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Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal: 2003

Published December 10, 2003

This Statute established the Iraqi Special Tribunal which was created to try Iraqis and residents of Iraq for crimes of war, genocide, crimes against humanity, and other serious offenses between 1968 and 2003. The Tribunal is responsible for trying Saddam Hussein and other former high-ranking Iraqi officials.

"The statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal was drafted by the legal committee of the governing Counsel and followed significant consultation with the legal staff and other experts in the coalition provisional authority and other government officials of countries connected with the coalition. Some of these experts had significant expertise in the field of prosecution of war crimes. In addition, the drafters of the statute consulted international experts in the field, as well as some non-governmental organizations. Finally, the drafters of the statute consulted Iraqi lawyers and judges who provided advice on Iraqi criminal law and the Iraqi criminal procedures law.

The intention of the drafters of the statute was to attempt insofar as possible to comply with international standards of due process of law and to focus on the crimes committed under international law, such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. At the same time, the drafters of the statute had to take into account the wishes of the Iraqi people, namely that this process needed to substantially be an Iraqi process. The governing Counsel further concluded that, with international assistance, the Iraqi judicial process would be able to pursue an accountability process."

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