About Us

Mission Statement

IIRL Inc. and IIRL have been promoting, supporting and educating about the importance of the Rule of Law for over 10 years.

The mission of the International Institute for the Rule of Law, Inc. (IIRL Inc.) is to educate and promote the Rule of Law in various countries around the world. The Rule of Law does not have a precise definition, and its meaning can vary between different nations and legal traditions. Generally, it can be understood as a legal-political regime under which the law restrains the government by promoting certain liberties and creating order and predictability regarding how a country functions.

In the most basic sense, the Rule of Law is a system that attempts to protect the rights of citizens from the arbitrary and abusive use of government power. It is this principle that is at the heart of the mission of IIRL Inc.

IIRL-Iraq’s mission is founded upon the following pillars:

  • Acknowledge and support the long and respected judicial tradition in Iraq and work to ensure its continued independence
  • Bolster the Rule of Law in its various manifestations and provide assistance to needy individuals and groups to redress human rights violations
  • Build internal capacity among Iraqis themselves with courses, conferences, and symposia in order to develop internal safeguards to Rule of Law based legislation and institutions
  • Buttress efforts to write and support a constitution which reflects the aspirations of the Iraqi people and guarantees the Rule of Law

IIRL Inc. Board Members

We are a California Public Benefit/501(c)3 Corporation.

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PROFESSOR MICHAEL BAZYLER

Chairman

Professor of Law, Chapman University, Orange County, California

Professor Michael Bazyler is a leading authority on the use of American and European courts to redress genocide and other historical wrongs.

Prof. Bazyler is the author of over a dozen law review articles on subjects covering public international law, international human rights law, international trade law and comparative law. He teaches Comparative Law, Public International Law, International Human Rights Law, International Business Litigation and Transactions, Criminal Law, Torts, Civil Procedure.

JUDGE JUDITH CHIRLIN, RET.

Vice Chair

Executive Director of Western Justice Center (Retired Judge of the State of California, Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles)

Judge Chirlin has been involved in numerous efforts to improve the legal system and the administration of justice in California, throughout the nation and around the world. Judge Chirlin travels extensively, consulting on programs for foreign judges, lawyers, police officers and other legal professionals in Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Russia, Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, Georgia, Oman, Ecuador, Moldova.

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THEODORE BUDGE

Senior Associate Dean, Chief Operating Officer

University of Southern California (USC), Keck School of Medicine

Mr. Budge is the principal financial and administrative officer with management and oversight responsibility of the Keck School of Medicine's fiduciary affairs (including asset management, budget planning and monitoring, endowment fund management) as well as human resources, space management and research administration.

His expertise is in non-profit and educational institution finances and accounting procedures.

NADA AMMAR

Immigration Attorney, founder of Ammar Immigration Law (AIM)

Ms. Ammar is a California attorney who is also licensed to practice in her native Lebanon. Her dedication to advocacy for human rights was born through her involvement in refugee and humanitarian matters as a legal officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Beirut, Lebanon.

She earned her L.L.M degree in International and Comparative Law from Chapman School of Law.

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SERMID D. AL-SARRAF

Executive Director

Executive Director, IIRL and IIRL Inc. General Counsel, Dar Salam Legal Consultancy LLC / DSLM Legal Services

Mr. Al-Sarraf is a California attorney of Iraqi descent and practices in Los Angeles in the fields of transnational civil litigation, commercial law, public contracting, real property, transitional justice and international legal and constitutional reform.

After working for five years exclusively in the non-profit arena to restore the Rule of Law in Iraq and rebuild key legal and judicial institutions through IIRL Inc./IIRL, he also founded a professional legal service firm (Dar Salam dba DSLM Legal Services) to serve the growing foreign, ex-pat and international presence in Iraq.

Board Members

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Sermid D. Al-Sarraf, JD

Executive Director

Mr. Al-Sarraf is a California attorney of Iraqi descent and practiced in Los Angeles in the fields of commercial law, public contracting, real property, transitional justice, and international legal and constitutional reform.

In 2003, Mr. Al-Sarraf suspended his LA practice to work in the non-profit arena to restore the Rule of Law in Iraq and rebuild key legal and judicial institutions with grants from USAID, DFID, the World Bank, USIP, NED and other international donors.

In 2009, he founded a professional legal service firm (DSLM) to serve the growing foreign, ex-pat and international presence in Iraq.

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Layla Al-Mahmood

Deputy Director

Mrs. Al-Mahmood is the Deputy Director and co-founder of IIRL. She plans, coordinates, and manages all IIRL programs and the finances of both IIRL & DSLM. She also manages its online legal translation service.

Mrs. Al-Mahmood has a BA in French Literature and a Diploma in English Language.

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Dr. Ali Fawzi

State Council Advisor

Dr. Ali Fawzi has a Ph.D. in Law and is currently an Advisor on the Iraqi State Council having been seconded from his position as Associate Dean of the Baghdad University Law School where he taught civil and commercial law courses since 2004.

Dr. Ali Fawzi also holds an Engineering degree and was the Chief Engineer in the Housing & Construction Ministry’s contracts department for over 15 years.

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Faiza Al-Mashat

Board Member

Mrs. Al-Mashat is an Iraqi lawyer who participated in implementing several IIRL projects.

She was the Legal Consultant for the World Bank Twinning Project between the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council (HJC) and the Dubai Courts. She supervised the secondment of HJC Human Resource Management and Court Administration staff with the corresponding court departments in Dubai.

She also served on the legal team representing the American Bar Association (ABA) in Iraq implementing its court needs assessment and automation project.

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Sundus Al-Taie

Board Member and Program Coordinator

Mrs. Al-Taie is the key implementer of most of IIRL’s humanitarian projects.

She received training from OXFAM as well as project implementation experience from the International Red Cross. She has also delivered lectures on combatting violence against women and addressing issues of addiction for young men.

Committed to Advocating the Importance of the Rule of Law and Human Rights

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