Federal Supreme Court Opinion on timescale for Presidency Council veto

Posted on | December 3, 2009

See here for the previous history of the 2009 amendment to the election law

On 3 December 2009, the Federal Supreme Court issued Opinion 76 of 2009 confirming that the members of Presidency Council have until Sunday 6 December 2009 to consider their exercise of veto.

The decision in the original Arabic can be found here on the Federal Supreme Court website. Our translation is below:

Number: 76/Federal/2009
Date: 3 December 2009


The CoR requested in its “urgent and immediate” petition number m.r./397, dated 2 December 2009 the opinion of the Federal Supreme Court in the following matter:

“The CoR approved [literally voted] in its 17th session on 23 November 2009 the First Amendment Bill to the Elections Law 16 of 2005 (after the first veto) [by VP Hashemi]. It [the approved Bill] was sent to the PC on 25 November 2009, and was received the same day. With reference to Art.138(Fifth)(A)&(B) of the Constitution, and in view of the date of reception by the PC coinciding two days before the beginning of the Holy Adha Eid,
Please give an opinion whether the days of the Adha Eid fall within [are counted within] the period mentioned in the aforementioned article of the Constitution.”

The petition was put for deliberation by the FSC in its session held on 3 December 2009, and the Court concluded as follows:


The ten day period mentioned in Art.138(Fifth)(A) is expressed without qualification [lit. in absolute terms], and since unqualified means unqualified if it is not qualified by a specific text, the period starts from the date of arrival of the aforementioned Bill and its reception by the PC on 25 November 2009, and runs [gets fully computed] until its end.
The Constitution of the Republic of Iraq does not include a [specific] disposition on the petition of the CoR about whether the days of the Adha Eid are included within the period of the aforementioned constitutional article.
The Civil Procedure Code 83 of 1969 is the [basic] reference in rules of procedure, as mentioned in its Art.1, and it is therefore necessary to be guided by its rules and applications in order to provide the solution to the constitutional query at hand in the petition.
Art.25(2) of the Civil Procedure Code stipulates that “in case the period ends during an official holiday, it is extended to the following working day”, and Iraqi courts have confirmed the practice according to this rule. Iraqi courts have also confirmed in all their judgments [the need] to consider the days within official holidays to be counted in that period if they coincide with it.

On the basis of which the FSC concludes unanimously that the period mentioned under Art.138(Fifth)(A) ends on Friday 4 December 2009, which is an official holiday, that the following days is Saturday 5 December 2009, also an official holiday, and that Sunday 6 December 2009 is therefore the day that ends the period mentioned in Art.138(Fifth)(A) of the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq.


President: Medhat Mahmud
Members: Ja‘far Naser Hussein, Faruq Muhammad al-Sami, Muhammad Sa’eb al-Naqshbandi, Akram Ahamd Baban, Akram Taha Muhammad, Hussein Abu al-Timman, Mikhail Qiss Shamshun Korkis, ‘Abbud Saleh al-Tamimi