Iraq: training judges who will be deployed in the liberated areas 

Within the project on strengthening the legal regime against terrorism in Iraq, the UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) organized a national moot court training on investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating terrorist cases in Beirut from 8 to 11 August 2017. The main objective of this event, that was generously funded by the Government of Japan, was to support Iraqi judges who will be deployed in the liberated cities from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The training gathered 22 trainee judges from the Iraqi Judicial Institute who were joined by senior judicial practitioners and experts from Lebanon, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. A senior representative from the Embassy of Japan to Lebanon was also in attendance

The four-day workshop included an operational moot court training covering a range of terrorist crimes that offered a platform to support trainee judges in investigating, prosecuting and drafting judgments. The training focused on the new Iraqi counter-terrorism law and national legislation, as well as the United Nations legal framework to counter terrorism, and human rights standards and their implication in any terrorism-related case on the national level. 

The workshop included three moot court terrorism-related scenarios that were manufactured by TPB experts. The first case focused on the financing of terrorism and its different aspects; the second case involved different terrorist crimes including incitement and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts; and the third case addressed terrorist crimes and human rights issues and the relationship between respecting human rights and implementing an efficient counter terrorism criminal justice approach. The aim of the workshop was to have the trainee judges utilize the acquired knowledge and skills when handling future cases in the liberated areas.

Participants highly rated the interventions made by UNODC/TPB and participating experts, as well as the substantive discussions on the selected topics which were determined as being relevant and useful to their institutional portfolios. Ultimately, more training activities in the form of moot courts including regional participation to enhance the sharing of experiences, practices and challenges were requested.