In the following you will find an overview of online research of legal texts on Iraq (as of January 2021). The overview is intended to facilitate the entry into the search for legal texts but does not replace independent examination of currency, validity and correctness of the laws. Furthermore please note that official translations of legal texts are available only in rare cases.

Researching Laws

The official Gazette of the Iraqi Government (al-waqa‘i al-iraqiya), which publishes laws and legislative amendments, can be found on the website of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice. The official gazettes are available chronologically and numbered but there is no search function. The page is available via the following link:

The Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) was a project based at the SJ Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah that carried out research on the justice system, legislative process and laws in Iraq from 2008 to 2010 with funding from the US State Department. On the website of this project short explanatory texts on the constitution, criminal law and other laws are still available. In some cases translations of legal texts have also been made:

The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq maintains the Qa‘ida tashri‘at al-iraqiya, a legal database that claims to be able to access all laws and decrees adopted in Iraq since 1918. Entries in the search function, however, often do not produce any results. The database can be accessed via the following link:

On the Refworld database operated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), English language translations of some legal texts can be found using the following search query:

Some Iraqi legal texts can be found on Natlex, a portal of the International Labour Organization:

To go to the collection of national laws for Iraq on ecoi.net, please follow this link.

Constitution

The current constitution was adopted by referendum on 15 October 2005. The text of the Iraqi constitution in Arabic can be found on the Iraqi President’s website at the following link:

An English translation of the constitution is available on the website of the Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) via the following link:

Another English translation was published by the Constitute Project and is available at the following link:

Further information concerning the Iraqi constitution was compiled by Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) at the following link:

Criminal Law

The Penal Code currently in force in Iraq was adopted in 1969 and bears the number 111. Neither a current original Arabic version of the Penal Code nor a current English translation could be found.

On Dorar al-Iraq, a website with user-generated forums on various topics, which also provides a collection of Iraqi legislation from 1960 to 2011, there is a version in Arabic that is referred to as the 1969 Penal Code which also incorporates amendments up to 2003:

On the website of the Iraqi parliament under the keyword Criminal Law an entry on an amendment from 2009 can be found (Iraqi Parliament, 17 August 2009) as well as more recent reports on discussions about possible changes to the Criminal Law.

The Global Justice Project (GLPI) Iraq has produced an English translation of the Penal Code containing amendments up to March 2010:

One can assume, however, that there have been amendments to the Penal Code in recent times. For example, in February 2018 the newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that the Iraqi government has tightened certain provisions in the Penal Code in order to curb violent tribal conflicts. To this end, Article 430 is said to have been amended. (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 7 February 2018)

Criminal Procedure Code

Dorar al-Iraq provides an Arabic version of the Criminal Procedure Code dated 1971 with amendments up to 2004:

A more recent version could not be found. A 2016 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code can be found on the website of the Iraqi Parliament:

[قانون تعديل قانون اصول المحاكمات الجزائية رقم (23) لسنة 1971], law No. 18 of 2016, published in the Iraqi Gazette No. 4410 of 18 July 2016
http://arb.parliament.iq/archive/2015/02/24/%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%84-%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%88%D9%86-%D8%A7%D8%B5%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%83%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D8%B2/

The Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) published a translation of the Criminal Procedure Code dated 1971 with amendments up to 2009 in October 2010:

GJPI further explains that the Kurdish Regional Government has issued its own amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which only apply to the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan (ARK). An overview of these amendments as of 2009 can be found via the following link:

Citizenship Law

Dorar al-Iraq provides a version of the Iraqi Citizenship Act No. 26 of 2006 in Arabic on its website:

A translation of the Citizenship Act provided by UNHCR is available at the following link:

Family Law

Family Law issues for the majority Muslim population in Iraq are primarily governed by the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959.

Refworld provides an Arabic version of the Personal Status Law of 1959 with amendments up to 1999:

The Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) has published a translation of the Personal Status Law of 1959, prepared by the American Bar Association with amendments up to 1999:

The Kurdish Regional Government has enacted its own amendments to the Personal Status Law which only apply to the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan (ARK). These are contained in Act No. 15 of 2008 implementing the amended Personal Status Law in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The High Council for Women’s Affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government has made an English version of the law available on its website:

Sources:

(Access to all links on 20 January 2021)


Cite as:

ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: ecoi.net Overview of Iraqi laws, January 2021
https://www.ecoi.net/en/countries/iraq/law-guide/