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The Constitution of Iraq 2007-17: A Preliminary Autopsy

The CEU Campus
Thursday, March 1, 2018, 1:00 pm

The Constitution of Iraq was ratified by almost 8 out of 10 Iraqi citizens who voted in October 2005. Today almost half of its articles have either been violated or not implemented. What went wrong? Why did the Kurdistan Region attempt to secede? How was it blocked? The Baghdad government insists that Kurdistan should conform to the constitution even though Iraqi ministers and prime ministers are the most systematic and serial violators of that constitution. The United States, the European Union, and Iraq’s neighbors insist on the same message: Kurdistan should conform to Iraq’s constitution. They rarely emphasize that Iraq should conform to its own constitution. What explains this collusion? What are the prospects for constitutional renewal, federalism and democracy in Iraq, if any? Come to hear the analysis of two of those who advised the Kurdistan government during the making of Iraq’s Constitution.

Dr. Brendan O’Leary is professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Queen’s University Belfast. He specializes in power-sharing in deeply divided places, and has been a political and constitutional advisor to the UN, the EU, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and to the Governments of the UK and Ireland during the Irish peace process.

Dr. Khaled Salih is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kurdistan-Hâwler, and co-edited The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq with Brendan O’Leary and John McGarry. They jointly advised the Kurdistan Regional Government during the making of the Transitional Administrative Law and the Constitution of Iraq in 2004-5.