IX. Recommendations

To the Iraqi Government

  • Desist from using article 4(4) of the IHT Statute to remove or relocate sitting trial judges. All questions of bias must be left to the Appeals Chamber of the IHT pursuant to its rules.
  • Discourage statements by government officials and political figures concerning the guilt or innocence of defendants before the IHT, concerning the courtroom conduct of judges, or concerning the substance of any ongoing trial.
  • Discourage statements by government officials that could in any way be seen as attempts to bring public pressure on the IHT and its judicial decision making.
  • Uphold security arrangements agreed upon by government officials with the IHT and private defense lawyers, regarding the provision of salaries for armed guards for defense lawyers.

To the Iraqi Parliament and the IHT

  • Revise the IHT Statute to permit individuals with experience in international criminal trials to participate directly in the trial process as judges, co-prosecutors and co-defense counsel, alongside Iraqi personnel.
  • Revise the IHT Statute to create the Administrative Department as an independent entity, led by an individual experienced in managing complex criminal trials and judicial institutions, and tasked with servicing the requirements of the defense as well as the prosecution and judiciary.
  • Revise the IHT Statute to reduce the administrative role of the president of the court.
  • Revise the IHT Statute to delete article 4(4) of the IHT Statute and to amend article 33 concerning former membership of the Ba’th Party. Dismissal of judges on the grounds of former membership of the Ba’th Party should only occur after an individualized assessment of the past conduct of the judge, that assessment to be undertaken by the disciplinary procedures established under the IHT Statute.
  • Revise the IHT Statute to remove the requirement that a judge or prosecutor be a spokesperson for the court.
  • Abolish the death penalty.

To the IHT

  • Immediately institute an outreach program administered by a person with expertise in communications.
  • Establish a protocol for communications with private defense counsel, and devise methods of verifying delivery of documents and motions, while taking into account difficulties faced by counsel in reaching the court offices out of court sessions.
  • Develop training programs for administrative staff.
  • Recruit an experienced professional in witness protection to develop and manage a comprehensive witness protection program.
  • Institute a protocol for due diligence in the review of evidence and documents held by the court, to ensure thorough and complete disclosure of exculpatory evidence under the IHT Rules.
  • Supervise disclosure of evidence by the prosecution to minimize or avoid late or same-day disclosure of incriminating evidence.
  • Ensure timely disclosure of witness identities to the defense.
  • Develop a reasoned approach to the application of in-court protective measures.
  • Appoint an official, with necessary support staff, responsible for ensuring security arrangements for defense counsel. Develop and implement a comprehensive and well supervised security plan for defense counsel.
  • Respond to motions concerning fundamental procedural issues in a timely manner and with reasons.
  • Institute a practice of maintaining a verbatim written transcript of court proceedings, to be disclosed on a regular basis to all parties to the case.
  • Develop a practice of regularly scheduling status conferences well before the beginning of the trial to objectively assess the readiness of both sides for trial, and issue scheduling orders setting out a timetable for hearing.
  • Ensure the proper legibility and adequate organization of the dossier of evidence when provided to the defense, and ensure disclosure of defendants’ interrogation statements to the defense.
  • Institute intensive and ongoing training for Defense Office lawyers in international criminal law and procedure. Appoint an experienced international criminal lawyer as an advisor to the head of the Defense Office.
  • Ensure the provision of logistical and other administrative support to private defense lawyers, through the Defense Office.