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country map - Basic Information
- Executive and Legislative Branches
- Judiciary Branch
- Public Prosecution
- Course of a Criminal Case at the Public Prosecution

Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Name: Republic of Iraq (JumhuriyaT al Iraq)
Name of Capital City: Baghdad
Date of Independence: A kingdom, independent from the League of Nations mandate under British administration, was proclaimed on October 3, 1932.
A republic was declared on July 14, 1958.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 18 governorates (muhafazat): Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salahad Din, Wasit, Arbil, As-Sulaymaniyah, and Dahuk.
Country Area (sq km): 438317

Political System

Type of State: Republic/Federal
Date of Constitution: A provisional constitution was promulgated on September 22, 1968 and went into effect on July 16, 1970.
A new interim constitution was adopted in 1990.
A permanent Constitution was approved by public referendum on October 15, 2005. The constitution came into effect with the elections of the Council of Representatives as stipulated by the constitution on December 15, 2005.

Head of State

Type: The Head of State in Iraq is the President of the Iraqi Republic, chosen by the elected National Assembly and he runs the three-person executive Presidency Council. The President's powers are limited, with most executive authority belonging to the Prime Minister of Iraq.
Name of Current: The National Assembly re-elected President Jalal Talibani on April 22, 2006 for a second term in office. He is the first Kurd to be elected as president of Iraq. Two vice presidents were also elected, they are Mr. Adel Abdel Mahdi (Shiite) and Mr. Tareq Al-Hashimi (Sunni). The three officials constitute the presidency council.

Executive Branch

About: The executive authority consists of the Presidency Council, the Council of Ministers, and its presiding Prime Minister.
Name of Current: The Presidential Council unanimously appointed Mr. Nouri Kamel Al-Maliki (Shiite) as prime minister on April 22, 2006.

Legislative Branch

Type: Bicameral legislative authority
- Council of Representatives [English][Arabic]

Note: the information below was not updated after September, 2009.
Judiciary Branch

Legal system and Legal codification:
Administrative Structure: The Iraqi constitution stipulates that the Judiciary is independent and and is not subject to any authority other than the Law. The Federal Judicial Authority is comprised of various kinds of courts.
Supreme Court: The Iraqi court hierarchy consists of Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, and Courts of Cassation, a Supreme Court of Cassation, and a new Federal Supreme Court consisting of nine members to be appointed by the Presidency Council. One Supreme Court judge is to preside over the Higher Juridical Council.
Constitutional Court:
Shari'a or Personal Status Courts: The Courts of Personal Status have jurisdiction in all matters of first instance related to personal status of Muslims. Jurors of the Shari’a Courts are either Islamic Law judges, or judges from civil courts.

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The Public Prosecution

The Legal foundation that regulates public prosecutions’ work is the Public Contention Law No. (159) of 1979 and its amendments.

Functional System :
1- The President of public prosecution Office reports to the Minister of Justice who has the right to monitor and oversee the work of all members of the public prosecution office.
2. Public prosecutors in active service are considered as judges.
The Minister of Justice monitors and supervises the work of all public prosecutors.

Structure : The public Prosecution administrative structure consists of the President of the Public Prosecution office, two vice-presidents, and a public prosecutor at each of the following courts: the Cassation Court, the Supreme Justice Court, the Appeals Court, the Criminal court, the Public institution for Social Reform, in addition to the deputies of the Attorney General.

Competences of the Public Prosecution Office in Iraq :
1- Initiating public action, provided such initiation does not require filing a complaint or the authorization of a competent authority.
2- Supervising crimes’ investigations and the collection of the necessary evidence for such investigations, and taking all measures aimed at unveiling crimes.
3- A member of the Public Prosecution Office shall exercise the powers of an examining magistrate at the crime scene, when the latter is absent, and he shall lose such powers upon the arrival of the competent examining magistrate, unless he is requested to continue all or part of the investigation he was entrusted with.
4- The Public Prosecution Office has the right to supervise the work of investigators and members of the investing judicial police so as to guarantee compliance with and rapid execution of the examining magistrate decisions. The Public Prosecution Office may also view the investigation documents and submit requests thereon. The examining magistrate shall decide on such requests within three days as of their receipt.
5- A member of the Public Prosecution Office must be present during the investigation of a crime or an offense, and submit his legal remarks and claims.
6- The examining magistrate must inform the designated or delegated member of the Public Prosecution Office of his decisions within three days as of the date on which they are taken.
7- The Public Prosecution Office should: First- Send, follow and comment on the complaints submitted or remanded to him to the competent judicial authority; Second- Inspect jails, as well as adults and minors’ penitentiaries, and file monthly reports in their respect to the competent authorities.
8- The Public Prosecution Office must be present at penal courts’ hearings, except for the Cassations Court hearings, and may talk to witnesses and experts, and question the accused, always through the court. He may also request the appointment of experts, listen to other means of evidence, take any measure authorized by the law, and order a release, indictment, criminalization, acquittal, lack of responsibility, cancellation of a charge, release, or impose measures, and make other requests in accordance with the law. Second- Criminal courts hearings are only held in the presence of the designated or delegated member of the Public Prosecution Office who shall plead before the said courts.
9- The designated or delegated member of the Public Prosecution Office should submit his charge to the criminal court when it holds a hearing in a cassation status, whereby he shall emit an opinion on the appeal lodged before the said court against decisions, judgments and measures.
10- The Public Prosecution Office should appear before labor tribunals, the judges’ commission, the public prosecution office commission, the public disciplinary council, disciplinary and customs commissions, income tax, audit commissions, and any other body, commission or council of a penal judicial nature. The meetings of the abovementioned bodies shall not be deemed valid if not attended by the designated or delegated member of the Public Prosecution Office for failure to convene him.
11- The Public Prosecution Office must attend before personal status courts, or civil courts in lawsuits involving minors, prisoners, absent and missing persons, in cases relating to divorce, separation, authorization for having multiple wives, family desertion, and children abandonment, and in any other lawsuit where the Public Prosecution Office deems it appropriate to intervene in order to protect the family and children.
12- The Public Prosecution Office should submit its perusal, emit an opinion in the cases mentioned above, and review and follow on the appeals lodged against the decisions and judgments entered in these cases;
13- The Public Prosecution Office may attend hearings of the civil lawsuits to which the State is party, or relating to the emerging civil rights the State may have in connection with penal lawsuits so as to make his statements or perusals. The Public Prosecution Office may also review and follow on appeals lodged against the orders and judgments entered in these cases.
14- The Public Prosecution Office shall exercise its power to submit requests and emit opinions in cases of commitment to maintain peace and good behavior, re-hearing, rogatory commissions, hand-over of criminals, and other cases, in accordance with the provisions of the law, provided the Public Prosecution Office abides by the Minister of Justice instructions in this regard.
15- The Public Prosecution Office may challenge, in accordance with the provisions of the law, the judgments, orders and measures issued by the examining magistrates, courts, commissions, bodies and councils mentioned in this law.
16- The Public Prosecution Office shall follow on the enforcement of judgments, orders or measures taken in case of a freedom-depriving measure or punishment.

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The Course of a Criminal Case at the Public Prosecution