The Global Justice Project: Iraq is an arm of the University of Utah: SJ Quinney College of Law funded by two grants from the US State Department. GJPI’s activities are specifically directed at the following areas:
- Judicial Independence: The judiciary was declared independent from the executive branch in 2003. Its independence was later confirmed in the 2005 Constitution, which sets forth basic principles governing the judiciary. Following a request from the Higher Judicial Council for comparative and substantive analysis of the criminal law and procedure, GJPI are faciliating a review of the Criminal Procedure Code No. 23 of 1971.
- Constitutional Review: On 15 October 2005, the people of Iraq ratified the country’s first constitution following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. A required review and revision of the Constitution is underway, but not complete, and at least 60 different pieces of implementing legislation called for in the Constitution have yet to be passed by the Iraqi Council of Representatives. The tasks include the establishment of an upper house and the legal framework governing the judiciary. Implementing legislation is needed to clarify the judiciary’s authorities and put additional safeguards in place to ensure that Iraq has a strong, fair court system that is free from undue influence by the executive or legislative branches or by outside forces. Expert comparative analysis may assist.
- Anti-Corruption: There are three anti-corruption bodies in Iraq, the Board of Supreme Audit, the Commission of Integrity, and the Inspectors General. Draft legislation on anti-corruption and on the powers and scope of these bodies is before Parliament. There is scope for useful analysis of that draft legislation, best and worst practice around the world, and public outreach and capacity building.
- Elections: In 2009 and 2010 there are local elections, Kurdish regional elections, national elections and possibly the SOFA referendum and a constitutional review referendum. Electoral laws, quotas, political party and party funding laws are all worthy of analysis.
- Legislative Process System: The complexity of the drafting, reviewing, voting, and passing of legislation may be eased by the introduction of technology as an enabler to the legislative process. Comparative analysis of systems used elsewhere in the region and internationally may also assist.