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The most important iraqi laws of 2006

Mohsen Dhafer GHARIB
algharib@kabelfoon.nl
2007 / 1 / 13

Whereas for the legislative sphere in Iraq the year 2005 was marked by the two elections, the drafting of the new Iraqi constitution and its referendum, the last year brought the legislative process itself - i.e. the drafting and passing of laws - more into focus.

While the new constitution is undergoing an amendment process - a parliamentary committee for this task has been formed -, the version adopted by the Iraqi people in the 2005 Referendum serves as the basis for legislation. Some of the new laws, like the Federalism Law, emanate from it (and thus may have to be changed, depending on the scope of the constitutional amendments) but others, like the Law on the Sale and Import of Petrol Products, were necessitated by the current political and economic crisis.

iraq citizenship law
Who is and what are the conditions of becoming an Iraqi citizen? When does an Iraqi become a foreigner and when does a foreigner become an Iraqi? These are some important questions raised in political, legal, and popular circles after the 2003 War and after the fall of the Ba th regime, which tried for decades to control the social composition of Iraq and was against multiple nationality. What caused the hot debate on naturalization, and citizenship after the fall of the regime? Certainly, a number of Iraqi officials who hold foreign nationality since they were long away from Iraq was one of the reasons to expedite the drafting of the law, as this factor has contributed to the text and liberal terms.

The Governing Council then, through the Transitional Administrative Law, introduced the principle of multiple nationalities. The text of the permanent Iraqi constitution stipulated the need to pass a new law to regulate this. The new law affirms the principle of multiplicity of nationalities while preventing Iraqis holding dual citizenship from attaining positions of "sovereign or high security."

Iraqi Nationality Act (No. 26/2006) was published in the Iraqi Gazette No. 4019, issued on 7 March 2006.

In September the draft of the second part of the social security legislation, the Social Security Law, was presented to the Iraqi parliament. It follows Article 30/2 of the Iraqi Constitution, "The State shall guarantee social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphan hood, or unemployment, shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty, and shall provide them housing and special programs of care and rehabilitation, and this shall be regulated by law."

On 22 October 2006 the Kurdistan Regional Government published the draft of the Oil Law for the Kurdistan Region. Once passed by the regional parliament, it will regulate oil and gas production in the Kurdistan Region and declares to have authority over the oil sector in territories claimed by the Kurdistan Region but currently in dispute (i.e. Kirkuk, etc.). It also makes provisions for the future cooperation with private and foreign companies. (Niqash Summary)

The 6 March 2006 issue of the Iraqi Gazette published Law No. 4 of 2006 on the Foundation of Political Prisoners (ratified by Parliament in Nov 2005, by the Presidency on 8 January 2006), which aims to address the problems of political prisoners who were detained by the former regime, including the establishment of a public institution called "Foundation of Political Prisoners" that works on addressing the general situation of the prisoners and political detainees, compensation of material and moral, and to provide them with benefits.

The most controversial and most heatedly debated law in contemporary Iraq is the Law on the Establishment of Federal Regions (Federalism Law). On 11 October 2006 Parliament passed the law but only after a compromise according to which its implementation will be postponed for 18 months. The law regulates the conditions and procedures to form new federal regions in Iraq. It has been at the center of heated discussions. Where its proponents argue that it only outlines the procedures of a constitutional article, its opponents fear that it is a means to advance the break-up of Iraq as a unified country. Since federalism is one of the central issues debated in the Constitution Amendment Committee, it is by no means certain that the Federalism Law will remain in its current form.

On 6 March 2006 Law No. 2 of 2006 on the Commission for the Solution of Real Estate Disputes (ratified by the Presidency on 9 January 2006) was published. The Commission for the Solution of Real Estate Disputes is the body for real estate issues including the confiscation of property for political, racial, religious, or any other cases resulting of the Ba th regime s policies during the period of its rule between 17 July 1968 and 9 April 2003.




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