Coalition Provisional Authority


Unprecedented document for Iraq and the region 

The Transitional Administrative Law sets out the basic rights of all the people of Iraq.  With the adoption of this Law, the Governing Council has taken an historic step forward toward a democratic Iraq.

Individual rights guaranteed in the Transitional Administrative Law:

-                         “All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion, or origin, and they are equal before the law.  Discrimination against an Iraqi citizen on the basis of his gender, nationality, religion, or origin is prohibited.  Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of his person.  No one may be deprived of his life or liberty, except in accordance with legal procedures.  All are equal before the courts.” (Chap 2, Article 12)

-                         “Public and private freedoms shall be protected.” (Chap 2, Article 13)

-                         “The right of free expression shall be protected.” (Chap 2, Article 13)

-                         “Each Iraqi has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief and practice. Coercion in such matters shall be prohibited.” (Chap 2, Article 13)

-                         “Torture in all its forms, physical or mental, shall be prohibited under all circumstances, as shall cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment….”  (Chap 2, Article 15)

-                         “Each Iraqi has the right to demonstrate and strike peaceably in accordance with the law.” (Chap 2, Article 13)

-                         “The right of free peaceable assembly and the right to join associations freely, as well as the right to form and join unions and political parties freely, in accordance with the law, shall be guaranteed.” (Chap 2, Article 13) 

-                         “Every Iraqi…has the right to stand for election and cast his ballot secretly in free, open, fair, competitive, and periodic elections.  No Iraqi may be discriminated against for purposes of voting in elections on the basis of gender, religion, sect, race, belief, ethnic origin, language, wealth, or literacy.” (Chap 2, Article 20) 

-                         “Anyone who carries Iraqi nationality shall be deemed an Iraqi citizen.  No Iraqi may have his Iraqi citizenship withdrawn or be exiled unless he is a naturalized citizen who, in his application for citizenship, as established in a court of law, made material falsifications on the basis of which citizenship was granted.  Each Iraqi shall have the right to carry more than one citizenship.  Any Iraqi whose Iraqi citizenship was withdrawn for political, religious, racial, or sectarian reasons has the right to reclaim his Iraqi citizenship.” (Chap 2, Article 11)

-                              “The right to a fair, speedy and open trial shall be guaranteed.”   (Chap 2, Article 15)

-                              “All persons shall be guaranteed the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, regardless of whether the proceeding is civil or criminal….”(Chap 2, Article 15) 

-                              “The accused is innocent until proven guilty pursuant to law, and he likewise has the right to engage independent and competent counsel, to remain silent in response to questions addressed to him with no compulsion to testify for any reason, to participate in preparing his defense, and to summon and examine witnesses or to ask the judge to do so.  At the time a person is arrested, he must be notified of these rights.” (Chap 2, Article 15) 

-                               “After being found innocent of a charge, an accused may not be tried once again on the same charge.” (Chap 2, Article 15)

-                              “Slavery and the slave trade, forced labor, and involuntary servitude, with or without pay, shall be forbidden.” (Chap 2, Article 13)

-                              “The individual has the right to security, education, healthcare and social security.”  (Chap 2, Article 14)

-                              “Each Iraqi has the right to privacy.” (Chap 2, Article 13) 

-                              “Police, investigators, or other governmental authorities may not violate the sanctity of private residences, whether these authorities belong to the federal or regional governments, governorates, municipalities, or local administrations, unless a judge or investigating magistrate has issued a search warrant….” (Chap 2, Article 15)

-                              “No one may be unlawfully arrested or detained, and no one may be detained by reason of political or religious beliefs.” (Chap 2, Article 15) 

-                              “The right to private property shall be protected….  No one shall be deprived of his property except by eminent domain, in circumstances and in the manner set forth in law, and on condition that he is paid just and timely compensation.” (Chap 2, Article 16)

-                              “There shall be no taxation or fee except by law.” (Chap 2, Article 18) 

-                              “This Law is the Supreme Law of the land and shall be binding in all parts of Iraq without exception.  No amendment to this Law may be made except by a three-fourths majority of the members of the National Assembly and the unanimous approval of the Presidency Council.”  (Chap 1, Article 3)