In the following you will find an overview of online research of legal texts on Iraq (as of September 2022). 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.
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 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. The database can be accessed via the following link:
Dorar al-Iraq, a website with user-generated forums on various topics, provides a collection of Iraqi legislation from 1960 to 2011 in Arabic:
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 (ILO):
To go to the collection of national laws for Iraq on ecoi.net, please follow this link.
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 Parliament’s website at the following link:
An English translation of the constitution was published by the Constitute Project and is available at the following link:
A further English translation which was produced by the United Nations Office for Constitutional Support can be found on the website of the “ace project”:
The Penal Code currently in force in Iraq was adopted in 1969 and bears the number 111. A valid version of the penal code can be found on the Iraqi legal database, with a note that the law has been subject to amendments. There are notes attached to the law containing changes up to 2003. However, it is unclear whether the amendments have been incorporated into the legal text.
On Dorar al-Iraq, there is a version in Arabic that is referred to as the 1969 Penal Code which also incorporates amendments up to 2003:
An English translation of the Penal Code with amendments up to March 2010 can be found on Refworld:
One can assume 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). In June 2019, the regulations concerning fines contained in the Penal Code were amended (Law No. 4 of 2019).
It should be noted that not all articles of the Penal Code apply in the Kurdistan Region. Article 121(1) of the Iraqi Constitution gives the regional parliament the right (with exceptions) to enact its own laws. On this basis, the Kurdistan parliament has already amended some articles of the Penal Code that are only valid within the region (UNAMI/OHCHR, December 2021, p.5, footnote 13; see also: Sadaa, September 28, 2021).
A valid version of the Criminal Procedure Code can be found on the Iraqi legal database, with the note that the law has been subject to amendments. There are notes attached to the law describing changes up to 2016. However, it is unclear whether all amendments and possible amendments made after 2016 have been incorporated into the legal text.
Dorar al-Iraq provides an Arabic version of the Criminal Procedure Code dated 1971 with amendments up to 2004:
A 2016 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code can be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice:
The Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) published a translation of the Criminal Procedure Code dated 1971 with amendments up to March 2010 in October 2010:
The Kurdistan Center for International Law publishes on its website a document compiled by GJPI of the legal text in the version applicable to the Kurdistan Region (including amendments up to February 2010):
The Iraqi Law Database provides the text of the Iraqi Citizenship Act No. 26 of 2006 in Arabic:
Dorar al-Iraq also provides a version of the Citizenship Act in Arabic on its website:
A translation of the Citizenship Act provided by UNHCR is available at the following link:
Family Law issues for the majority Muslim population in Iraq are primarily governed by the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959.
A valid version of the Personal Status Law can be found on the Iraqi legal database, with the note that the law has been subject to amendments. There are notes attached to the law describing changes up to 2008. However, it is unclear whether all amendments and possible amendments made after 2008 have been incorporated into the legal text.
Refworld provides an Arabic version of the Personal Status Law of 1959 with amendments up to 1999:
A translation of the 1959 Personal Status Law, with amendments up to 1999, prepared by the American Bar Association Iraq Legal Development Project, is available on the Peace Women website, a program of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF):
The Kurdish Regional Government has enacted its own amendments to the Personal Status Law which only apply to the Autonomous Kurdistan Region. 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:
(Access to all links on 20 September 2022)
ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: ecoi.net Overview of Iraqi laws, September 2022