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The federal government of Iraq is defined under the current Constitution as an Islamic,[1] democratic, federal parliamentary republic.[2] The federal government is composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as numerous independent commissions.

Contents

Federalism in Iraq

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Federalism Law

Article 114 of the Constitution of Iraq provided that no new region may be created before the Iraqi National Assembly has passed a law which provides the procedures for forming the region. A law was passed in October 2006 after an agreement was reached with the Iraqi Accord Front to form the constitutional review committee and to defer implementation of the law for 18 months. Legislators from the Iraqi Accord Front, Sadrist Movement and Islamic Virtue Party all opposed the bill.[3]

Creating a new region

Under the Federalism Law a region can be created out of one or more existing governorates or two or more existing regions. A governorate can also join an existing region to create a new region. There is no limit to the number of governorates that can form a region, unlike the Transitional Administrative Law of the Iraqi Interim Government which limited it to three.

A new region can be proposed by one third or more of the council members in each affected governorate plus 500 voters or by one tenth or more voters in each affected governorate. A referendum must then be held within three months, which requires a simple majority in favour to pass.

In the event of competing proposals, the multiple proposals are put to a ballot and the proposal with the most supporters is put to the referendum.

In the event of an affirmative referendum a Transitional Legislative Assembly is elected for one year, which has the task of writing a constitution for the Region, which is then put to a referendum requiring a simple majority to pass.

The President, Prime Minister and Ministers of the region are elected by simple majority, in contrast to the Iraqi National Assembly which requires two thirds support.

Legislative branch

The legislative branch is composed of the Council of Representatives and a Federation Council.[4] As at 2009, the Federation Council had not yet come into existence.

Council of Representatives

The Council of Representatives is the main elected body of Iraq. The Constitution defines the "number of members at a ratio of one representative per 100,000 Iraqi persons representing the entire Iraqi people."[5] The members are elected for terms of 4 years.[6]

The council elects the President of Iraq; approves the appointment of the members of the Federal Court of Cassation, the Chief Public Prosecutor, and the President of Judicial Oversight Commission on proposal by the Higher Juridical Council; and approves the appointment of the Army Chief of Staff, his assistants and those of the rank of division commanders and above, and the director of the intelligence service, on proposal by the Cabinet.[7]

Federation Council

The Federation Council will be composed of representatives from the regions and the governorates that are not organized in a region. The council is regulated in law by the Council of Representatives.[8] As at 2009, the Federation Council had not yet come into existence.

Executive branch

The executive branch is composed of the President / Presidency Council and the Council of Ministers.[9]

President

The President of the Republic is the head of state and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution."[10] The President is elected by the Council of Representatives by a two-thirds majority,[11] and is limited to two four-year terms.[12] The President ratifies treaties and laws passed by the Council of Representatives, issues pardons on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and performs the "duty of the Higher Command of the armed forces for ceremonial and honorary purposes."[11]

There also exists a Vice President which shall assume the office of the President in case of his absence or removal.[12]

Presidency Council

The Presidency Council is an entity currently operating under the auspices of the "transitional provisions" of the Constitution. According to the Constitution, the Presidency Council functions in the role of the President until one successive term after the Constitution is ratified[13] and a government is seated.[14] The Presidency Council will have the additional power to send legislation back to the Council of Representatives for revision.

Council of Ministers

Composition of the Iraqi Government as of September 2009

The Council of Ministers is composed of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The President of Iraq names the nominee of the Council of Representatives bloc with the largest number to form the Cabinet.[15] The Prime Minister is the direct executive authority responsible for the general policy of the State and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, directs the Council of Ministers, and presides over its meetings and has the right to dismiss the Ministers on the consent of the Council of Representatives.[16]

The cabinet is responsible for overseeing their respective ministries, proposing laws, preparing the budget, negotiating and signing international agreements and treaties, and appointing undersecretaries, ambassadors, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and his assistants, Division Commanders or higher, the Director of the National Intelligence Service, and heads of security institutions.[17]

Judicial branch

The federal judiciary is composed of the Higher Judicial Council, the Supreme Court, the Court of Cassation, the Public Prosecution Department, the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and other federal courts that are regulated by law.[18] One such court is the Central Criminal Court.

Higher Judicial Council

The Higher Judicial Council manages and supervises the affairs of the federal judiciary.[19] It oversees the affairs of the various judicial committees,[20] nominates the Chief Justice and members of the Court of Cassation, the Chief Public Prosecutor, and the Chief Justice of the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and drafts the budget of the judiciary.[19]

Central Criminal Court

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq is the main criminal court of Iraq.[citation needed] The CCCI is based on an inquisitorial system and consists of two chambers: an investigative court, and a criminal court.[citation needed]

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is an independent judicial body that interprets the constitution and determines the constitutionality of laws and regulations. It acts as a final court of appeals, settles disputes amongst or between the federal government and the regions and governorates, municipalities, and local administrations, and settles accusations directed against the President, the Prime Minister and the Ministers. It also ratifies the final results of the general elections for the Council of Representatives.[21]

Independent commissions and institutions

The High Commission for Human Rights, the Independent High Electoral Commission, and the Commission on Integrity are independent commissions subject to monitoring by the Council of Representatives.[22] The Central Bank of Iraq, the Board of Supreme Audit, the Communications and Media Commission, and the Endowment Commission are financially and administratively independent institutions.[23] The Foundation of Martyrs is attached to the Council of Ministers.[24] The Federal Public Service Council regulates the affairs of the federal public service, including appointment and promotion.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 1, Article 2
  2. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 1, Article 1
  3. ^ "Iraqi parliament approves federal law". Reuters. 2006-10-11. http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=IBO145418&WTmodLoc=World-R5-Alertnet-4. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  4. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 48.
  5. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 49
  6. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 56
  7. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 61
  8. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 65
  9. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 63
  10. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 67
  11. ^ a b Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 70
  12. ^ a b Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 72
  13. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 6, Chapter 2, Article 138
  14. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 6, Chapter 2, Article 139
  15. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 76
  16. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 78
  17. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 80
  18. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 89
  19. ^ a b Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 91
  20. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 90
  21. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 93
  22. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 102
  23. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 103
  24. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 104
  25. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 107

The federal government of Iraq is defined under the current Constitution as an Islamic,[1] democratic, federal parliamentary republic.[2] The federal government is composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as numerous independent commissions.

Contents

Federalism in Iraq

Federalism Law

Article 114 of the Constitution of Iraq provided that no new region may be created before the Iraqi National Assembly has passed a law which provides the procedures for forming the region. A law was passed in October 2006 after an agreement was reached with the Iraqi Accord Front to form the constitutional review committee and to defer implementation of the law for 18 months. Legislators from the Iraqi Accord Front, Sadrist Movement and Islamic Virtue Party all opposed the bill.[3]

Creating a new region

Under the Federalism Law a region can be created out of one or more existing governorates or two or more existing regions. A governorate can also join an existing region to create a new region. There is no limit to the number of governorates that can form a region, unlike the Transitional Administrative Law of the Iraqi Interim Government which limited it to three.

A new region can be proposed by one third or more of the council members in each affected governorate plus 500 voters or by one tenth or more voters in each affected governorate. A referendum must then be held within three months, which requires a simple majority in favour to pass.

In the event of competing proposals, the multiple proposals are put to a ballot and the proposal with the most supporters is put to the referendum.

In the event of an affirmative referendum a Transitional Legislative Assembly is elected for one year, which has the task of writing a constitution for the Region, which is then put to a referendum requiring a simple majority to pass.

The President, Prime Minister and Ministers of the region are elected by simple majority, in contrast to the Iraqi National Assembly which requires two thirds support.

Legislative branch

The legislative branch is composed of the Council of Representatives and a Federation Council.[4] As at 2009, the Federation Council had not yet come into existence.

Council of Representatives

The Council of Representatives is the main elected body of Iraq. The Constitution defines the "number of members at a ratio of one representative per 100,000 Iraqi persons representing the entire Iraqi people."[5] The members are elected for terms of 4 years.[6]

The council elects the President of Iraq; approves the appointment of the members of the Federal Court of Cassation, the Chief Public Prosecutor, and the President of Judicial Oversight Commission on proposal by the Higher Juridical Council; and approves the appointment of the Army Chief of Staff, his assistants and those of the rank of division commanders and above, and the director of the intelligence service, on proposal by the Cabinet.[7]

Federation Council

The Federation Council will be composed of representatives from the regions and the governorates that are not organized in a region. The council is regulated in law by the Council of Representatives.[8] As at 2009, the Federation Council had not yet come into existence.

Executive branch

The executive branch is composed of the President / Presidency Council and the Council of Ministers.[9]

President

The President of the Republic is the head of state and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution."[10] The President is elected by the Council of Representatives by a two-thirds majority,[11] and is limited to two four-year terms.[12] The President ratifies treaties and laws passed by the Council of Representatives, issues pardons on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and performs the "duty of the Higher Command of the armed forces for ceremonial and honorary purposes."[11]

There also exists a Vice President which shall assume the office of the President in case of his absence or removal.[12]

Presidency Council

The Presidency Council is an entity currently operating under the auspices of the "transitional provisions" of the Constitution. According to the Constitution, the Presidency Council functions in the role of the President until one successive term after the Constitution is ratified[13] and a government is seated.[14] The Presidency Council will have the additional power to send legislation back to the Council of Representatives for revision.

Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers is composed of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. The President of Iraq names the nominee of the Council of Representatives bloc with the largest number to form the Cabinet.[15] The Prime Minister is the direct executive authority responsible for the general policy of the State and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, directs the Council of Ministers, and presides over its meetings and has the right to dismiss the Ministers on the consent of the Council of Representatives.[16]

The cabinet is responsible for overseeing their respective ministries, proposing laws, preparing the budget, negotiating and signing international agreements and treaties, and appointing undersecretaries, ambassadors, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and his assistants, Division Commanders or higher, the Director of the National Intelligence Service, and heads of security institutions.[17]

Judicial branch

The federal judiciary is composed of the Higher Judicial Council, the Supreme Court, the Court of Cassation, the Public Prosecution Department, the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and other federal courts that are regulated by law.[18] One such court is the Central Criminal Court.

Higher Judicial Council

The Higher Judicial Council manages and supervises the affairs of the federal judiciary.[19] It oversees the affairs of the various judicial committees,[20] nominates the Chief Justice and members of the Court of Cassation, the Chief Public Prosecutor, and the Chief Justice of the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and drafts the budget of the judiciary.[19]

Central Criminal Court

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq is the main criminal court of Iraq.[citation needed] The CCCI is based on an inquisitorial system and consists of two chambers: an investigative court, and a criminal court.[citation needed]

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is an independent judicial body that interprets the constitution and determines the constitutionality of laws and regulations. It acts as a final court of appeals, settles disputes amongst or between the federal government and the regions and governorates, municipalities, and local administrations, and settles accusations directed against the President, the Prime Minister and the Ministers. It also ratifies the final results of the general elections for the Council of Representatives.[21]

Independent commissions and institutions

The High Commission for Human Rights, the Independent High Electoral Commission, and the Commission on Integrity are independent commissions subject to monitoring by the Council of Representatives.[22] The Central Bank of Iraq, the Board of Supreme Audit, the Communications and Media Commission, and the Endowment Commission are financially and administratively independent institutions.[23] The Foundation of Martyrs is attached to the Council of Ministers.[24] The Federal Public Service Council regulates the affairs of the federal public service, including appointment and promotion.[25]

See also

Iraq portal


References

  1. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 1, Article 2
  2. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 1, Article 1
  3. ^ "Iraqi parliament approves federal law". Reuters. 2006-10-11. http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=IBO145418&WTmodLoc=World-R5-Alertnet-4. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  4. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 48.
  5. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 49
  6. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 56
  7. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 61
  8. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 1, Article 65
  9. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 63
  10. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 67
  11. ^ a b Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 70
  12. ^ a b Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 72
  13. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 6, Chapter 2, Article 138
  14. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 6, Chapter 2, Article 139
  15. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 76
  16. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 78
  17. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 2, Article 80
  18. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 89
  19. ^ a b Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 91
  20. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 90
  21. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 3, Article 93
  22. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 102
  23. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 103
  24. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 104
  25. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Section 3, Chapter 4, Article 107


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