Appreciation for EUJUST LEX-Iraq
(from left) Dr. K. Murphy, Human Rights and Gender expert; Judge H. Aziz, co-trainer on EUJUST LEX-Iraq Domestic Violence courses; Q. Abdullah, legal adviser to the Ministry of Womens’ Affairs; and Prof. A. Girginov, Head of the EUJUST LEX Judiciary Team
In March, on the request of the Iraqi Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the EUJUST LEX-Iraq Judiciary team prepared a comprehensive commentary with specific recommendations on draft amendments to the Iraqi Penal Code. The English text was edited by the Human Rights and Gender group.
On 14 April Dr. Ibtihal al Zaidy, Minister of Women’s Affairs, was very appreciative of our technical assistance, saying that they had received for the first time such useful advice from an international organization, showing deep understanding of local penal law.
Head of Mission László HUSZÁR
The European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq (EUJUST LEX-Iraq)
is a civilian crisis management mission conducted under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). EUJUST LEX-Iraq is the EU's first integrated rule of law mission. Following the fourth extension of its mandate, the Council of the EU agreed that EUJUST LEX-Iraq would be extended until 31 December 2013. Since October 2011, EUJUST LEX-Iraq’s Head of Mission is Brigadier General László HUSZÁR
(Hungary). He succeeded Carl Törnell (Sweden), Francisco Díaz Alcantud (Spain) and Stephen White (UK).
The operational phase of EUJUST LEX-Iraq started on 1 July 2005 following an invitation by the Prime Minister of the Iraqi interim government, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, to the EU, calling for the start of integrated training activities for Iraqi professionals working in the criminal justice system. When taking office, the current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, extended his welcome and support for the Mission and its activities. Moreover, the Prime Minister requested continued support from the EU in addressing the needs of the Iraqi criminal justice system through the activities of EUJUST LEX-Iraq.
After having been based in Brussels for security reasons since its inception, EUJUST LEX-Iraq is now fully employed in Iraq since the spring of 2011. The headquarters of EUJUST LEX-Iraq is located in Baghdad, while there is one field office in Erbil (Kurdistan Region) and a satellite office in Basra (Southern Iraq). The Mission also includes a support office in Brussels, which supports and coordinates the Mission’s EU-based activities.
EUJUST LEX-Iraq was established to strengthen the rule of law and to promote a culture of respect for human rights in Iraq by providing professional development opportunities for high and mid-level Iraqi officials from the criminal justice system. The core aim is to contribute to a consolidation of security by underpinning the system of rule of law. After the successful shift in-country, the majority of the Mission’s activities are taking place in Iraq, either facilitated with in-house expertise, with the assistance of EU visiting experts or in cooperation with other international actors. Despite a challenging security environment, delivery can be considered satisfactory with projects involving all branches of the Iraqi criminal justice system ongoing in all three locations. Some specialised courses are also held in EU member states as are Work Experience Secondments. All activities offer learning opportunities and demonstrate rule of law best practices, as well as facilitate the exchange of views between EU trainers and Iraqi participants. EUJUST LEX-Iraq has excellent relations with both local and international counterparts and co-ordinates its activities – in particular with the U.S. and the UN – on a bilateral basis as well as in rule of law policy fora in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. The Mission systematically follows-up on its alumni through evaluation workshops, to assess the applicability of its training activities and to adjust them to Iraqi needs. Furthermore, the Mission has achieved considerable progress in mainstreaming human rights and gender into its training activities with positive feedback from the Iraqi participants.