Standing with Local Partners on International Anti-Corruption Day
ICCCCI Stands with Local Partners on International Anti- Corruption Day. The impact of corruption significantly and dangerous to the legal life of the Iraqi citizen following the change in 2003, as it became a serious disease consistent with each successive government. The Corruption is pervasive at all levels of government in Iraq. Public survey from Transparency International indicates that a majority of general public is not satisfied with the government's current efforts in fighting corruption. Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 169th place out of 180 countries.
Years after toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, corruption remains one of the top concerns of Iraqi citizens. It has, thus, become a tradition for Iraqi governments to champion a resolve for ridding the country of this endemic.
The governments along with the Council of Representatives and Judicial institution are no exception, in spite of frequent announcements on many occasions, their intentions to launch a crosscutting anti-corruption campaign, promising an ultimate “triumph over corruption as Iraq did with Daesh.” However, still most the Political parties and public servants are considered corrupt, and petty corruption is highly institutionalized in Iraqi society.
While laudable, such efforts will prove substantially difficult and would require a national program that upsets how major aspects of Iraqi politics have been practiced since 2003.
Corruption is considered an obstacle for doing business in Iraq, and red tape and inefficiency continue to persist. Government contracting is an area reported to be affected by high-levels of illicit activity, and public contracts are often awarded to companies connected to political leaders. Investors may come under pressure to take on well-connected local partners to avoid bureaucratic hurdles.
Ever since antiquity, corruption has been one of the most widespread and insidious of social evils. When it involves public officials and elected representatives, it is inimical to the administration of public affairs. Since the end of the 19th century, it has also been seen as a major threat in the private sphere, undermining the trust and confidence which are necessary for the maintenance and development of sustainable economic and social relations. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of Euros are paid in bribes every year.
The Council of Europe exists to uphold and further pluralist democracy, human rights and the rule of law and has taken a lead in fighting corruption as it poses a threat to the very foundations of these core values. As it is emphasised in the Criminal Law Convention, corruption threatens the rule of law, democracy and human rights, undermines good governance, fairness and social justice, distorts competition, hinders economic development and endangers the stability of democratic institutions and the moral foundations of society.
The approach of the Council of Europe in the fight against corruption has always been multidisciplinary and consists of three interrelated elements: the setting of European norms and standards, monitoring of compliance with the standards and capacity building offered to individual countries and regions, through technical co-operation programmes.
The Council of Europe has developed a number of multifaceted legal instruments dealing with matters such as the criminalisation of corruption in the public and private sectors, liability and compensation for damage caused by corruption, conduct of public officials and the financing of political parties. These instruments are aimed at improving the capacity of States to fight corruption domestically as well as at international level. The monitoring of compliance with these standards is entrusted to the Group of States against Corruption, GRECO.
Legal instruments adopted by the Council of Europe
The justice arena is an integrated profession
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Education in Iraq is in crisis. UK universities can help
Iraqi academics are desperate for access to modern approaches to learning and teaching. Here’s where the UK can step in
Four decades of wars, sanctions, dictatorship, invasion and instability have seen Iraq slide into a 21st-century dystopia. Once the “cradle of civilisation”, it now lurches between chaos and catastrophe. Most recently, citizens in the south have been railing against state failures in sometimes violent protests. If provision of basic services such as potable water and electricity is unreliable, what hope is there for higher education?
A number of Iraqi academics, students and professionals say they urgently need modernised materials and methods for learning and teaching. Equally, many Iraqi academics worry about political interference in the sector, regarding it as a further barrier to development. This is because services such as public higher education are administered by government and subject to the unpopular muhasasa, or patronage system, which is susceptible to corruption and thus limits capacity for reform.
In 2017, I asked Iraqis how they view international collaboration with UK universities given the dire political interventions of the past, to which 70% said they were strongly in favour of cooperation.
The United Nations University estimates that 84% of universities were “burnt, looted or destroyed” during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That destruction has been followed by further damage from the war with Islamic State. When militants swept across north western Iraq in 2014, at least 10 universities were said to have been destroyed, displacing students and academics. Subsequently, two-thirds of displaced children missed two years of formal education, with repercussions for higher education in years to come.
SUMMARY DAY ONE : Assembly of States Parties 2018
Coalition calls on states to unite against impunity
First Plenary Meeting
On 5 December 2018, the 17th session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) kicked off in The Hague. During the ASP, the greatest challenges the ICC faces will be discussed. The states that are part of the ICC system, civil society, international organisations and other states will be in attendance. Key items on the agenda are cooperation – including executing arrest warramts; the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute; and victim’s participation and representation in ICC proceedings. Closing out the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute – the treaty that created the Court – the ASP session provides an important opportunity to take stock of the past 2 decades of international justice and consider how to addresses deepening challenges to the system in the years to come.
Social media, a challenging new platform for judges around the world
16 November 2018 - While the pace of developments in technology continues to accelerate to the great pleasure of many, it does present challenges to certain categories of professional disciplines whose nature does not lend itself well to much flexibility; with the preservation of judicial integrity at the helm of their principles, many judges may have difficulty embracing rapid innovation.
Judges must comply with legal and ethical ramifications which other professions may not face when using technology. This is particularly the case when considering social media platforms, which have become ubiquitous in the last few years; inserting themselves into people's mundane activities, they allow instant communication with family, friends and total strangers, the sharing of holiday photos and funny memes, and the ability of commenting on news stories. While these seemingly ordinary actions hold no repercussions for most people, so long as they adhere to a modicum of social etiquette, there could be unintended consequences for judges.
Maliki: We will not allow the replacement of our candidate "Fayadh" for the Interior Ministry bag!
BAGHDAD, Asharq Al-Awsat - The head of a coalition of state law, Nuri al-Maliki, said on Saturday that his coalition will not allow the replacement of Falih al-Fayadh and no other candidate for vacant ministries. Maliki said in a press statement that the change of Fayyad indicates the imposition of wills by a coalition Alliance Towards Reforms ( Saairun) leaded by the leader of the Sadrist Movement, the Shiite cleric "Moqtada al-Sadr" on the parliament and the government in ways that he said unconstitutional and constitute a threat to the political process. Al-Maliki called alliance to clarify his point of view to reject the nomination of Fayadh interior and refrain to vote in parliament if they so wish. Stressing that if the Fayyad does not get the votes that qualify him to take over the Interior will be replaced, but if it gets the confidence of the majority of the members of Parliament, it means that the people are the one who chose him for this position.
Al-Bayan Center hosts virtual exchange with Washington scholars
Al-Bayan Center hosted a virtual exchange with scholars from various think tanks in Washington, DC.
Discussions focused on the challenges facing the new Iraqi government and prospects for the country’s foreign relations. Participants also exchanged views about US policy towards Iraq and the impact of the midterm elections.
The event included scholars from the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Institute, the Center for American Progress, the Institute for the Study of War, and Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC).
Al-Bayan Center is committed to engaging with both Iraqi policymakers and the international community on addressing the multitude of challenges facing Iraq by conducting public policy research that seeks to reform the country’s institutional capacity.
Chief of the Public Prosecutor Receives the Legal Adviser of the Red Cross Organization on Detention
The Chief of the Public Prosecutor, judge Mowafaq Al-Obaidi, has received the legal adviser of ICRC on detention today on 22nd November,2018 to discuss the issues of the foreign convicts.
The statement of the Media Center of the Supreme Judicial Council clarified that both sides discussed the issues of the foreign convicts who have been released , repatriation them to their countries as well as the mechanism of challenge the decisions issued against them.
The statement added that the Chief of the Public Prosecutor confirmed that repatriation the foreign convicts to their countries is the jurisdiction of the executive authority according to the conventions and treaties concluded between Iraq and the other countries.
Referring that the meeting included the discussion of the mechanism of challenge the decisions issued against them and how their relatives can visit them in addition to answer the questions and inquiries of the visitors according to law.
Iraq to launch reconstruction agency, president says
ROME (Reuters) -
Iraq plans to launch a reconstruction agency to focus on projects such as a deep water port and a rail network, Iraq’s president said on Thursday, as the country seeks to put years of turmoil behind it.
Over the past year Iraq has emerged from a devastating conflict with hardline militants who seized almost a third of the country.
It declared victory in December 2017 over the Islamic State armed group, having taken back all the territory captured by the ultra hardline militants in 2014 and 2015.
Barham Salih told an international conference in Rome that defeating Daesh, an acronym for the Islamic state, was “a monumental challenge and an immense success for Iraqi army forces.”
Iraq plans to work with foreign entities, including sovereign wealth funds, on several infrastructure projects, Salih said, but he pointed to corruption and abuse of public funds as problems that undermine reconstruction efforts.