Special Courts and Tribunals

Posted on | November 29, 2009

The normal Federal Judiciary is described here. This post lists the courts and tribunals outside the administration of the Higher Judicial Council.

Article 95 of the Constitution states that:
The establishment of special or extraordinary courts is prohibited.

Article 15(I) of the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) had stated:
Civilians may not be tried before a military tribunal. Special or exceptional courts may not be established

A number of courts existed outside the normal federal court system prior to 2003. However all Revolutionary, National or Security courts were dissolved by CPA Order 2, signed on 23 May 2003.

The Iraqi High Tribunal was initially called the Iraqi Special Tribunal. The name change which came along with other changes in Law No. 10 of 2005 appears to have been driven by constitutional requirements.

The Federal Supreme Court is primarily a constitutional court operating under Law No. 30 of 2005 and Articles 92 to 94 of the 2005 Constitution.

One of the Shura Council’s functions is the operation of an Administrative Court. Appeals from the Administrative Court go to the Federal Supreme Court.

The Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Defence each operate their own system of criminal justice with a trial and cassation level.

The Ministry of Interior Courts have jurisdiction over crimes stipulated in the Internal Security forces Penal Law No. 14 of 2008, the Penal Code No. 111 of 1969 or other penal laws if a policeman commits the crime provided that the victim is not a civilian. [Article 25 of Internal Security Forces Criminal Procedure Law No. 17 of 2008].

A number of investigators work for the Commission of Integrity but it is not itself a court. When it has concluded its investigation, it can pass a case to an investigative judge, whereupon the Commission becomes a party to the case. If an investigative judge commences a corruption case, he must inform the Commission which may take over conduct of the investigation. Further information on tackling corruption can be found on our anti-corruption page.

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI), established by CPA Order 13 (subsequently amended by CPA Order 100) operates within the federal system administered by the Higher Judicial Council. However it is different from the other criminal courts in that it has a national jurisdiction covering all crimes but focused upon terrorism, organised crime and government corruption.