Central Criminal Court of Iraq
The Central Criminal Court of Iraq, or CCCI, is a criminal court of Iraq. The CCCI is based on an inquisitorial system and consists of two chambers: an investigative court and a criminal court. The court was created by the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 to handle cases involving serious crimes such as governmental corruption, terrorism and organized crime that were previously handled by governorate level judges in the ordinary criminal courts. Candidates for the judiciary had to be an Iraqi national of high moral character and reputation, a non-member of the Ba'ath Party, demonstrate a "high level of legal competence", and sign an oath of office.
There has been criticism of the court, as well as the broader judiciary of Iraq. The New York Times published an investigative article critical of the court, and Human Rights Watch has said that:
|“||The CCCI is the country’s flagship criminal justice institution. Yet it is an institution that is seriously failing to meet international standards of due process and fair trials. Defendants often endure long periods of pretrial detention without judicial review, and are not able to pursue a meaningful defense or challenge evidence against them. Abuse in detention, typically with the aim of extracting confessions, appears common, thus tainting court proceedings in those cases.||”|
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq recommended that the government "review procedures before criminal courts and adopt measures consistent with minimum standards for fair trial; adopt measures to ensure basic rights for defendants, including timely and adequate access to defence counsel, and continuity of representation by counsel at all stages of the proceedings; give consideration to implementing a moratorium on the death penalty pending a thorough review of legal proceedings followed at both pre-trial and trial stages."
- CPA Order Number 13, as amended on 2006-04-22.
- Moss, Michael (2006-12-17). "Iraq’s Legal System Staggers Beneath the Weight of War". New York Times.
But like the faltering effort to create effective Iraqi security forces, the system for detaining, charging and trying suspects has instead become another weak link in the rule of law in Iraq, according to an examination of the justice system by The New York Times.
- The Quality of Justice: Failings of Iraq's Central Criminal Court
- HRW Press Release
- United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq 13th report on the human rights situation in Iraq
- United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq Press Release
- "CCCI convicts 48 insurgents" (Press release). Multi-National Force - Iraq. 2007-01-03.
… the Central Criminal Court has held 1,809 trials for Coalition-apprehended insurgents. The proceedings have resulted in the conviction of 1,569 individuals with sentences ranging up to death.
- "CCCI convicts 16 insurgents" (Press release). Multi-National Force - Iraq. 2006-12-16.
… the Central Criminal Court has held 1,767 trials for Coalition-apprehended insurgents. The proceedings have resulted in the conviction of 1,521 individuals with sentences ranging up to death.
- "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. 2006-03-08.
There is no jury in the criminal justice system, and a three‑judge panel decides on the guilt or innocence of a defendant.
- Giordono, Joseph (2004-12-26). "Trying insurgents in Iraqi courts seen as big step in rebuilding legal system". Stars and Stripes Mideast Edition (U.S. Department of Defense).