Enhancing Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Courts and Prosecutions

In Iraq, we are partnering with provincial courts and the inter-ministerial task force to support more effective investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.
The Iraqi Terrorism Prosecutions and Information Management Program works with the Government of Iraq (GOI) to enhance the capabilities of justice sector stakeholders at the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication phases of a terrorism case. This program aims to strengthen terrorism prosecutions and enhance the integrity of judicial institutions in Iraq.

In Iraq, judges overseeing counter-terrorism cases continue to be constrained by overwhelming caseloads and an over reliance on confessions and witness statements versus evidence-based prosecutions.

Although newly established mechanisms to enhance intelligence and information sharing between federal and provincial entities have resulted in improvements, some prosecutions fail to sufficiently differentiate between voluntary and involuntary collaboration (coerced participation) with terrorist organizations, as well as between more serious crimes and lesser offenses. In addition to shortfalls in the application of the laws, inconsistent detention standards exacerbated by backlogs in courts also undermine the integrity of the criminal justice process.

Through this one-year, U.S. State Department grant, MSI, A Tetra Tech Company will build the capacity of Iraq’s judicial branch and security services to more effectively investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate ISIS terrorism cases in a manner consistent with international humanitarian standards, and to demonstrate frequent and effective use of legally reliable evidence.

In liberated areas of Iraq, the program will work with counter-terrorism courts, investigative units, and national security entities. Further, it will support Iraq’s newly established inter-ministerial task force focused on high-value targets and detainees. Overall, the program aims to strengthen legal prosecutions to improve the long-term stability of Iraq.

MSI has operated almost continuously in Iraq for more than 17 years, delivering a diverse range of projects on behalf of donors, including the U.S. State Department and USAID. Our work ranges from large national capacity building and provincial administrative reform projects to activities focused on supporting internally displaced persons (IDPs), survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and monitoring, evaluation and learning activities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.




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