L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
PSA- Transitional Administrative Law
The Rule of Law
I am Paul Bremer, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
On June 30 occupation ends and Iraqis will again be in charge of Iraq’s affairs.
That date begins an 18-month transitional period during which Iraqis will write
a constitution and hold four elections.
During the transitional period, the Transitional Administrative Law will be the
basic law of the land—the law to which all others must conform. That
Transitional Administrative Law guarantees many specific individual rights and
contains provisions recognizing the special place of Islam in Iraq while
protecting the right of all to their own religious beliefs and practices.
One of the most important aspects of the Transitional Administrative Law is that
it clearly establishes the rule of law in Iraq. Iraq’s government is controlled
by law, not by men. Every person, from the most humble citizen in the most
distant corner of the country to the President of Iraq is equal before the law.
When the law specifies protection, the poor and humble receive the same
protection as the high and mighty. And when the law specifies punishment, the
beggar and the Minister are treated the same.
• Accusation is not guilt. Every person is innocent until proven guilty through
due process of law.
• Torture and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.
• Every person accused of a crime has the right to remain silent.
• Anyone accused of a crime has the right to an attorney and to a speedy and
• No one can be arrested or tried for his political or religious beliefs.
• And, civilians may not be tried before military tribunals.
Iraqis know what happens when personality or position outweigh the law. Without
the rule of law another Saddam Hussein could take power and once again citizens’
rights would be trampled, the innocent would be punished and the guilty would go
free and grow rich. In short, without the rule of law the government would
become the country’s most powerful criminal.
The Transitional Administrative Law, by dividing government power among a prime
minister, a presidency, a legislature and the judiciary, makes it very hard for
any person to put himself above the law.
For example, if a Minister tried to misuse his office, the National Assembly
could remove him from power. The New Iraqi Army will get its orders from two
civilians, the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister. If either misuses the
Army, both ministers could be removed from office and brought before courts and
tried for their crimes.
This is the structure that the Transitional Administrative Law will provide for
Iraq—a government of laws and not of men.
It is part of your future of hope.
Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.