UNDP Signs a Landmark Agreement with Iraq’s High Judicial Council
In a ceremony held on Thursday 10 April, a landmark agreement was signed between the High Judicial Council of Iraq (HJC) and UNDP establishing a cooperation framework to reform the legal and judicial sector in Iraq. Standing alongside UNDP’s Country Director, Dr. Adam Abdelmoula, the Chief Justice of Iraq, H.E. Medhat Mahmoud, highlighted the importance of this partnership noting that “UNDP has been, and will continue to be, a key partner for Iraq in Supporting the Rule of Law in the Country. Our agreement, which was signed today, will enable us to work in an even more strategic and consistent manner".
The ceremony was attended by all Supreme Court Justices and senior executives of the HJC, UNDP management and Iraqi media. Following months of consultation, needs assessments, and strategic planning efforts, UNDP has committed to supporting these mutual objectives in close partnership with the Council. According to Dr. Abdelmoula "This agreement is very promising not only because it targets critical gaps in judicial reform, but because these goals were borne of national priorities and a broad consensus among many stakeholders”.
The main components of the agreement reflect benchmarks established by the Council to reform investigation proceedings, strengthen judicial independence, standardize electronic case management and promote legal aid and legal awareness.
Although UNDP and the Council have been working closely on judicial reform since 2006, the partnership agreement constitutes the first formal agreement between UNDP and the Judiciary for which the HJC will commit both human and financial resources. UNDP’s current work to support judicial reform in Iraq is being funded by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau of the US Department of State.
Mr. Adam Abdelmoula
Iraq Country Director
United Nations Development Programme Iraq