EUJUST LEX-Iraq strengthens the rule of law and promotes human rights in Iraq by providing training to officials from the criminal justice system.
The European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq, better known as EUJUST LEX-Iraq, was established to strengthen the rule of law and to promote a culture of respect for human rights in Iraq. By providing professional development opportunities for Iraqi officials from the criminal justice system the aim is to contribute to a consolidation of security by underpinning the system of rule of law. The mission will in due course hand over the reins to their Iraqi counterparts so that they themselves can continue to raise the standards of Iraqi jurisprudence to an international level.
After having been based in Brussels for security reasons since its inception, EUJUST LEX-Iraq is now fully employed in Iraq since the spring of 2011. The headquarters is located in Baghdad, while there is one field office in Erbil (in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq) and an “antenna” office in Basra (Southern Iraq).
EUJUST LEX-Iraq has trained more than 5,000 participants
Despite what is still a challenging security environment, the Mission, working closely with the Iraqi authorities, has, during the last seven years, trained more than 5,000 participants from the Iraqi Correctional Service (ICS), the judiciary and the police. Projects involve all branches of the Iraqi criminal justice system. Some specialised courses are also held in EU member states, for example the traing of Iraqi professionals working in the criminal justice system held by the FBA in April 2012.
Deployed personnel from the FBA
The FBA currently has four deployed specialists in the mission, for instance Jonas Westerlund, Deputy Head of Missionand and Lena Larsson, the Head of Office in Erbil, Lena is Head of the Department Education Training and Exercise at the FBA.
Rule of Law
To establish a sustainable peace process in post-conflict and crisis states, establishing Rule of Law is essential. Rule of Law has an integral part to play in promoting security, economic development and for the protection of human rights.
The principles constituting Rule of Law are reflected in central agreements on human rights, jurisprudence from regional and international courts, as well as national law.
EU Common Security and Defence Policy
EUJUST LEX-Iraq was the EU's first integrated rule of law mission and is one of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy’s (CSDP) missions. Its operational phase started on 1 July 2005 following an invitation by the Iraqi interim government for the start of integrated training activities for Iraqi professionals working in the criminal justice system. The current Iraqi Prime Minister extended his welcome and support for the Mission and its activities.
In the picture: Penitentiary course - Handling High Risk Inmates and Incident Management, 8 – 16 April 2012. The course aimed at increasing prison staff’s understanding and ability to deal with serious incidents such as fires, hostage-taking, suicide attempts and escapes. As is customary in EUJUST LEX-Iraq trainings, human rights aspects were integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. The participants gained an in-depth understanding of the principle that protecting human rights in prisons supports and enhances good security procedures. A local NGO contributed with a guest lecture on their human rights activities in prisons.