before the United Nations.

In February 1991, the United Nations Human Rights Commission finally appointed a Special Rapporteur to look into the situation of human rights in Iraq, a step which the ICJ had been advocating for several years.

The growing departure from one-party state systems in Africa, ” Asia, Latin America and the Middle-East necessitates a closer analysis of the Iraqi model. If the Iraqi human rights crisis is to be avoided, it is imperative to specify the structural deficiencies in the Iraqi system itself, not only its human rights practices.

The deficiencies of such systems have to be clearly identified. This enhances the comprehension of appropriate adjustments in comparable legal systems. Such a process is crucial for the modification of these systems according to the norms of international law.

Towards this end, the ICJ began two years ago to study the Iraqi legal system. The aim of this study is to help identify the structural defects in such a system of justice.

Thus, the ICJ has reviewed Iraqi laws, using the Arabic version of the Iraqi Official Gazette as the main source of reference. As this Gazette is updated in Switzerland until 1991, the study claims to be comprehensive until this year only. Laws which are enacted after 1991 are not thoroughly examined in this study.

On 26 November 1993, the ICJ sent an earlier draft of this study to the Iraqi government for comments. On 17 January 1994, the ICJ received the comments of the Iraqi government. We appreciate this cooperation. The ICJ took some of the comments into account. The Iraqi government’s comments are reproduced in the Annex.

As an organization dedicated to the promotion of the Rule of Law and the legal protection of human rights, the ICJ hopes that such an analysis of the legal structure of Iraq will assist in modifying the inadequacies of this system and others with similar structures.

Iraq-rule of law-thematic report-1994-eng (full text in English, PDF)

Iraq-rule of law-thematic report-1994-ara (full text in Arabic, PDF)


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