Judicial System, Human rights courts and the rule of law
In Iraq, the country's political transitions since American invasion have unleashed explosive dynamics that have negatively affected religious coexistence. Ethnic and religious identity divisions have been strained and often exploited in the outbreak of political violence and in the midst of disputes over political power as Iraq transforms to a more democratic system.
The country’s judicial system has developed significantly in the past decade, despite the resurgence of violence in the past years. But the courts still need more personnel and training and a greater public awareness of human rights and the rule of law. Inter- religious violence is a symptom of disagreements over state power. Iraq's violent conflicts are not primarily driven by theological disagreements. Violence legitimated on religious grounds has been deadly within and between religious communities.
Iraq is the most corrupt government in the Middle East. U.S. military presence in Iraq did not eradicate corruption. There were clear signs that post regime Iraq was not going to be the linchpin for a new democratic Middle East. Grounding in historical political trajectories, including the historic marginalization of the Kurds, Shiite, and Christian and other minority religious communities from state power, they have been compounded in recent years, particularly as specific religious conflicts.
In Iraq, the system of human rights courts is in development. The judges and the Iraqi public are still learning about related United Nations and national standards and laws. The court system, still needs more personnel and equipment to handle its case loads, needs to strengthen local capacities to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts peacefully by assisting Iraqis to develop the tools and institutions necessary to peacefully resolve disputes.
Religious violence, inter- communal pluralism, and processes of problem solving, sought to elicit consensus and provide practical support for religious leaders to serve as agents of peace in their local communities. The capacity of a core group of civil society activists is crucial to facilitate inter- religious engagement in their local communities. The Iraqi justice system has advanced, rather than slipping back. The goal is to increase cooperation between the courts of the Kurdistan region and Baghdad. Justice has made progress. Judicial authorities are seeking to be better and better.
The religious leaders and clergy are crucial to resolve inter- religious conflicts. In Iraq, as in many places around the world, clergy are influential in shaping public opinion and mobilizing communities. Here it is of vital importance to raise capability and capacity of individuals to be aware of the culture of human rights. The politicians should respect the independence of justice and not to interfere in it, and not to pour their conflicts into the pot of the judiciary. They are well positioned to combat destructive religious tendencies seeking to exploit religious division. With their understanding of local needs and dynamics, they can be powerful peace builders, particularly when they have the support and capacity to play this role.