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Crime of Aggression

Crimes Against Humanity

Genocide

War Crimes



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Iraq Flag  Republic of Iraq



Domestic Legislation | Judicial Decisions | Articles and Reports | Resources and Links





Domestic legislation for serious crimes under international law

Crimes

Crime of Aggression

No specific provision found.

References to "hostile acts against Iraq that may lead to the outbreak of war" can be found in Article 158 of the Iraqi Penal Code of 1969 (Full text available under the "Resources and Links" section below). Also, Article 14 of the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal -with a limited ratione materiae and ratione temporis jurisdiction- punishes "[T]he abuse of position and the pursuit of policies that may lead to the threat of war or the use of the armed forces of Iraq against an Arab country...". Article 14, paragraph 3, of the Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court, has a similar wording.

[Editor's Note: The Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal was issued by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council on 10 December 2003. L. Paul Bremmer III, Provisional Coalition Administrator of Iraq, signed the statute into law on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Following the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly election on 30 January 2005, the Iraqi Transitional Government was established on 3 May 2005. On 11 August 2005, the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly adopted a new Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which was renamed as the Iraqi High Criminal Court].

Crimes Against Humanity

Criminal Code: No Provision

Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court:

Crimes against humanity are defined in Article 12 of the Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court, with jurisdiction, according to Article 1 thereof, "over every natural person, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi resident of Iraq, accused of committing any of the crimes listed in Articles 11 [genocide], 12 [crimes against humanity], 13 [war crimes] and 14 [violations of Iraqi laws] of this law, committed during the period from 17 July 1968 to 1 May 2003..."

Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal:

Crimes against humanity were also defined in Article 12 of the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, whose jurisdiction was limited to crimes against humanity "committed since July 17, 1968 and up until and including May 1, 2003, in the territory of the Republic of Iraq or elsewhere, including crimes committed in connection with Iraq's wars against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Kuwait."

* * *

The Republic of Iraq acceded to the Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance on 23 November 2010. Article 5 of the said Convention stipulates:
    "The widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against humanity as defined in applicable international law and shall attract the consequences provided for under such applicable international law."
Regarding the domestic implementation of the Convention beyond the limited jurisdiction provided for under the Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court, the following statements were made in September 2015 by the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Iraqi delegation before the Committee on Enforced Disappearances:

To the question of Mr Rainer Huhle, Committee Member and Country Rapporteur for Iraq, on the status of the draft Law on Enforced Disappearances, the Iraqi delegation replied that:
    "[C]ertain procedures had to be followed before it could enter into force. Once the law had been approved by the Parliament after three readings, it was presented to the President for his signature. It was then forwarded to the Ministry of Justice and published in the official gazette. After 2003, Iraq had become a State committed to safeguarding human rights in line with international standards. The bill was currently under the review of the Ministry of Human Rights and the Ministry of Justice, with the view of ensuring that Iraq complied with the Convention to the fullest degree possible. Its provisions were presently being considered. If it entered into force, it could be abolished or amended only through another act. Judges in Iraqi courts had to take into consideration provisions of the Convention. Judges preferred to refer to national laws rather than international conventions. When a convention entered into force in Iraq, it had to be approved by a national law, which was a precondition for its application. The Convention had entered the Iraqi legislation through a domestic act, which was why it was not distinguished from other domestic laws. The Iraqi legal system was based on the Latin law."
    [See: Committee on Enforced Disappearances reviews report of Iraq. United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissionar. [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link]]

Genocide

Criminal Code: No Provision

Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court:

Genocide is defined in Article 11 of the Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court, with jurisdiction, according to Article 1 thereof, "over every natural person, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi resident of Iraq, accused of committing any of the crimes listed in Articles 11 [genocide], 12 [crimes against humanity], 13 [war crimes] and 14 [violations of Iraqi laws] of this law, committed during the period from 17 July 1968 to 1 May 2003..."

Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal:

Genocide was also defined in Article 11 of the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, whose jurisdiction is limited to acts of genocide "committed since July 17, 1968 and up until and including May 1, 2003, in the territory of the Republic of Iraq or elsewhere, including crimes committed in connection with Iraq's wars against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Kuwait."

War Crimes

Criminal Code: No Provision

Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court:

War crimes are defined in Article 13 of the Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court, with jurisdiction, according to Article 1 thereof, "over every natural person, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi resident of Iraq, accused of committing any of the crimes listed in Articles 11 [genocide], 12 [crimes against humanity], 13 [war crimes] and 14 [violations of Iraqi laws] of this law, committed during the period from 17 July 1968 to 1 May 2003..."

Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal:

War crimes were also defined in Article 13 of the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, whose jurisdiction is limited to war crimes "committed since July 17, 1968 and up until and including May 1, 2003, in the territory of the Republic of Iraq or elsewhere, including crimes committed in connection with Iraq's wars against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Kuwait."

Related documents:

  • Law No. 20 Compensating the Victims of Military Operations, Military Mistakes and Terrorist Actions (2009). [Document not found. Please contact intlaw@derechos.org with any information concerning the document or a possible source.]

  • War in Iraq and Global State of Exception
    Equipo Nizkor. [ENG/SPA].

    Jurisdiction

    ➤ The jurisdictional regime of the Iraqi Criminal Code [Act No. III (1969)] is provided for under Articles 2 to 15 thereof.

    "Article 13 of the Penal Code, provides that, other than situations in which Iraqi law is applicable in accordance with territorial or specific jurisdiction, universal jurisdiction applies to any person present in Iraq, regardless of nationality, who has committed or has been an accessory to a crime abroad of sabotage or disruption of international means of communication and transportation, or of trafficking in women, children, slaves or drugs. The scope of universal jurisdiction is restricted to the aforementioned offences and does not extend to any other crimes." [Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations. Full text of document available at: http://www.derechos.org/intlaw/doc/irquj.html]

    See:

  • Information provided by Iraq on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction in accordance with General Assembly resolution 64/117.
    The scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction (Agenda item 86), General Assembly of the United Nations, Sixth Committee (Legal), sixty-fifth session (4 October to 11 November 2010).
    [General Assembly resolution 64/117 (A/RES/64/117) of 15 January 2010, "[R]equests the Secretary-General to invite Member States to submit, before 30 April 2010, information and observations on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, including information on the relevant applicable international treaties, their domestic legal rules and judicial practice, and to prepare and submit to the General Assembly, at its sixty-fifth session, a report based on such information and observations." This document contains the reply provided by Iraq to the said request.]

    ➤ Iraqi High Criminal Court:

    The Iraqi High Criminal Court has jurisdiction, according to Article 1, paragraph 2, of its Statute:
      "[O]ver every natural person, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi resident of Iraq, accused of committing any of the crimes listed in Articles 11 [genocide], 12 [crimes against humanity], 13 [war crimes] and 14 [violations of Iraqi laws] of this law, committed during the period from 17 July 1968 to 1 May 2003, in the Republic of Iraq or elsewhere, including the following crimes:
        Genocide;
        Crimes against humanity;
        War crimes; and
        Violations of Iraqi laws listed in Article 14 of this law."
    International Criminal Court

    Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: The Republic of Iraq is not a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

  • Judicial Decisions

    Editor's Note: The Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal was issued by the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council on 10 December 2003. L. Paul Bremmer III, Provisional Coalition Administrator of Iraq, signed the statute into law on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Following the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly election on 30 January 2005, the Iraqi Transitional Government was established on 3 May 2005. On 11 August 2005, the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly adopted a new Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which was renamed as the Iraqi High Criminal Court.

    Case Law:

  • Prosecutor v. al-Majid et al., Anfal Campaign Case, Appeal Judgment (IHT AC, Sep. 4, 2007). [ENG]

  • Prosecutor v. al-Majid et al., Anfal Campaign Case, Trial Judgment (IHT 2nd Crim. Ct., Jun. 24, 2007). [ENG]

  • Prosecutor v. Hussein et al., Al-Dujail Case, Case No. 29/c/2006, Appeal Judgment (IHT AC, Dec. 26, 2006). [ENG]

    Statute of the Iraqi High Criminal Court:

    The Iraqi High Criminal Court has jurisdiction, according to Article 1, paragraph 2, of its Statute, "over every natural person, whether Iraqi or non-Iraqi resident of Iraq, accused of committing any of the crimes listed in Articles 11 [genocide], 12 [crimes against humanity], 13 [war crimes] and 14 [violations of Iraqi laws] of this law, committed during the period from 17 July 1968 to 1 May 2003..."

  • Iraqi High Criminal Court Act No. 10 of 2005.
    Official Gazette of the Republic of Iraq N║ 4006, 47th year, 18 October 2005. [Unofficial translation]. [ENG]

    Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal:

    The Iraqi Special Tribunal has jurisdiction over any Iraqi national or resident of Iraq accused of the crimes listed in Articles 11 to 14 of its Statute (Genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and violations of stipulated Iraqi laws), "committed since July 17, 1968 and up until and including May 1, 2003, in the territory of the Republic of Iraq or elsewhere, including crimes committed in connection with Iraq's wars against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Kuwait. This includes jurisdiction over crimes listed in Articles 12 and 13 committed against the people of Iraq (including its Arabs, Kurds, Turcomans, Assyrians and other ethnic groups, and its Shi'ites and Sunnis) whether or not committed in armed conflict." [Article 1 b) of the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal.]

  • The Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal. (Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 48).
    Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), 10 December 2003. [ENG]



    Articles and Reports

    The Chilcot Report:

  • The Report of the Iraq Inquiry. Executive Summary. (The Chilcot Report)
    Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors, HC 264, London, 06 July 2016. [ENG]

  • Sir John Chilcot's public statement, 6 July 2016. [ENG]

  • Iraq Inquiry (Chilcot): Timeline of Principal Developments
    House of Lords Library, LIF-2016-0034, London, 28 June 16. [ENG]

    United Nations:

  • Report on the Protection of Civilians in the context of the Ninewa Operations and the retaking of Mosul City, 17 October 2016 - 10 July 2017
    United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, 31 October 2017. [ENG]

  • Letter from Iraq asking for the assistance of the international community in their effort to prosecute the terrorist organization ISIL
    United Nations Security Council, S/2017/710, 16 August 2017. [ENG]
  • Carta de Iraq solicitando la asistencia de la comunidad internacional en su esfuerzo para enjuiciar al grupo terrorista EIIL
    Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, S/2017/710, 16ago17. [SPA]
  • Letter de l'Irak demandant l'assistance de la communauté internationale pour incriminer l'entité terroriste Daech
    Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, S/2017/710, 16aoû17. [FRA]
  • Письмо Временного поверенного в делах Постоянного представительства Ирака при Организации Объединенных Наций от 14 августа 2017 года на имя Председателя Совета Безопасности
    Совет Безопасности, Организация Объединенных Наций, S/2017/710, 16авг17. [RUS]

  • 13th report of the Secretary-General pursuant to UNSC resolution 2107 (2013) pertaining to the issues of missing Kuwaiti nationals in Iraq
    United Nations Security Council, S/2017/73, 25 January 2017. [ENG]
  • 13║ informe del Secretario General presentado de conformidad con la resolución 2107 (2013) relativa a las cuestiones de los kuwaitíes desaparecidos en Irak
    Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, S/2017/73, 25ene17. [SPA]
  • 13e rapport du Secrétaire général en application de la résolution 2107 (2013) concernant la question des nationaux du Kowe´t portés disparus en Iraq
    Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies, S/2017/73, 25jan17. [FRA]
  • Тринадцатый доклад Генерального секретаря, представляемый во исполнение пункта 4 резолюции 2107 (2013) Совета Безопасности
    Совет Безопасности, Организация Объединенных Наций, S/2017/73, 25янв17. [RUS]

    Crime of aggression and state of exception:

  • Iraq war was a crime of aggression: The damning verdict of top Whitehall lawyers which No.10 refused to accept.
    By James Chapman, Daily Mail, London, 27 January 2010. [ENG]

  • The Crime of Aggression Against Iraq.
    By John H. Kim, Esq., via Codepink, 2005. [ENG]

  • The aim of the War on Iraq is to declare a global state of exception that does away with the United Nations system.
    Statement on the War on Irak, Nizkor Team, EU, 22 March 2003. [ENG]
  • La guerra tiene como finalidad la declaración de un estado de excepción global que desmantele el Sistema de Naciones Unidas.
    Declaración sobre la Guerra en Irak, Equipo Nizkor, UE, 22 marzo 2003. [SPA]

  • War in Iraq and Global State of Exception
    Equipo Nizkor. [ENG/SPA].



  • Resources and Links

  • Constitution of Iraq. (2005).
    Comparative Constitutions Project, University of Texas at Austin. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • Penal Code (No. 111 of 1969, July 1969).
    UNHCR. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • Penal Code 1969 (As amended 2010).
    Iraqi Local Governance Law Library. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link]

  • Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 7 - Penal Code (CPA/ORD/9, June 2003/07).
    UNHCR. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • Law No 160/1979 concerning the judicial organisation, 1979.
    International Committee of the Red Cross. [ARA]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • Government Order No.10/2015 concerning the reformation of the National Committee on IHL, 2015.
    International Committee of the Red Cross. [ARA/ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • Military Penal Code, Law 19/2007. (18 April 2004)
    International Committee of the Red Cross. [ARA/ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link]

  • Military Penal Code, No. 13 of 1940. (Official Gazette, 12 July 1942)
    International Committee of the Red Cross. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA): Origin, Characteristics, and Institutional Authorities. (06 June 2005)
    Congressional Research Service - The Library of Congress. By way of: Federation of American Scientists - FAS. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • Iraqi Local Governance Law Library.
    [ARA/ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link]

  • List of International Humanitarian Law Treaties to which Iraq is a State party. [ENG]
    International Committee of the Red Cross. [ENG]. [Last accessed 06Nov17]. [External Link]

  • Ceding the High Ground: The Iraqi High Criminal Court Statute and the Trial of Saddam Hussein.
    M. Cherif Bassiouni and Michael Wahid Hanna, 39 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L.21 (2007). [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link to pdf document]

  • War in Iraq and Global State of Exception
    Equipo Nizkor. [ENG/SPA].

    United Nations Iraq:

  • United Nations Iraq.
    [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link]

  • UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
    United Nations Iraq. [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link]

  • UNAMI Reports on Human Rights in Iraq.
    United Nations Iraq. [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link]

  • Committee on Enforced Disappearances reviews report of Iraq.
    United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link]

  • News Focus: Iraq.
    United Nations News Centre. [ENG]. [Last accessed 07Nov17]. [External Link]