At the expanded meeting, On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, at al-Salam Palace in Baghdad, the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih presented the New Penal Code, which was sent to the Office of the President by the Supreme Judicial Council in the context of cooperation between both of them in the area of law-making, which is needed by the times we live in, to the Iraqi Parliament.
The new Penal code is presented to replace the Criminal Law of 1969, and that it is based on the legislation in force in the country, and Iraqi Constitution and international law were not violated when the new law was being drafted.
The New Code’s purpose is to deliver security and stability as well as promoting solidarity.
President Sailh attended the meeting alongside the First Deputy Speaker Mr. Hasan al-Kaabi, Parliamentary Legal Committee, the Head of Iraqi Bar Association, the Head of the Union of Iraqi Jurists and a number of experts, academic and legal scholars and senior professors of law at Iraqi universities.
The New Penal Code is the more comprehensive amendment that has been made to the Criminal Law of 1969, over the past 50 years, despite adjustments that have been made by the dissolved Revolutionary Command Council and the orders issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority, President Sailh said.
Furthermore, he noted that the New Bill was adopted by the Supreme Judicial Council, and the State Council has been consulted.
In the same vein, the Presidency of the Republic’s Consultative Body assisted in preparing the New Bill’s language by making use of related Iraqi professional skills and various Legal Services in order to reach the final version of the Bill that is in line with the new situation in Iraq, the President said.
Moreover, he underscored that what happened in Iraq over the past decades are major transformations but the legal system and specifically the Criminal Law of 1969, they, failed to keep up with the changes of the political system and the changes within Iraqi society.
The most significant points of the new Penal code are as the follows: The penal provisions combating both financial and administrative corruption have been stipulated, and those responsible for such crimes must be punished, and impunity must be prevented, and embezzlers are obligated to return the funds, and illicit acts must be criminalized, and penalties for offences involving the destruction of national economy should be increased, the President said, while the protection of the family and criminalizing acts committed against them is also taken great concern of the New Penal Code.
President Salih said that the New Bill takes into account all international agreements and treaties, particularly those that have been signed as it is a part of national law, and the United Nations and Red Cross were consulted.
The Bill will have positive spillovers that place Iraq among those states that are bound by international law and standards on the crime and punishment, personal freedoms and abuse which is committed within the society, he added.
His Excellency emphasized that the New Penal Code is an important event and significant development, and it is a new beginning to address the legacy of the past that needs to be addressed. Iraq wants to be and must be compatible with the international system regarding these important concepts, he underlined.