39 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 1 (2010-2011)

handle is hein.journals/denilp39 and id is 1 raw text is: THE IRAQI CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, AN INTRODUCTION
DAN. WARNOCK*
The purpose of this article is to serve as a brief introduction to the criminal
justice system, such as it is, in Iraq today. It is based on my review of the Iraqi
Criminal Procedure Code,1 my discussions with a small number of individuals-
both Iraqi and American-familiar with the system, and my own (admittedly-
limited) observations of the system during a six-month military deployment to
Baghdad.2
One might argue-as many U.S.-trained common-law               attorneys do-that a
criminal justice system that neither adheres to stare decisis nor atomizes crimes
into elements can hardly provide true justice. An equally-plausible argument
* Dan. L. Warnock, Major, USAF (J.D., American University) is an attorney with the United States Air
Force Judge Advocate General's Corps. The views expressed in this Article are those of the author and
do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense, or the U.S.
Government.
1. Criminal Procedure Code No. 23 of 1971 (translated alternately as Law on Criminal
Proceedings, With Amendments and Criminal Procedure Code) [hereinafter Criminal Procedure
Code]. The Criminal Procedure Code contains procedural guidelines for all criminal investigations and
trials of felonies and misdemeanors in Iraq. It appears that an official translation was never published
in the English edition of Al-Waqai AJ-Iraqiya (The Iraqi Gazette), the Government of Iraq's official
weekly register of national-level policy pronouncements (laws, regulations, and Republican Council
Ordinances). However, there are two basic translations of the Code, both undated, both anonymous.
The best sources on the internet for the translations, and a variety of other reference materials, are the
Global Justice Project: Iraq (GJPI) sponsored by the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of
Utah, Criminal Procedure Code 23 of 1971, GLOBAL J. PROJECT: IRAQ, (Apr. 25, 2009),
http://www.gjpi.org/2009/04/25/criminal-procedure-code-23-of-1971/. and  Grotian  Moment: The
International War Crimes Trial Blog sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University Law School,
Iraqi High Tribunal Trials, Grotian Moment: The International War Crimes Trial Blog,
http://law.case.edu/saddamtrial/index.asp?t=l (last visited Oct. 7, 2010). The original translations,
including the one posted on the Case Western site, were made between September 1984 (the date of the
most recent amendment annotated therein-see Criminal Procedure Code, art. 160) and October 1988
(the date of the next most recent amendment thereafter-to Article 47, which is not captured in the
translation). The version on the GJPI site (currently dated Mar. 14, 2010) is an update of the same
translation incorporating subsequent amendments. It has addressed many typographical errors and
omissions (e.g., it now includes Article 77 which was previously missing), but it still uses the British
spelling of most words.
2. I was deployed in mid-2007 with the initial contingent of the Law and Order Task Force
(LAOTF), an experimental unit envisioned by General David Petraeus, then-commander of Multi-
National Forces-Iraq, and his Staff Judge Advocate (lead attorney), Colonel Mark Martins. One of our
missions was to help with the construction and initial case-processing of the newly-formed Rusafa
Branch of the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI). Although I was able to learn much about Iraqi
black-letter criminal law during my deployment, my exposure to the practical aspects of the system is
admittedly limited.

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