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Office of the Spokesman
May 5, 2004


Iraqi Judges Discussing Rule of Law With International Legal Experts in The Hague

Twenty-eight judges and Ministry of Justice officials are in The Hague, Netherlands May 5 and 6 to participate in a Rule of Law training program and workshop.

The Iraqi judges are meeting with legal experts from the United States, England and other countries to discuss the importance of rule of law to a healthy and open society, separation of powers and federalism, and the role of the judiciary in securing fundamental rights. The Iraqi judges will also discuss the unique challenges facing the Iraqi judiciary.

This trip is the first time in over 30 years that Iraqi judges have been able to participate in such an international gathering. A second trip is planned for September, when Iraqi judges will travel to Prague to meet with their East European counterparts, who ten years ago faced many of the same issues that the Iraqi judges face now.

International participants will include: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Woolf, and other legal experts and judges.

Media wanting more information or to cover this workshop should contact:

Jess Baily at the U.S. Embassy The Hague

Susan Phalen, Director, International Press Center, Office of Strategic Communications, CPA - Baghdad at 31-62-522-3569.

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(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:


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