A New Basis for Judicial Review in Iraq

In: Arab Law Quarterly
Oday Talal MahmoodAssistance Professor, Al-Iraqia University, Baghdad, Iraq

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Article 2 of the Iraqi Constitution of 2005, which states that Iraq is a modern Islamic constitutional democracy, contains a ‘repugnancy clause’, prohibiting enactment of any law contrary to Islam’s settled rulings, principles of democracy, and rights guaranteed in the Constitution. This clause allows the Constitutional Court to invalidate laws that violate the Constitution. Currently, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court’s method for determining whether a particular law is repugnant to the Constitution and Islamic settled rulings as per Article 2 is inconsistent and arbitrary. Here the core question is: What is the best way to successfully implement the Iraqi Constitution’s Repugnancy Clause? We propose an approach focusing on maqāṣid, the classical Islamic concept meaning Sharīʿah’s intent, purpose, or objectives that will also fulfil the other purposes of Article 2 to ensure that the law is consistent with the principles of democracy and the principles of human rights.

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