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Rule of Law Initiative's Iraq Legal Development Program Wraps Up Judicial Reform Program


The Rule of Law Initiative's Iraq Legal Development Program (ILDP) recently wrapped up a major judicial reform program in Iraq. Two of the elements of the project were to carry out a Judicial Reform Index in Iraq, and to provide support for the formation of a new, independent association for judges.

Judicial Reform Index

The Rule of Law Initiative's judicial work in Iraq included the completion of both a Judicial Reform Index (JRI) for Iraq, and a Kurdistan Supplement. Two Iraqi assessors conducted a review of the relevant legal framework and available statistical data on Iraqi courts and conducted a total of 69 interviews in Iraq. The interviewees included judges, lawyers, court staff, NGO personnel and other relevant judicial sector actors. After the Iraqi assessors completed a draft of both the Iraq JRI and the Kurdistan Supplement, the Rule of Law Initiative subjected the findings to peer review. The peer review process allowed interviewees, Iraqi justice sector leaders and other stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the draft JRI.

Iraqi Judiciary Association

In helping to establish the Iraqi Judiciary Association (IJA), the Rule of Law Initiative organized two major events. The first was a workshop and study tour in Slovenia for seven Iraqi judges and prosecutors who helped found the IJA. The main objective of the event was to assist the IJA in determining its short-term objectives and to enhance its existing work plan to meet those objectives. The last day of the workshop included a planning session to develop a "General Action Plan" to help the IJA reach its short-term development objectives.

The follow-up to this event, a strategic planning session, was held in Manama, Bahrain in November. There, 11 judges from the IJA, including board members, gathered to devise a strategic plan for the organization. The judges discussed the association's vision, mission, and objectives, building upon the General Action Plan they had created in Slovenia. They used a SMART model (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Relevant and Time bound) to ensure their objectives were practical. Building upon this work, the group then formulated their short and long term strategic plans.

For more information, please contact Iraq Program Manager Jenna Mace, at <>.