Iraq - Continuous interference of the executive in the judiciary

GICJ sent an appeal to the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and to the Office of the High Commissioner urging them to take the necessary measures to protect lawyers working in Iraq and pressure the authorities to release those who have been detained for defending suspects before Iraqi courts.

This appeal came after serious interferences by the authorities in the Iraqi judicial system, and the continuous threats and intimidations to which are subject lawyers in Iraq.

The latest example of such interferences by the executive into the judiciary occurred on 5 October 2012, when the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, attended the 79th anniversary of the Iraqi Bar Association. During that event, Mr. Al-Maliki expressed direct and very clear threats to lawyers who, as it is their role, perform their profession by defending detainees.

In his speech, the Prime Minister congratulated those lawyers who refuse to represent detainees that he labelled as terrorists, murderers and criminals, and expressed his sadness to see some lawyers standing publicly in courts to defend detainees that he described as murderers and criminals.

During recent years, GICJ has been in very close contact with lawyers as well as with judges in the Republic of Iraq. These lawyers and judges have provided credible and reliable information regarding the systematic, ongoing and continuous governmental interferences with the functions of the judicial system. They were and continue to be subjected to intimidations and threats by the authorities, and in particular by the office of the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister itself.

GICJ Newsletter

Register a violation with GICJ