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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Iraq Justice Development Program

Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
December 1, 2011


The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funds and oversees a wide range of programs aimed at bolstering the rule of law in Iraq. The programs cover five functional areas: anticorruption, court administration, judicial development, judicial outreach and judicial security.

Through the Anti-Corruption Program, INL funds U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) advisors to train and mentor Commission on Integrity (COI) investigators, build COI’s management and training capacity, and improve case preparation. The anti-corruption advisors also promote Iraqi compliance with the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Additionally, INL funds a DOJ Anti-Money Laundering advisor and a U.S. Treasury financial crimes advisor. Other INL-funded anti-corruption activities include a UNDP-implemented English language training program that makes it easier for COI investigators to work with international counterparts on cooperative investigations.

The Court Administration Program assists the Iraq Higher Judicial Council (HJC) to develop its administrative, case management, and strategic planning capacity. The program is helping to standardize procedures and information sharing among the courts and throughout the criminal justice system. For example, the program seeks to prevent defendants from being detained or released in error, by allowing the HJC and the Ministries of Interior and Justice to exchange data on incarcerated persons. A parallel program implemented through an INL grant is designed to improve data archiving. INL will also work with the HJC on public outreach, to improve citizen awareness of and confidence in the judicial process.

INL’s program on Judicial Development helps the HJC develop the professional capabilities of judges and judicial investigators through the Judicial Development Institute (JDI), a facility that offers continuing legal education. Areas of instruction include forensics and crime scene investigation, and training for judicial investigators and security personnel.

The Judicial Outreach Program seeks to coordinate all areas of Iraq’s criminal justice sector. U.S. DOJ Resident Legal Advisors (RLAs) identify impediments to efficient and effective justice in the provinces where they work and recommend systemic improvements. This effort will be expanded to assist vulnerable populations in the criminal justice system such as juveniles.

The Judicial Security Program helps the HJC develop its capacity to protect courthouses, judges, witnesses, and court personnel. INL will complete the delivery of security equipment procured to protect judges and court facilities, and finish training HJC security personnel in its use. In partnership with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, INL upgraded security at twenty courthouses throughout Iraq with items such as blast resistant-walls, explosives detectors, x-ray machines, security wands, alarms and improved lighting. A final project will provide generators to support court security equipment where electricity is unreliable.

The State Department is committed to using tax dollars effectively and efficiently. INL is standing up a monitoring and evaluation team in Iraq to assess the performance of all its Iraq programs. In addition, INL works closely with the oversight community to further strengthen program management.

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