Judicial system reform
For one year from 2003 ASI carried out a project in southern Iraq to assist in the reconstruction of the judicial system. The work was structured around three main objectives: (i) restoration of the courts and justice offices; (ii) law reform; and (iii) reforms of the legal system. The entire system relating to the administration of justice required rehabilitation because of political interference in the judiciary, degradation of the legal profession and physical decay and damage of court and justice office buildings. The project assessed the status of courts in all four Southern provinces then devised plans for the rebuilding of courts and justice offices, assisted judges restarting operations of all courts and offices, and helped locate funding for salaries and other operational costs. ASI reviewed procedures in areas of concern including criminal procedure, civil procedure, land registration, and the juvenile courts system and identified areas requiring reform.
The project also assisted in establishing an Anti-Corruption Committee comprising local judges, lawyers, prosecutors and academics. The project helped design and build a legal aid system to provide representation at all stages of criminal proceedings and in all categories of cases. It worked with judges to assess other mechanisms to ensure due process (such as presence of judicial investigators at police stations) and subsequently assisted in their implementation. Finally, the project developed and implemented training courses for judges in application of legal reforms.