L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
PSA- The Transitional Administrative Law
My name is Paul Bremer and I am the Administrator of the Coalition
As the end of occupation and the rebirth of Iraqi sovereignty draw closer, I
want to assure you that your individual rights will be protected during the
transition from occupation to a directly elected, constitutional government.
On June 30, you, the Iraqi people, will once again exercise sovereignty here in
the Land Between Two Rivers. In the 18 months that follow sovereignty many
things will happen:
• The Coalition Provisional Authority will dissolve on June 30.
• And from June 30 on, Iraqis will be in charge here.
• The Transitional Administrative Law lays out a series of events which
culminate in a directly elected national government in less than two years.
Next year you will have four elections. The first two are to elect a National
Assembly and assemblies for each governate. The third is to vote on whether to
accept the constitution the National Assembly will write and the fourth is to
elect the government that constitution defines.
But until that constitution is written there must be a basic law, some set of
rules which defines and limits the role government plays in each of your lives.
That is the function of the Transitional Administrative Law. It is
“transitional” because it lasts only for the transition from occupation to
elected, constitutional government.
While the Transitional Administrative Law has several functions, none is more
important than the protection of your individual rights. No one knows better
than Iraqis what happens when citizens’ rights are not protected. For longer
than most of you have been alive, the only individual rights that mattered were
the rights of Saddam Hussein and his family and friends. They usurped your
rights and trampled on them because they monopolized all power. They committed
every crime, including rape and murder, when it pleased them.
Those days are over. Saddam is in jail and your Transitional Administrative Law
was carefully crafted by the Governing Council to provide all Iraqis with an
extensive list of rights specifically guaranteed to all Iraqis. The Bill of
Rights is the most extensive in the region and among the most comprehensive in
the world. Under the Transitional Administrative Law you and every Iraqi have
• the right to think, speak, and publish freely.
• the right to assemble peacefully.
• the right to free association and organization.
• the right to vote.
• the right to freedom of religion.
• the right to privacy.
• the right to be presumed innocent of a crime until proven guilty.
• the right to a fair, speedy, and public trial in accordance with the law.
Additionally, the Transitional Administrative Law absolutely prohibits torture
and other cruel and inhuman treatment.
Your protections do not end there. The Transitional Administrative Law specifies
that everyone is entitled to equal protection of the laws. Under the
Transitional Administrative Law no part of the government can discriminate
against anyone on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender.
These are strong protections. But some of you may be worried that the
Transitional Administrative Law may not be obeyed, that powerful people in
government will ignore the law.
But Transitional Administrative Law is designed to separate power among
different people and organizations. The military will be under the control of
civilians and judges will be independent of the government. This dispersion of
power is intended to protect your future of hope.
Thanks to the Iraq envisioned by the Transitional Administrative Law, you and
your children and their children’s children are going to enjoy wide-ranging,
well-protected individual rights.
Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.