THE FIRST of a series of training courses on international human rights law has been undertaken in Dubai by 51 Iraqi jurists.
Offered by the International Bar Association (IBA) under the auspices of the International Legal Assistance Consortium, the five-day intensive interactive training — which used the UN/IBA Manual on the Administration of Justice as course material — was led by a group of six international experts.
The Iraqi jurists undertaking the course included the Chief Justice, Chief Prosecutor and president of the Bar Association.
The IBA said the vice president of the Young Lawyers Association, a trainee, commented: “After the fall of the old regime the present Iraqi Bar Association tried to start rebuilding a new base of professional lawyers but only the IBA and ILAC listened to us.”
Lawyers in Iraq had been hearing about human rights but had been unable to talk or learn about international human rights, one Iraqi lawyer said.
The group of lawyers, judges and prosecutors included representatives from all provinces in Iraq, all levels of seniority, 10 women and the two predominant religious groups. The participants were engaged in “lively debates throughout the week” and were “extremely responsive” during discussions, according to IBA reports.
The IBA said the participants were eager for the programme to continue. “From our side we’re going to convey what we’ve learned to both our colleagues and the people of Iraq,” one delegate said.