The truth of the legend of successful criminal procedure reform in post-Saddam Iraq : a critical analysis of pre-trial rights in the light of international human rights law

Almusawi, Bassim Jameel (2014) The truth of the legend of successful criminal procedure reform in post-Saddam Iraq : a critical analysis of pre-trial rights in the light of international human rights law. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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The current thesis intends to assess whether the post-Saddam reform in the Iraq criminal justice system is in line with international human rights standards, and particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iraq is a state party. The aspects of reform on which the present research focuses are the rights of the accused person during the pre-trial phase - the right to be freed from arbitrary arrest and detention, the right of access to a counsel and an interpreter, and the right to be free from self-incrimination. Doctrinal legal research was adopted in the conduct of this research, and both primary and secondary data sources were assessed. The assessed data were drawn from scholarly works and other publications, as well as regional and international standards and Iraqi legislation. The key findings unearthed by the current study are that even with the many welcome reforms to the Iraqi justice system over the last ten years, certain weaknesses remain. The criminal justice system in post-Saddam Iraq has failed to attain full compliance with the obligations of due process required by international law. Basic rights of accused persons, as enshrined in international standards, are far from being fully available to accused persons in Iraq. The research found a considerable gap between the law and international due process. A culture of violence, torture and impunity still prevails, particularly in the prosecution process, which means that the rule of law in Iraq is not fully applied. There is a wide gulf between the legislative framework and everyday working practice. The current research concludes that the threat to the freedoms and liberties of Iraqis involves both the theoretical weakness of law and the routine maltreatment of individuals. It thus urgently advocates further reform of the justice system. The thesis also contains proposals for further work which needs to be done in order to ensure that the new Iraqi criminal justice system accords with the standard rules of due process. Above all, the study demonstrates that recognition of the primacy of the rule of law is crucial if the challenges confronting the Iraqi justice system are to be met. Little research has been conducted to explore whether the post-2003 reforms to due process have succeeded or failed, and the present research aims to fill an important gap in our understanding.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences > School of Law
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 15:29
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2016 15:50
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4990
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