About Us

About IIRL

The International Institute for the Rule of Law (IIRL) is a registered Iraqi non-governmental organization (NGO) established in July 2005. Since its founding, IIRL has played a significant role in the restoration of the rule of law in Iraq. IIRL supported the drafting process for the Iraqi Constitution by facilitating international technical assistance to the Iraqi Constitutional Drafting Committee as well as the Constitutional Review Committee. In the area of human rights, IIRL established a Working Group with the Ministry of Human Rights to promote dialogue on developing and implementing human rights protections in the Iraqi Constitution.

Even prior to the establishment of IIRL, its key officers were involved in advocating for the re-establishment of the Judicial Council and full independence from the Ministry of Justice, which was realized in Sept. 2003. IIRL’s other Judicial reform projects include the research and drafting of a needs assessment of court administration and case management practices in Iraqi courts. With an active and highly respected presence in Iraqi Rule of Law projects, IIRL also facilitated interaction between international donors, the Iraqi judiciary and key ministries in the Rule of Law sector.

IIRL is committed to bolstering the Rule of Law in its various manifestations during this critical transitional period in Iraq. Given the many negative forces working against the development of a civil society in this nation, the work of IIRL is critical in contributing positively to building a vibrant society securely based on the rule of law. A key element in this process is the support of the long-standing and respected judicial tradition in Iraq and the preservation of its independence.

IIRL considers this a priority as well as building the internal capacity among Iraqis with courses, conferences and symposia thus enabling the formation of internal safeguards to Rule of Law-based legislation and institutions. While the development of the Constitution passes through various stages, IIRL will continue to work in an advisory capacity in the hope of shaping a document which reflects the true aspirations of the Iraqi people and guarantees the Rule of Law.

Institute Activities


(2011-2012) With a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), IIRL is implementing a program to strengthen civil society support for judicial independence through a program of seminars and publications focusing on this important pillar of the Rule of Law.


(2011) IIRL worked with the World Bank to design a program of support for the Iraqi judiciary and State Shura Council in the area of private sector development.


(2010-2011) Through a series of consultations and workshops conducted throughout Iraq, IIRL assisted the World Bank in developing a program of support in the area of Access to Justice. This program is intended to be submitted to the Japanese Social Development Fund which expressed a commitment to implement Access to Justice programming over the next few years.


(2006-2009) Directed all Rule of Law programs for the United States Institute of Peace in Iraq, including Constitutional Review/Enabling Legislation assistance, bolstering Judicial Independence, supporting Minority Rights and introducing transitional justice concepts, such as Truth and Reconciliation.
Additionally, IIRL facilitated the first ever joint Federal/Regional judicial summit which resulted in key agreements regulating interactions between the Federal and Kurdistan Regional judiciaries.


(2006-2007) Facilitated interaction between donor community and Iraqi judiciary and key ministries in Rule of Law Sectoral Working Group to identify and plan reform projects in Iraqi justice sector.


(2005) IIRL directed the International Technical Assistance for the Iraqi Constitutional Drafting Committee.


(2005) Conducted a comprehensive Needs Assessment of Court Administration and Case Management in Iraqi courts

Activities of Key Officers (in Iraq since 2003, prior to establishment of IIRL)


(2003-2005) For 3 Law Schools
(at Baghdad, Basra and Sulaimaniya Universities)

Renovated law libraries, established moot courts, studied and proposed national legal curriculum reforms, coordinated Summer Abroad program for 40 law school deans and law professors, conducted 5 Rule of Law seminars on contemporary legal issues.