The Iraqi High Criminal Court: Judicial Lessons and Necessary Steps


  • Dr. Rebaz Rasul Khdir Department of Law/ College of Humanities/ University of Raparin



Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraqi High Criminal Court, , Ba‘athist Regime, , grave crimes, , judicial reform, , national court, , International Criminal Court.


The Coalition Provisional Authority authorized the Iraqi Governing Council in 2003 to establish a specific criminal tribunal to prosecute the grave crimes of the Ba‘athist Regime from 1968 to 2003. The Iraqi Governing Council established the body based on the structural and statutory model of the international and hybrid courts and named it the Iraqi Special Tribunal; however, after the elections of 2005, the statute of the tribunal was revised and the name of the tribunal was changed to the Iraqi High Criminal Court. The Court was initially intended to be internationalized but its practice remained within the domestic characteristics and never acted hybrid. The Court was a distinctive judicial experience for Iraq in terms of nature, legitimacy, composition, applicable law, eligibility of its judicial and administrative staff, fair trial and due process rights and capital punishment. Therefore, it is a necessity for Iraq to reconsider the theoretical and practical framework of the Court as judicial lessons in its criminal justice reform and make them bases to strengthen its future judicial power. The author argues that Iraq should, on such an experience, initiate criminal justice reform through accession to the international instruments and international criminal institutions or the issuance of its own criminal legislation for a much effective punitive authority of its national courts to prevent or limit the threat of the perpetration of grave crimes.



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How to Cite

Dr. Rebaz Rasul Khdir. (2024). The Iraqi High Criminal Court: Judicial Lessons and Necessary Steps . Zanco Journal of Law and Politics گۆڤاری زانكۆ بۆ یاساورامیاری, 22(36), 128–156.