In the spring of 2003, a multi-national coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq, beginning a conflict that has lasted for over five years. The principal asserted reasons for the invasion were to disarm Iraq of alleged weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free Iraqis from Saddam’s dictatorial reign. A major component of the coalition’s multi-faceted offensive was to restore some semblance of order after removing Hussein from power. To this end, officials at the State Department and Department of Defense recommended that a team of experienced American judicial professionals conduct an assessment of Iraq’s judicial infrastructure once hostilities ceased. As the final major military skirmishes came to an end, the Department of Justice selected a team of thirteen American judges, prosecutors, public defenders and a court administrator to travel to Iraq to make an initial assessment of the Iraqo judicial system of the next two months. The team arrived in Baghdad in mid-April after taking the same route that coalition forces took just weeks earlier: a trans-Atlantic flight to Kuwait followed by a 450-mile trek through the Iraqi desert. This article describes the work of the assessment team during May and June 2003, as initial steps were taken to bring a meaningful Rule of Law to Iraq.
How to Cite:
Thomas, L.D., 2008. Establishing Justice in Iraq: A Journey into the Cradle of Civilization. International Journal for Court Administration, 1(2), pp.19–25. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijca.99