The Legislative and Institutional Framework for War-affected Land Rights in Iraq: Up to the Task Post-ISIS?

In: Arab Law Quarterly
Jon D. UnruhAssociate Professor, Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2K6, Canada

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Land and property rights in Iraq are an important component of recovery, particularly subsequent to the ISIS conflict. The return of 3.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to the ISIS conflict are encountering claimants who were dislocated from previous wars and expropriations. This results in numerous land conflicts that if not dealt with will contribute to the country’s instability. Of primary importance in this regard is an ongoing discussion in government and the international community which focuses on a central question—are the current laws and institutions in Iraq, made for stable socio-political settings, able to manage the large-scale land and property problems emerging and ongoing in the country? This article considers this question by examining and critiquing the current legislative and institutional framework in Iraq in the context of the historical-to-present trajectories of land rights problems and development of land and property laws and institutions.

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