Obstacles, Limitations and Challenges Hindering the Progress of the Judicial System in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Year: 2022
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The Kurdistan Center for International Law (KCIL) in cooperation with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Middle East and North Africa Rule of Law Programme has conducted this research as a constructive initiative which attempts to contribute towards the strengthening of the KRI’s judicial system. This research first examines the obstacles, limitations and challenges which hinder the region’s judicial system and then provides solutions to overcome these problems.

Understanding the challenges and problems facing the KRI’s judicial system requires a thorough evaluation of international legal standards, which are based on the principles of the rule of law and its indicators. In light of these indicators and principles, this research attempts to provide technical and legal recommendations.

There have been many political, legal and social upheavals in the KRI throughout its modern history, that affected the legal and administrative spectrum. The judiciary can play a very important role in resolving this issue. However, the judiciary itself faces various obstacles, which has reduced its efficiency. As a result, the KRI judiciary needs to carry out fundamental structural and legal reforms in various administrative, legal and human resource departments.

In order to arrive at practical solutions which can strengthen the KRI’s judicial system, this study will first address the history and the evolution of the judicial system in the KRI. Then, it will outline the protection of fundamental human rights based on the principles and criteria of the rule of law. Following this, laws and regulations that are directly related to the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as, grounds for the violation of these rights will be examined. While reviewing these laws, case studies where fundamental freedoms have been violated are identified and in the following sections, practical solutions are presented.

The judiciary in any legal system exercises certain duties within the framework provided by the principle of the separation of powers and the rule of law. Certain tasks are considered the responsibility of the judiciary alone and are separate from governing powers’ oversight. The same applies to the KRI’s judiciary. This distinction is essential in order to maintain social solidarity, protect fundamental human rights and fundamental freedoms, fight corruption and crime, ensure legal relations between citizens, monitor government and citizens’ actions, achieve justice and detect political deterrence in the KRI. Reforming the KRI’s judicial system can be achieved by setting up a working group with the KRI Judicial Council to implement these proposals, as thoroughly as possible and in a timely manner. This has the potential to play a crucial role in promoting a capable, effective and efficient judiciary.