Formal justice in Iraq (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1175)



What research has been conducted on the provision of formal justice in Iraq and in particular how pre and post- trial detention is managed? Are there any notable examples of where the Government of Iraq has a particularly good or less than satisfactory record on fulfilling international treaty obligations on rights for instance?


Iraq is a state party to various international conventions relevant to the formal justice system, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which contains important safeguards such as the right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention, the right to a fair trial, and the right not to be subjected to torture or ill treatment. Iraq also acceded to the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) in 2011. Many of the principles, guarantees, rights and procedures contained in these Conventions are also provided for in the Iraqi Constitution and the Iraqi Criminal Procedure Code.

The criminal justice system in Iraq, however, remains weak. There are a wide range of reports (largely conducted by international NGOs, UN organisations, and state agencies) that reveal a consistent failure to meet international and domestic legal obligations. Areas of particular concern are discussed.


Haider, H. Formal justice in Iraq (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1175). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 12 pp.

Formal justice in Iraq (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1175)

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