ADMINISTRATION FOR THE STATE OF IRAQ
8 March 2004
The people of
Iraq, striving to reclaim their freedom, which was usurped by the previous
tyrannical regime, rejecting violence and coercion in all their forms, and
particularly when used as instruments of governance, have determined that they
shall hereafter remain a free people governed under the rule of law.
affirming today their respect for international law, especially having been
amongst the founders of the United Nations, working to reclaim their legitimate
place among nations, have endeavored at the same time to preserve the unity of
their homeland in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity in order to draw the
features of the future new Iraq, and to establish the mechanisms aiming, amongst
other aims, to erase the effects of racist and sectarian policies and practices.
This Law is now
established to govern the affairs of Iraq during the transitional period until a
duly elected government, operating under a permanent and legitimate constitution
achieving full democracy, shall come into being.
CHAPTER ONE – FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
(A) This Law shall be called the “Law of Administration for the State of
Iraq for the Transitional Period,” and the phrase “this Law” wherever it appears
in this legislation shall mean the “Law of Administration for the State of Iraq
for the Transitional Period.”
(B) Gender-specific language shall apply equally to male and female.
(C) The Preamble to this Law is an integral part of this Law.
(A) The term “transitional period” shall refer
to the period beginning on 30 June 2004 and lasting until the formation of an
elected Iraqi government pursuant to a permanent constitution as set forth in
this Law, which in any case shall be no later than 31 December 2005, unless the
provisions of Article 61 are applied.
(B) The transitional period shall consist of two phases.
(1) The first phase shall begin with the formation of a fully sovereign
Iraqi Interim Government that takes power on 30 June 2004. This government
shall be constituted in accordance with a process of extensive deliberations and
consultations with cross-sections of the Iraqi people conducted by the Governing
Council and the Coalition Provisional Authority and possibly in consultation
with the United Nations. This government shall exercise authority in accordance
with this Law, including the fundamental principles and rights specified herein,
and with an annex that shall be agreed upon and issued before the beginning of
the transitional period and that shall be an integral part of this Law.
(2) The second phase shall begin after the formation of the Iraqi
Transitional Government, which will take place after elections for the National
Assembly have been held as stipulated in this Law, provided that, if possible,
these elections are not delayed beyond 31 December 2004, and, in any event,
beyond 31 January 2005. This second phase shall end upon the formation of an
Iraqi government pursuant to a permanent constitution.
(A) This Law is the Supreme Law of the land and shall be binding in all
parts of Iraq without exception. No amendment to this Law may be made except by
a three-fourths majority of the members of the National Assembly and the
unanimous approval of the Presidency Council. Likewise, no amendment may be
made that could abridge in any way the rights of the Iraqi people cited in
Chapter Two; extend the transitional period beyond the timeframe cited in this
Law; delay the holding of elections to a new assembly; reduce the powers of the
regions or governorates; or affect Islam, or any other religions or sects and
Any legal provision that conflicts with this Law is null and void.
(C) This Law shall cease to have effect upon the formation of an elected
government pursuant to a permanent constitution.
The system of
government in Iraq shall be republican, federal, democratic, and
pluralistic, and powers shall be shared between the federal government and the
regional governments, governorates, municipalities, and local administrations.
The federal system shall be based upon geographic and historical realities and
the separation of powers, and not upon origin, race, ethnicity, nationality, or
The Iraqi Armed
Forces shall be subject to the civilian control of the Iraqi Transitional
Government, in accordance with the contents of Chapters Three and Five of this
Transitional Government shall take effective steps to end the vestiges of the
oppressive acts of the previous regime arising from forced displacement,
deprivation of citizenship, expropriation of financial assets and property, and
dismissal from government employment for political, racial, or sectarian
A) Islam is the official religion of the State and is to be
considered a source of legislation. No law that contradicts the universally
agreed tenets of Islam, the principles of democracy, or the rights cited in
Chapter Two of this Law may be enacted during the transitional period. This Law
respects the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantees
the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and
(B) Iraq is a country of many nationalities, and the Arab people in Iraq
are an inseparable part of the Arab nation.
flag, anthem, and emblem of the State shall be fixed by law.
The Arabic language
and the Kurdish language are the two official languages of Iraq. The right of
Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turcoman,
Syriac, or Armenian, in government educational institutions in accordance with
educational guidelines, or in any other language in private educational
institutions, shall be guaranteed. The scope of the term “official language”
and the means of applying the provisions of this Article shall be defined by law
and shall include:
(1) Publication of the official gazette, in the two languages;
(2) Speech and expression in official settings, such as the National
Assembly, the Council of Ministers, courts, and official conferences, in either
of the two languages;
(3) Recognition and publication of official documents and correspondence
in the two languages;
(4) Opening schools that teach in the two languages, in accordance with
(5) Use of both languages in any other settings enjoined by the principle
of equality (such as bank notes, passports, and stamps);
(6) Use of both languages in the federal institutions and agencies in the
CHAPTER TWO – FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
As an expression of
the free will and sovereignty of the Iraqi people, their representatives shall
form the governmental structures of the State of Iraq. The Iraqi Transitional
Government and the governments of the regions, governorates, municipalities, and
local administrations shall respect the rights of the Iraqi people, including
those rights cited in this Chapter.
(A) Anyone who carries Iraqi nationality shall be deemed an Iraqi
citizen. His citizenship shall grant him all the rights and duties stipulated
in this Law and shall be the basis of his relation to the homeland and the
(B) No Iraqi may have his Iraqi citizenship withdrawn or be exiled unless
he is a naturalized citizen who, in his application for citizenship, as
established in a court of law, made material falsifications on the basis of
which citizenship was granted.
(C) Each Iraqi shall have the right to carry more than one citizenship.
Any Iraqi whose citizenship was withdrawn because he acquired another
citizenship shall be deemed an Iraqi.
(D) Any Iraqi whose Iraqi citizenship was withdrawn for political,
religious, racial, or sectarian reasons has the right to reclaim his Iraqi
(E) Decision Number 666 (1980) of the dissolved Revolutionary Command
Council is annuled, and anyone whose citizenship was withdrawn on the basis of
this decree shall be deemed an Iraqi.
(F) The National Assembly must issue laws pertaining to citizenship and
naturalization consistent with the provisions of this Law
(G) The Courts shall examine all disputes airising from the application of
the provisions relating to citizenship.
are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief,
nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law.
Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality,
religion, or origin is prohibited. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and
the security of his person. No one may be deprived of his life or liberty,
except in accordance with legal procedures. All are equal before the courts.
(A) Public and private freedoms shall be protected.
(B) The right of free expression shall be protected.
(C) The right of free peaceable assembly and the right to join
associations freely, as well as the right to form and join unions and political
parties freely, in accordance with the law, shall be guaranteed.
(D) Each Iraqi has the right of free movement in all parts of Iraq and the
right to travel abroad and return freely.
(E) Each Iraqi has the right to demonstrate and strike peaceably in
accordance with the law.
(F) Each Iraqi has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and
religious belief and practice. Coercion in such matters shall be prohibited.
(G) Slavery, the slave trade, forced labor, and involuntary servitude with
or without pay, shall be forbidden.
(H) Each Iraqi has the right to privacy.
The individual has
the right to security, education, health care, and social security. The Iraqi
State and its governmental units, including the federal government, the regions,
governorates, municipalities, and local administrations, within the limits of
their resources and with due regard to other vital needs, shall strive to
provide prosperity and employment opportunities to the people.
(A) No civil law shall have retroactive effect unless the law so
stipulates. There shall be neither a crime, nor punishment, except by law in
effect at the time the crime is committed.
(B) Police, investigators, or other governmental authorities may not
violate the sanctity of private residences, whether these authorities belong to
the federal or regional governments, governorates, municipalities, or local
administrations, unless a judge or investigating magistrate has issued a search
warrant in accordance with applicable law on the basis of information provided
by a sworn individual who knew that bearing false witness would render him
liable to punishment. Extreme exigent circumstances, as determined by a court
of competent jurisdiction, may justify a warrantless search, but such exigencies
shall be narrowly construed. In the event that a warrantless search is carried
out in the absence of an extreme exigent circumstance, the evidence so seized,
and any other evidence found derivatively from such search, shall be
inadmissible in connection with a criminal charge, unless the court determines
that the person who carried out the warrantless search believed reasonably and
in good faith that the search was in accordance with the law.
(C) No one may be unlawfully arrested or detained, and no one may be
detained by reason of political or religious beliefs.
(D) All persons shall be guaranteed the right to a fair and public hearing
by an independent and impartial tribunal, regardless of whether the proceeding
is civil or criminal. Notice of the proceeding and its legal basis must be
provided to the accused without delay.
(E) The accused is innocent until proven guilty pursuant to law, and he
likewise has the right to engage independent and competent counsel, to remain
silent in response to questions addressed to him with no compulsion to testify
for any reason, to participate in preparing his defense, and to summon and
examine witnesses or to ask the judge to do so. At the time a person is
arrested, he must be notified of these rights.
(F) The right to a fair, speedy, and open trial shall be guaranteed.
(G) Every person deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall have
the right of recourse to a court to determine the legality of his arrest or
detention without delay and to order his release if this occurred in an illegal
(H) After being found innocent of a charge, an accused may not be tried
once again on the same charge.
(I) Civilians may not be tried before a military tribunal. Special or
exceptional courts may not be established.
(J) Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited
under all circumstances, as shall be cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. No
confession made under compulsion, torture, or threat thereof shall be relied
upon or admitted into evidence for any reason in any proceeding, whether
criminal or otherwise.
(A) Public property is sacrosanct, and its protection is the duty of every
(B) The right to private property shall be protected, and no one may be
prevented from disposing of his property except within the limits of law. No
one shall be deprived of his property except by eminent domain, in circumstances
and in the manner set forth in law, and on condition that he is paid just and
(C) Each Iraqi citizen shall have the full and unfettered right to own
real property in all parts of Iraq without restriction.
It shall not be
permitted to possess, bear, buy, or sell arms except on licensure issued in
accordance with the law.
There shall be no taxation or fee except by law.
refugee who has been granted asylum pursuant to applicable law may be
surrendered or returned forcibly to the country from which he fled.
(A) Every Iraqi who fulfills the conditions stipulated in the electoral
law has the right to stand for election and cast his ballot secretly in free,
open, fair, competitive, and periodic elections.
(B) No Iraqi may be discriminated against for purposes of voting in
elections on the basis of gender, religion, sect, race, belief, ethnic origin,
language, wealth, or literacy.
Neither the Iraqi
Transitional Government nor the governments and administrations of the regions,
governorates, and municipalities, nor local administrations may interfere with
the right of the Iraqi people to develop the institutions of civil society,
whether in cooperation with international civil society organizations or
If, in the course
of his work, an official of any government office, whether in the federal
government, the regional governments, the governorate and municipal
administrations, or the local administrations, deprives an individual or a group
of the rights guaranteed by this Law or any other Iraqi laws in force, this
individual or group shall have the right to maintain a cause of action against
that employee to seek compensation for the damages caused by such deprivation,
to vindicate his rights, and to seek any other legal measure. If the court
decides that the official had acted with a sufficient degree of good faith and
in the belief that his actions were consistent with the law, then he is not
required to pay compensation.
The enumeration of
the foregoing rights must not be interpreted to mean that they are the only
rights enjoyed by the Iraqi people. They enjoy all the rights that befit a free
people possessed of their human dignity, including the rights stipulated in
international treaties and agreements, other instruments of international law
that Iraq has signed and to which it has acceded, and others that are deemed
binding upon it, and in the law of nations. Non-Iraqis within Iraq shall enjoy
all human rights not inconsistent with their status as non-citizens.
CHAPTER THREE – THE IRAQI TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
(A) The Iraqi Transitional Government, which is also referred to in this
Law as the federal government, shall consist of the National Assembly; the
Presidency Council; the Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister; and
the judicial authority.
(B) The three authorities, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be
separate and independent of one another.
(C) No official or employee of the Iraqi Transitional Government shall
enjoy immunity for criminal acts committed while in office.
Transitional Government shall have exclusive competence in the following
(A) Formulating foreign policy and diplomatic representation; negotiating,
signing, and ratifying international treaties and agreements; formulating
foreign economic and trade policy and sovereign debt policies;
(B) Formulating and executing national security policy, including creating
and maintaining armed forces to secure, protect, and guarantee the security of
the country’s borders and to defend Iraq;
(C) Formulating fiscal policy, issuing currency, regulating customs,
regulating commercial policy across regional and governorate boundaries in Iraq,
drawing up the national budget of the State, formulating monetary policy, and
establishing and administering a central bank;
(D) Regulating weights and measures and formulating a general policy on
(E) Managing the natural resources of Iraq, which
belongs to all the people of all the regions and governorates of Iraq, in
consultation with the governments of the regions and the administrations of the
governorates, and distributing the revenues resulting from their sale through
the national budget in an equitable manner proportional to the distribution of
population throughout the country, and with due regard for areas that were
unjustly deprived of these revenues by the previous regime, for dealing with
their situations in a positive way, for their needs, and for the degree of
development of the different areas of the country;
(F) Regulating Iraqi citizenship, immigration, and asylum; and
(G) Regulating telecommunications policy.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in this Law, the laws in force in Iraq on
30 June 2004 shall remain in effect unless and until rescinded or amended by the
Iraqi Transitional Government in accordance with this Law.
(B) Legislation issued by the federal legislative authority shall
supersede any other legislation issued by any other legislative authority in the
event that they contradict each other, except as provided in Article 54(B).
(C) The laws, regulations, orders, and directives issued by the Coalition
Provisional Authority pursuant to its authority under international law shall
remain in force until rescinded or amended by legislation duly enacted and
having the force of law.
(A) The Iraqi Armed Forces shall consist of the active and reserve units,
and elements thereof. The purpose of these forces is the defense of Iraq.
(B) Armed forces and militias not under the command structure of the Iraqi
Transitional Government are prohibited, except as provided by federal law.
(C) The Iraqi Armed Forces and its personnel, including military personnel
working in the Ministry of Defense or any offices or organizations subordinate
to it, may not stand for election to political office, campaign for candidates,
or participate in other activities forbidden by Ministry of Defense
regulations. This ban encompasses the activities of the personnel mentioned
above acting in their personal or official capacities. Nothing in this Article
shall infringe upon the right of these personnel to vote in elections.
(D) The Iraqi Intelligence Service shall collect information, assess
threats to national security, and advise the Iraqi government. This Service
shall be under civilian control, shall be subject to legislative oversight, and
shall operate pursuant to law and in accordance with recognized principles of
(E) The Iraqi Transitional Government shall respect and implement Iraq’s
international obligations regarding the non-proliferation, non-development,
non-production, and non-use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and
associated equipment, materiel, technologies, and delivery systems for use in
the development, manufacture, production, and use of such weapons.
(A) Members of the National Assembly; the Presidency Council; the Council
of Ministers, including the Prime Minister; and judges and justices of the
courts may not be appointed to any other position in or out of government. Any
member of the National Assembly who becomes a member of the Presidency Council
or Council of Ministers shall be deemed to have resigned his membership in the
(B) In no event may a member of the armed forces be a member of the
National Assembly, minister, Prime Minister, or member of the Presidency Council
unless the individual has resigned his commission or rank, or retired from duty
at least eighteen months prior to serving.
Upon the assumption
of full authority by the Iraqi Interim Government in accordance with Article
2(B)(1), above, the Coalition Provisional Authority shall be dissolved and the
work of the Governing Council shall come to an end.
CHAPTER FOUR – THE TRANSITIONAL LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY
During the transitional period, the State of Iraq shall have a
legislative authority known as the National Assembly. Its principal mission
shall be to legislate and exercise oversight over the work of the executive
Laws shall be issued in the name of the people of Iraq. Laws,
regulations, and directives related to them shall be published in the official
gazette and shall take effect as of the date of their publication, unless they
The National Assembly shall be elected in accordance with an
electoral law and a political parties law. The electoral law shall aim to
achieve the goal of having women constitute no less than one-quarter of the
members of the National Assembly and of having fair representation for all
communities in Iraq, including the Turcomans, ChaldoAssyrians, and others.
Elections for the National Assembly shall take place by
31 December 2004 if possible, and in any case no later than by 31 January 2005.
(A) The National Assembly shall consist of 275 members. It shall
enact a law dealing with the replacement of its members in the event of
resignation, removal, or death.
(B) A nominee to the National Assembly must fulfill the following
(1) He shall be an Iraqi no less than 30 years of age.
(2) He shall not have been a member of the dissolved Ba’ath Party with
the rank of Division Member or higher, unless exempted pursuant to the
applicable legal rules.
(3) If he was once a member of the dissolved Ba’ath Party with the rank
of Full Member, he shall be required to sign a document renouncing the Ba’ath
Party and disavowing all of his past links with it before becoming eligible to
be a candidate, as well as to swear that he no longer has any dealings or
connection with Ba’ath Party organizations. If it is established in court that
he lied or fabricated on this score, he shall lose his seat in the National
(4) He shall not have been a member of the former agencies of repression
and shall not have contributed to or participated in the persecution of
(5) He shall not have enriched himself in an illegitimate manner at the
expense of the homeland and public finance.
(6) He shall not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude
and shall have a good reputation.
(7) He shall have at least a secondary school diploma, or equivalent
(8) He shall not be a member of the armed forces at the time of his
(A) The National Assembly shall draw up its own internal procedures, and
it shall sit in public session unless circumstances require otherwise,
consistent with its internal procedures. The first session of the Assembly
shall be chaired by its oldest member.
(B) The National Assembly shall elect, from its own members, a president
and two deputy presidents of the National Assembly. The president of the
National Assembly shall be the individual who receives the greatest number of
votes for that office; the first deputy president the next highest; and the
second deputy president the next. The president of the National Assembly may
vote on an issue, but may not participate in the debates, unless he temporarily
steps out of the chair immediately prior to addressing the issue.
(C) A bill shall not be voted upon by the National Assembly unless it has
been read twice at a regular session of the Assembly, on condition that at least
two days intervene between the two readings, and after the bill has been placed
on the agenda of the session at least four days prior to the vote.
(A) Meetings of the National Assembly shall be public, and transcripts of
its meetings shall be recorded and published. The vote of every member of the
National Assembly shall be recorded and made public. Decisions in the National
Assembly shall be taken by simple majority unless this Law stipulates otherwise.
(B) The National Assembly must examine bills proposed by the Council of
Ministers, including budget bills.
(C) Only the Council of Ministers shall have the right to present a
proposed national budget. The National Assembly has the right to reallocate
proposed spending and to reduce the total amounts in the general budget. It
also has the right to propose an increase in the overall amount of expenditures
to the Council of Ministers if necessary.
(D) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to propose
bills, consistent with the internal procedures that drawn up by the Assembly.
(E) The Iraqi Armed Forces may not be dispatched outside Iraq even for the
purpose of defending against foreign aggression except with the approval of the
National Assembly and upon the request of the Presidency Council.
(F) Only the National Assembly shall have the power to ratify
international treaties and agreements.
(G) The oversight function performed by the National Assembly and its
committees shall include the right of interpellation of executive officials,
including members of the Presidency Council, the Council of Ministers, including
the Prime Minister, and any less senior official of the executive authority.
This shall encompass the right to investigate, request information, and issue
subpoenas for persons to appear before them.
Each member of the
National Assembly shall enjoy immunity for statements made while the Assembly is
in session, and the member may not be sued before the courts for such. A member
may not be placed under arrest during a session of the National Assembly, unless
the member is accused of a crime and the National Assembly agrees to lift his
immunity or if he is caught in flagrante delicto in the commission of a
CHAPTER FIVE – THE TRANSITIONAL EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY
authority during the transitional period shall consist of the Presidency
Council, the Council of Ministers, and its presiding Prime Minister.
(A) The National Assembly shall elect a President of the State and two
Deputies. They shall form the Presidency Council, the function of which will be
to represent the sovereignty of Iraq and oversee the higher affairs of the
country. The election of the Presidency Council shall take place on the basis
of a single list and by a two-thirds majority of the members’ votes. The
National Assembly has the power to remove any member of the Presidency Council
of the State for incompetence or lack of integrity by a three-fourths majority
of its members’ votes. In the event of a vacancy in the Presidency Council, the
National Assembly shall, by a vote of two-thirds of its members, elect a
replacement to fill the vacancy.
(B) It is a prerequisite for a member of the Presidency Council to fulfill
the same conditions as the members of the National Assembly, with the following
(1) He must be at least forty years of age.
(2) He must possess a good reputation, integrity, and rectitude.
(3) If he was a member of the dissolved Ba’ath Party, he must have left
the dissolved Party at least ten years before its fall.
(4) He must not have participated in repressing the intifada of
1991 or the Anfal campaign and must not have committed a crime against the Iraqi
(C) The Presidency Council shall take its decisions unanimously, and its
members may not deputize others as proxies.
Council may veto any legislation passed by the National Assembly, on condition
that this be done within fifteen days after the Presidency Council is notified
by the president of the National Assembly of the passage of such legislation.
In the event of a veto, the legislation shall be returned to the National
Assembly, which has the right to pass the legislation again by a two-thirds
majority not subject to veto within a period not to exceed thirty days.
(A) The Presidency Council shall name a Prime Minister unanimously, as
well as the members of the Council of Ministers upon the recommendation of the
Prime Minister. The Prime Minister and Council of Ministers shall then seek to
obtain a vote of confidence by simple majority from the National Assembly prior
to commencing their work as a government. The Presidency Council must agree on
a candidate for the post of Prime Minister within two weeks. In the event that
it fails to do so, the responsibility of naming the Prime Minister reverts to
the National Assembly. In that event, the National Assembly must confirm the
nomination by a two-thirds majority. If the Prime Minister is unable to
nominate his Council of Ministers within one month, the Presidency Council shall
name another Prime Minister.
(B) The qualifications for Prime Minister must be the same as for the
members of the Presidency Council except that his age must not be less than 35
years upon his taking office.
(A) The Council of Ministers shall, with the approval of the Presidency
Council, appoint representatives to negotiate the conclusion of international
treaties and agreements. The Presidency Council shall recommend passage of a
law by the National Assembly to ratify such treaties and agreements.
(B) The Presidency Council shall carry out the function of
commander-in-chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces only for ceremonial and protocol
purposes. It shall have no command authority. It shall have the right to be
briefed, to inquire, and to advise. Operationally, national command authority
on military matters shall flow from the Prime Minister to the Minister of
Defense to the military chain of command of the Iraqi Armed Forces.
(C) The Presidency Council shall, as more fully set forth in Chapter Six,
below, appoint, upon recommendation of the Higher Juridical Council, the
Presiding Judge and members of the Federal Supreme Court.
(D) The Council of Ministers shall appoint the Director-General of the
Iraqi National Intelligence Service, as well as officers of the Iraqi Armed
Forces at the rank of general or above. Such appointments shall be subject to
confirmation by the National Assembly by simple majority of those of its members
(A) The Prime Minister and the ministers shall be responsible before the
National Assembly, and this Assembly shall have the right to withdraw its
confidence either in the Prime Minister or in the ministers collectively or
individually. In the event that confidence in the Prime Minister is withdrawn,
the entire Council of Ministers shall be dissolved, and Article 40(B), below,
shall become operative.
(B) In the event of a vote of no confidence with respect to the entire
Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers shall remain
in office to carry out their functions for a period not to exceed thirty days,
until the formation of a new Council of Ministers, consistent with Article 38,
The Prime Minister
shall have day-to-day responsibility for the management of the government, and
he may dismiss ministers with the approval of an simple majority of the National
Assembly. The Presidency Council may, upon the recommendation of the
Commission on Public Integrity after the exercise of due process, dismiss the
Prime Minister or the ministers.
The Council of
Ministers shall draw up rules of procedure for its work and issue the
regulations and directives necessary to enforce the laws. It also has the
right to propose bills to the National Assembly. Each ministry has the right,
within its competence, to nominate deputy ministers, ambassadors, and other
employees of special grade. After the Council of Ministers approves these
nominations, they shall be submitted to the Presidency Council for
ratification. All decisions of the Council of Ministers shall be taken by
simple majority of those of its members present.
CHAPTER SIX – THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL AUTHORITY
(A) The judiciary is independent, and it shall in no way be administered
by the executive authority, including the Ministry of Justice. The judiciary
shall enjoy exclusive competence to determine the innocence or guilt of the
accused pursuant to law, without interference from the legislative or executive
(B) All judges sitting in their respective courts as of 1 July 2004 will
continue in office thereafter, unless removed from office pursuant to this Law.
(C) The National Assembly shall establish an independent and adequate
budget for the judiciary.
(D) Federal courts shall adjudicate matters that arise from the
application of federal laws. The establishment of these courts shall be within
the exclusive competence of the federal government. The establishment of these
courts in the regions shall be in consultation with the presidents of the
judicial councils in the regions, and priority in appointing or transferring
judges to these courts shall be given to judges resident in the region.
(A) A court called the Federal Supreme Court shall be constituted by law
(B) The jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court shall be as follows:
(1) Original and exclusive jurisdiction in legal proceedings between the
Iraqi Transitional Government and the regional governments, governorate and
municipal administrations, and local administrations.
(2) Original and exclusive jurisdiction, on the basis of a complaint from
a claimant or a referral from another court, to review claims that a law,
regulation, or directive issued by the federal or regional governments, the
governorate or municipal administrations, or local administrations is
inconsistent with this Law.
(3) Ordinary appellate jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court shall be
defined by federal law.
(C) Should the Federal Supreme Court rule that a challenged law,
regulation, directive, or measure is inconsistent with this Law, it shall be
deemed null and void.
(D) The Federal Supreme Court shall create and publish regulations
regarding the procedures required to bring claims and to permit attorneys to
practice before it. It shall take its decisions by simple majority, except
decisions with regard to the proceedings stipulated in Article 44(B)(1), which
must be by a two-thirds majority. Decisions shall be binding. The Court
shall have full powers to enforce its decisions, including the power to issue
citations for contempt of court and the measures that flow from this.
(E) The Federal Supreme Court shall consist of nine members. The Higher
Juridical Council shall, in consultation with the regional judicial councils,
initially nominate no less than eighteen and up to twenty-seven individuals to
fill the initial vacancies in the aforementioned Court. It will follow the same
procedure thereafter, nominating three members for each subsequent vacancy that
occurs by reason of death, resignation, or removal. The Presidency Council
shall appoint the members of this Court and name one of them as its Presiding
Judge. In the event an appointment is rejected, the Higher Juridical Council
shall nominate a new group of three candidates.
A Higher Juridical
Council shall be established and assume the role of the Council of Judges. The
Higher Juridical Council shall supervise the federal judiciary and shall
administer its budget. This Council shall be composed of the Presiding Judge of
the Federal Supreme Court, the presiding judge and deputy presiding judges of
the federal Court of Cassation, the presiding judges of the federal Courts of
Appeal, and the presiding judge and two deputy presiding judges of each regional
court of cassation. The Presiding Judge of the Federal Supreme Court shall
preside over the Higher Juridical Council. In his absence, the presiding judge
of the federal Court of Cassation shall preside over the Council.
(A) The federal judicial branch shall include existing courts outside the
Kurdistan region, including courts of first instance; the Central Criminal Court
of Iraq; Courts of Appeal; and the Court of Cassation, which shall be the court
of last resort except as provided in Article 44 of this Law. Additional federal
courts may be established by law. The appointment of judges for these courts
shall be made by the Higher Juridical Council. This Law preserves the
qualifications necessary for the appointment of judges, as defined by law.
(B) The decisions of regional and local courts, including the courts of
the Kurdistan region, shall be final, but shall be subject to review by the
federal judiciary if they conflict with this Law or any federal law. Procedures
for such review shall be defined by law.
No judge or member
of the Higher Juridical Council may be removed unless he is convicted of a crime
involving moral turpitude or corruption or suffers permanent incapacity.
Removal shall be on the recommendation of the Higher Juridical Council, by a
decision of the Council of Ministers, and with the approval of the Presidency
Council. Removal shall be executed immediately after issuance of this
approval. A judge who has been accused of such a crime as cited above shall be
suspended from his work in the judiciary until such time as the case arising
from what is cited in this Article is adjudicated. No judge may have his salary
reduced or suspended for any reason during his period of service.
CHAPTER SEVEN – THE SPECIAL TRIBUNAL AND NATIONAL COMMISSIONS
(A) The statute establishing the Iraqi Special Tribunal issued on 10
December 2003 is confirmed. That statute exclusively defines its jurisdiction
and procedures, notwithstanding the provisions of this Law.
(B) No other court shall have jurisdiction to examine cases within the
competence of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, except to the extent provided by its
(C) The judges of the Iraqi Special Tribunal shall be appointed in
accordance with the provisions of its founding statute.
(A) The establishment of national commissions such as the Commission on
Public Integrity, the Iraqi Property Claims Commission, and the Higher National
De-Ba’athification Commission is confirmed, as is the establishment of
commissions formed after this Law has gone into effect. The members of these
national commissions shall continue to serve after this Law has gone into
effect, taking into account the contents of Article 51, below.
(B) The method of appointment to the national commissions shall be in
accordance with law.
Transitional Government shall establish a National Commission for Human Rights
for the purpose of executing the commitments relative to the rights set forth in
this Law and to examine complaints pertaining to violations of human rights.
The Commission shall be established in accordance with the Paris Principles
issued by the United Nations on the responsibilities of national institutions.
This Commission shall include an Office of the Ombudsman to inquire into
complaints. This office shall have the power to investigate, on its own
initiative or on the basis of a complaint submitted to it, any allegation that
the conduct of the governmental authorities is arbitrary or contrary to law.
No member of the
Iraqi Special Tribunal or of any commission established by the federal
government may be employed in any other capacity in or out of government. This
prohibition is valid without limitation, whether it be within the executive,
legislative, or judicial authority of the Iraqi Transitional Government.
Members of the Special Tribunal may, however, suspend their employment in other
agencies while they serve on the aforementioned Tribunal.
CHAPTER EIGHT – REGIONS, GOVERNORATES, AND MUNICIPALITIES
The design of the
federal system in Iraq shall be established in such a way as to prevent the
concentration of power in the federal government that allowed the continuation
of decades of tyranny and oppression under the previous regime. This system
shall encourage the exercise of local authority by local officials in every
region and governorate, thereby creating a united Iraq in which every citizen
actively participates in governmental affairs, secure in his rights and free of
(A) The Kurdistan Regional Government is recognized as the official
government of the territories that were administered by the that government on
19 March 2003 in the governorates of Dohuk, Arbil, Sulaimaniya, Kirkuk, Diyala
and Neneveh. The term “Kurdistan Regional Government” shall refer to the
Kurdistan National Assembly, the Kurdistan Council of Ministers, and the
regional judicial authority in the Kurdistan region.
(B) The boundaries of the eighteen governorates shall remain without
change during the transitional period.
(C) Any group of no more than three governorates outside the Kurdistan
region, with the exception of Baghdad and Kirkuk, shall have the right to form
regions from amongst themselves. The mechanisms for forming such regions may be
proposed by the Iraqi Interim Government, and shall be presented and considered
by the elected National Assembly for enactment into law. In addition to being
approved by the National Assembly, any legislation proposing the formation of a
particular region must be approved in a referendum of the people of the relevant
(D) This Law shall guarantee the administrative, cultural, and political
rights of the Turcomans, ChaldoAssyrians, and all other citizens.
(A) The Kurdistan Regional Government shall continue to perform its
current functions throughout the transitional period, except with regard to
those issues which fall within the exclusive competence of the federal
government as specified in this Law. Financing for these functions shall come
from the federal government, consistent with current practice and in accordance
with Article 25(E) of this Law. The Kurdistan Regional Government shall retain
regional control over police forces and internal security, and it will have the
right to impose taxes and fees within the Kurdistan region.
(B) With regard to the application of federal laws in the Kurdistan
region, the Kurdistan National Assembly shall be permitted to amend the
application of any such law within the Kurdistan region, but only to the extent
that this relates to matters that are not within the provisions of Articles 25
and 43(D) of this Law and that fall within the exclusive competence of the
(A) Each governorate shall have the right to form a Governorate Council,
name a Governor, and form municipal and local councils. No member of any
regional government, governor, or member of any governorate, municipal, or local
council may be dismissed by the federal government or any official thereof,
except upon conviction of a crime by a court of competent jurisdiction as
provided by law. No regional government may dismiss a Governor or member or
members of any governorate, municipal, or local council. No Governor or member
of any Governorate, municipal, or local council shall be subject to the control
of the federal government except to the extent that the matter relates to the
competences set forth in Article 25 and 43(D), above.
(B) Each Governor and member of each Governorate Council who holds office
as of 1 July 2004, in accordance with the law on local government that shall be
issued, shall remain in place until such time as free, direct, and full
elections, conducted pursuant to law, are held, or, unless, prior to that time,
he voluntarily gives up his position, is removed upon his conviction for a crime
involving moral turpitude or related to corruption, or upon being stricken with
permanent incapacity, or is dismissed in accordance with the law cited above.
When a governor, mayor, or member of a council is dismissed, the relevant
council may receive applications from any eligible resident of the governorate
to fill the position. Eligibility requirements shall be the same as those set
forth in Article 31 for membership in the National Assembly. The new candidate
must receive a majority vote of the council to assume the vacant seat.
(A) The Governorate Councils shall assist the federal government in the
coordination of federal ministry operations within the governorate, including
the review of annual ministry plans and budgets with regard to activities in the
governorate. Governorate Councils shall be funded from the general budget of
the State, and these Councils shall also have the authority to increase their
revenues independently by imposing taxes and fees; to organize the operations of
the Governorate administration; to initiate and implement province-level
projects alone or in partnership with international, and non-governmental
organizations; and to conduct other activities insofar as is consistent with
(B) The Qada’ and Nahiya councils and other relevant
councils shall assist in the performance of federal responsibilities and the
delivery of public services by reviewing local ministry plans in the
afore-mentioned places; ensuring that they respond properly to local needs and
interests; identifying local budgetary requirements through the national
budgeting procedures; and collecting and retaining local revenues, taxes, and
fees; organizing the operations of the local administration; initiating and
implementing local projects alone or in conjunction with international, and
non-governmental organizations; and conducting other activities consistent with
(C) Where practicable, the federal government shall take measures to
devolve additional functions to local, governorate, and regional
administrations, in a methodical way. Regional units and governorate
administrations, including the Kurdistan Regional Government, shall be organized
on the basis of the principle of de-centralization and the devolution of
authorities to municipal and local governments.
(A) All authorities not exclusively reserved to the Iraqi Transitional
Government may be exercised by the regional governments and governorates as soon
as possible following the establishment of appropriate governmental
(B) Elections for governorate councils throughout Iraq and for the
Kurdistan National Assembly shall be held at the same time as the elections for
the National Assembly, no later than 31 January 2005.
(A) The Iraqi Transitional Government, and especially the Iraqi Property
Claims Commission and other relevant bodies, shall act expeditiously to take
measures to remedy the injustice caused by the previous regime’s practices in
altering the demographic character of certain regions, including Kirkuk, by
deporting and expelling individuals from their places of residence, forcing
migration in and out of the region, settling individuals alien to the region,
depriving the inhabitants of work, and correcting nationality. To remedy this
injustice, the Iraqi Transitional Government shall take the following steps:
(1) With regard to residents who were deported, expelled, or who
emigrated; it shall, in accordance with the statute of the Iraqi Property Claims
Commission and other measures within the law, within a reasonable period of
time, restore the residents to their homes and property, or, where this is
unfeasible, shall provide just compensation.
(2) With regard to the individuals newly introduced to specific regions
and territories, it shall act in accordance with Article 10 of the Iraqi
Property Claims Commission statute to ensure that such individuals may be
resettled, may receive compensation from the state, may receive new land from
the state near their residence in the governorate from which they came, or may
receive compensation for the cost of moving to such areas.
(3) With regard to persons deprived of employment or other means of
support in order to force migration out of their regions and territories, it
shall promote new employment opportunities in the regions and territories.
(4) With regard to nationality correction, it shall repeal all relevant
decrees and shall permit affected persons the right to determine their own
national identity and ethnic affiliation free from coercion and duress.
(B) The previous regime also manipulated and changed administrative
boundaries for political ends. The Presidency Council of the Iraqi Transitional
Government shall make recommendations to the National Assembly on remedying
these unjust changes in the permanent constitution. In the event the Presidency
Council is unable to agree unanimously on a set of recommendations, it shall
unanimously appoint a neutral arbitrator to examine the issue and make
recommendations. In the event the Presidency Council is unable to agree on an
arbitrator, it shall request the Secretary General of the United Nations to
appoint a distinguished international person to be the arbitrator.
(C) The permanent resolution of disputed territories, including Kirkuk,
shall be deferred until after these measures are completed, a fair and
transparent census has been conducted and the permanent constitution has been
ratified This resolution shall be consistent with the principle of justice,
taking into account the will of the people of those territories.
CHAPTER NINE –
THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD
The permanent constitution shall contain guarantees to ensure
that the Iraqi Armed Forces are never again used to terrorize or oppress the
people of Iraq.
Consistent with Iraq’s status as a sovereign state, and with its
desire to join other nations in helping to maintain peace and security and fight
terrorism during the transitional period, the Iraqi Armed Forces will be a
principal partner in the multi-national force operating in Iraq under unified
command pursuant to the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution
1511 (2003) and any subsequent relevant resolutions. This arrangement shall
last until the ratification of a permanent constitution and the election of a
new government pursuant to that new constitution.
Upon its assumption of authority, and consistent with Iraq’s
status as a sovereign state, the elected Iraqi Transitional Government shall
have the authority to conclude binding international agreements regarding the
activities of the multi-national force operating in Iraq under unified command
pursuant to the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1511 (2003),
and any subsequent relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Nothing in this Law shall affect rights and obligations under these agreements,
or under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1511 (2003), and any
subsequent relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, which will
govern the multi-national force’s activities pending the entry into force of
Assembly shall write a draft of the permanent constitution of Iraq. This
Assembly shall carry out this responsibility in part by encouraging debate on
the constitution through regular general public meetings in all parts of Iraq
and through the media, and receiving proposals from the citizens of Iraq as it
writes the constitution.
(A) The National Assembly shall write the draft of the permanent
constitution by no later than 15 August 2005.
(B) The draft permanent constitution shall be presented to the Iraqi
people for approval in a general referendum to be held no later than 15 October
2005. In the period leading up to the referendum, the draft constitution shall
be published and widely distributed to encourage a public debate about it among
(C) The general referendum will be successful and the draft constitution
ratified if a majority of the voters in Iraq approve and if two-thirds of the
voters in three or more governorates do not reject it.
(D) If the permanent constitution is approved in the referendum, elections
for a permanent government shall be held no later than 15 December 2005 and the
new government shall assume office no later than 31 December 2005.
(E) If the referendum rejects the draft permanent constitution, the
National Assembly shall be dissolved. Elections for a new National Assembly
shall be held no later than 15 December 2005. The new National Assembly and new
Iraqi Transitional Government shall then assume office no later than 31 December
2005, and shall continue to operate under this Law, except that the final
deadlines for preparing a new draft may be changed to make it possible to draft
a permanent constitution within a period not to exceed one year. The new
National Assembly shall be entrusted with writing another draft permanent
(F) If necessary, the president of the National Assembly, with the
agreement of a majority of the members’ votes, may certify to the Presidency
Council no later than 1 August 2005 that there is a need for additional time to
complete the writing of the draft constitution. The Presidency Council shall
then extend the deadline for writing the draft constitution for only six
months. This deadline may not be extended again.
(G) If the National Assembly does not complete writing the draft permanent
constitution by 15 August 2005 and does not request extension of the deadline in
Article 61(D) above, the provisions of Article 61(E), above, shall be applied.
shall remain in effect until the permanent constitution is issued and the new
Iraqi government is formed in accordance with it.