Iraq - Law guide - (2023)

In the following you will find an overview of online research of legal texts on Iraq (as of September 2022). The overview is intended to facilitate the entry into the search for legal texts but does not replace independent examination of currency, validity and correctness of the laws. Furthermore please note that official translations of legal texts are available only in rare cases.

Researching Laws

The official Gazette of the Iraqi Government (al-waqa‘i al-iraqiya), which publishes laws and legislative amendments, can be found on the website of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice. The official gazettes are available chronologically and numbered but there is no search function. The page is available via the following link:

The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq maintains the Qa‘ida tashri‘at al-iraqiya, a legal database that claims to be able to access all laws and decrees adopted in Iraq since 1918. The database can be accessed via the following link:

Dorar al-Iraq, a website with user-generated forums on various topics, provides a collection of Iraqi legislation from 1960 to 2011 in Arabic:

On the Refworld database operated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), English language translations of some legal texts can be found using the following search query:

Some Iraqi legal texts can be found on Natlex, a portal of the International Labour Organization (ILO):

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To go to the collection of national laws for Iraq on, please follow this link.


The current constitution was adopted by referendum on 15 October 2005. The text of the Iraqi constitution in Arabic can be found on the Iraqi Parliament’s website at the following link:

An English translation of the constitution was published by the Constitute Project and is available at the following link:

  • Iraq’s Constitution of 2005, translation by Constitute Project, undated

A further English translation which was produced by the United Nations Office for Constitutional Support can be found on the website of the “ace project”:

Criminal Law

The Penal Code currently in force in Iraq was adopted in 1969 and bears the number 111. A valid version of the penal code can be found on the Iraqi legal database, with a note that the law has been subject to amendments. There are notes attached to the law containing changes up to 2003. However, it is unclear whether the amendments have been incorporated into the legal text.

On Dorar al-Iraq, there is a version in Arabic that is referred to as the 1969 Penal Code which also incorporates amendments up to 2003:

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An English translation of the Penal Code with amendments up to March 2010 can be found on Refworld:

One can assume that there have been amendments to the Penal Code in recent times. For example, in February 2018 the newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that the Iraqi government has tightened certain provisions in the Penal Code in order to curb violent tribal conflicts. To this end, Article 430 is said to have been amended (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 7 February 2018). In June 2019, the regulations concerning fines contained in the Penal Code were amended (Law No. 4 of 2019).

It should be noted that not all articles of the Penal Code apply in the Kurdistan Region. Article 121(1) of the Iraqi Constitution gives the regional parliament the right (with exceptions) to enact its own laws. On this basis, the Kurdistan parliament has already amended some articles of the Penal Code that are only valid within the region (UNAMI/OHCHR, December 2021, p.5, footnote 13; see also: Sadaa, September 28, 2021).

Criminal Procedure Code

A valid version of the Criminal Procedure Code can be found on the Iraqi legal database, with the note that the law has been subject to amendments. There are notes attached to the law describing changes up to 2016. However, it is unclear whether all amendments and possible amendments made after 2016 have been incorporated into the legal text.

Dorar al-Iraq provides an Arabic version of the Criminal Procedure Code dated 1971 with amendments up to 2004:

A 2016 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code can be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice:

The Global Justice Project Iraq (GJPI) published a translation of the Criminal Procedure Code dated 1971 with amendments up to March 2010 in October 2010:

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The Kurdistan Center for International Law publishes on its website a document compiled by GJPI of the legal text in the version applicable to the Kurdistan Region (including amendments up to February 2010):

  • Criminal Procedure Code No. 23 of 1971, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as amended to 14 February 2010, available at the Kurdistan Center for International Law

Citizenship Law

The Iraqi Law Database provides the text of the Iraqi Citizenship Act No. 26 of 2006 in Arabic:

Dorar al-Iraq also provides a version of the Citizenship Act in Arabic on its website:

A translation of the Citizenship Act provided by UNHCR is available at the following link:

  • Iraqi Nationality Law, Law 26 of 2006, 7 March 2006, published by UNHCR, available at

Family Law

Family Law issues for the majority Muslim population in Iraq are primarily governed by the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959.

A valid version of the Personal Status Law can be found on the Iraqi legal database, with the note that the law has been subject to amendments. There are notes attached to the law describing changes up to 2008. However, it is unclear whether all amendments and possible amendments made after 2008 have been incorporated into the legal text.

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Refworld provides an Arabic version of the Personal Status Law of 1959 with amendments up to 1999:

A translation of the 1959 Personal Status Law, with amendments up to 1999, prepared by the American Bar Association Iraq Legal Development Project, is available on the Peace Women website, a program of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF):

The Kurdish Regional Government has enacted its own amendments to the Personal Status Law which only apply to the Autonomous Kurdistan Region. These are contained in Act No. 15 of 2008 implementing the amended Personal Status Law in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The High Council for Women’s Affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government has made an English version of the law available on its website:


(Access to all links on 20 September 2022)

Cite as:

ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: Overview of Iraqi laws, September 2022


What is the Iraq environment law? ›

Iraqi Law of Protection and Improvement of the Environment, No. 27 of 2009. Abstract/Citation: This Law aims to improve and to protect the environment by handling the damages, protecting the public health and the natural resources.

What type of legal system does Iraq have? ›

The Iraqi Code is based on the Egyptian and before that French Code Civil. Although it incorporates Islamic elements, its overall structure and substance is principally based on continental civil law.

What is the Iraq oil law? ›

The Iraq Oil Law, also referred to as the Iraq Hydrocarbon Law was a piece of legislation submitted to the Iraqi Council of Representatives in May 2007 that laid out a framework for the regulation and development of Iraq's oil fields.

What is the official gazette of Iraq? ›

The Official Gazette of Iraq (Arabic: الوقائع العراقية / ALA-LC: al-Waqā'i' al-'Irāqiyah) has been the official source for the laws and resolutions passed by the Council of Representatives of Iraq since August 1922.

What is Article 4 terrorism law Iraq? ›

Article 4 describes the penalties for those convicted of the crimes defined in the statute: the death penalty for the main perpetrator or participant of any of the offenses defined in Articles 2 or 3 and life imprisonment for a person convicted of intentionally covering up a terrorist act or of harbouring a perpetrator ...

What are the three sets of environmental laws? ›

If approved, the new law is called an act or statute. Some of the better-known laws related to the environment are the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Is there death penalty in Iraq? ›

Capital punishment in Iraq is a legal penalty. It was commonly used by the government of Saddam Hussein (who was himself ultimately executed), was temporarily halted after the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq that deposed Saddam, and has since been reinstated. Executions are carried out by hanging.

What country is the US legal system based on? ›

American law is based on common law from the United Kingdom as one of its core legal pillars (which is then buttressed by, among other sources, the U.S. Constitution, court cases, statutes, restatements, decrees, treatises, and various other rules and regulations).

Is Iraq a common law or civil law? ›

Iraq's legal system contains both civil law and Sharia law, as well as statutes and regulations.

Does the US buy oil from Iraq? ›

The top five source countries of U.S. gross petroleum imports in 2022 were Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Colombia. Note: Ranking in the table is based on gross imports by country of origin.

Did the US buy oil from Iraq? ›

The United States imported an average of 157,000 barrels of petroleum per day from Iraq in 2021.

Who controls Iraqi oil fields now? ›

Currently, the Ministry of Oil (MOO) has central control over oil and gas production in federal Iraq territory through its five operating entities, the middle/Midland Oil Company, the North Oil Company (NOC), the Dhi Qar Oil Company, Basrah Oil Company (BOC), and the Missan Oil Company (MOC).

What is the new name of Iraq? ›

Since January 1992, the official name of the state is "Republic of Iraq" (Jumhūrīyyet al-'Irāq), reaffirmed in the 2005 Constitution.

What is CIA in Iraq? ›

The CIA provided intelligence support to the U.S. military in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Mohammed Abdullah Shawani's "saga illustrates a little-understood part of the Iraq story—the CIA's attempt to mobilize Iraqi officers [against Hussein's regime].

What is the old name for Iraq region? ›

During ancient times, lands that now constitute Iraq were known as Mesopotamia (“Land Between the Rivers”), a region whose extensive alluvial plains gave rise to some of the world's earliest civilizations, including those of Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria.

What is Iraq Law 398? ›

Article 398 of the Penal Code allows a perpetrator of rape to escape punishment by marrying the woman he raped. If the offender lawfully marries the survivor, the legal action becomes void, any investigation is discontinued, and any sentence that has already been passed is quashed.

What is Article 398 in Iraq? ›

Article 398 of the Iraqi Penal Code automatically prohibits the prosecution of the perpetrator if he marries the victim legally.

What is Article 140 Iraq? ›

Article 140 required that before the referendum, measures had to be taken to reverse the Arabization policy employed by the Saddam Hussein administration during the Al-Anfal Campaign.

What are the 3 main types of environment? ›

The three types of environment are:
  • Internal environment.
  • External macro environment.
  • External micro environment.

What is the law to protect the environment? ›

The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Union Territories) Rules, 1983. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

What are the two fields of environmental law? ›

Generally, environmental law is broken into two categories: pollution control and remediation on the one hand, and conservation of natural resources on the other. The source of authority for these laws derives from many sources, and is heavily influenced by international treaties.

What crimes are punishable by death in Iraq? ›

In Iraq, the death penalty is regulated by the national legislation and it is imposed to persons founds guilty of a variety of different crimes including murder, treason, espionage, rape, kidnapping, terrorism, war crimes and drug trafficking.

What is the most common cause of death in Iraq? ›

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of morbidity and death in Iraq (Iraqi Ministry of Health, 2019). It is estimated that 30% of Iraqis have high blood pressure, 14% have diabetes, and more than 30% are obese.

What happens if you steal in Iraq? ›

An individual found guilty of armed robbery or committing theft as a member of the military or as a state employee may be executed. Persons convicted of smuggling antiquities or organizing prostitution may also be sentenced to death. Any person who deserts military service three times may be executed.

Which country has best legal system? ›

Denmark, Norway, and Finland topped the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021.

What is the most important law? ›

The U.S. Constitution is the nation's fundamental law. It codifies the core values of the people.

Who can challenge a law in an American court? ›

In a civil case, either party may appeal to a higher court. In a criminal case, only the defendant has a right to an appeal in most states. (Some states give the prosecution a limited right to appeal to determine certain points of law.

Is forced marriage illegal in Iraq? ›

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women's rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage. Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters.

What happens if you break the law in Iraq? ›

Persons violating Iraq's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for the possession, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Iraq are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines, and in some cases may be subject to the death penalty.

Can you divorce in Iraq? ›

Either party may request dissolution upon the following grounds: such harm as makes continuation of marriage impossible; marital infidelity; if the marriage was contracted without judicial permission before either party attained 18 years; if the marriage was concluded outside of court by means of coercion and was not ...

Who has the most oil in the world? ›

Venezuela - 303.806 Billion Barrels

Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves globally, with over 300 billion barrels mainly located in the Orinoco Belt at the southern end of the eastern Orinoco River Basin.

Who gets the most oil from Iraq? ›

In N/A, Iraq exported N/A in Crude Petroleum. The main destinations of Iraq exports on Crude Petroleum were China ($23.1B), India ($22.1B), Greece ($8.67B), Italy ($3.97B), and South Korea ($3.5B).

Where does the US get most of its oil? ›

  • The top five sources of U.S. crude oil imports by percentage share of U.S. total crude oil imports in 2021 were:
  • Canada61%
  • Mexico10%
  • Saudi Arabia6%
  • Russia3%
  • Colombia3%
Nov 2, 2022

Where does us get oil 2023? ›

Download Table Data
Country2021 Barrels2019 Barrels
Saudi Arabia156,875193,357
50 more rows

What percent of US oil comes from Iraq? ›

The top five source countries of U.S. petroleum imports in 2017 were Canada (40%), Saudi Arabia (9%), Mexico (7%), Venezuela (7%), and Iraq (6%). Of course, the United States also exports (sells) petroleum.

Why did US invade Iraq for oil? ›

The primary rationalization for the Iraq War was articulated by a joint resolution of the United States Congress known as the Iraq Resolution. The US claimed the intent was to "disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people".

Where is the biggest oil field in the world? ›

The world's largest oil field, Saudi Arabia's Ghawar Field, for instance, produces around 4 million barrels of oil per day, accounting for well over 1/3 of Saudi Arabia's total production.

Who profits from oil in Iraq? ›

China is among the biggest buyers of Iraq's crude and Chinese state firms have built up a dominant position in its oil industry.

Are American oil companies still in Iraq? ›

Lukoil, bp, Shell, and ExxonMobil are among the major multinational oil firms active in oil extraction and production in several parts of Iraq, particularly in the south.

What was Iraq called in 1936? ›

Kingdom of Iraq
Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq المملكة العراقية الهاشمية (Arabic) al-Mamlakah al-ʿIrāqiyyah ʾal-Hāshimyyah
• 1933–1939Ghazi
• 1939–1958Faisal II
• 1939–1941 (1st time)Prince Abdullah
39 more rows

What is the nickname for Iraqis? ›

Haji: Slang for an Iraqi, but may mean any Middle Easterner who hails from a predominantly Muslim country.

What was Iraq called in 1914? ›

Between 1914 and 1918, British and Indian troops fought against the Ottoman Turks in Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

What are CIA soldiers called? ›

The CIA's formal designations for these individuals are paramilitary operations officers and specialized skills officers. Paramilitary operations officers often attend the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) program, which trains them as clandestine intelligence operatives at an internal paramilitary training course.

What is Iraq oldest city? ›

Eridu (present day Abu Shahrein, Iraq) was considered the first city in the world by the ancient Sumerians and is among the most ancient of the ruins from Mesopotamia. Founded in c. 5400 BCE, Eridu was thought to have been created by the gods who established order upon the earth with Eridu as the starting point.

What is the oldest country in Iraq? ›

Encompassed within Iraqi territory is the ancient land of Sumer, which came into being between 6000 and 5000 BC during the Neolithic Ubaid period of Mesopotamian history, and is widely considered the oldest civilization in recorded history.

What is it like to live in Iraq? ›

Living conditions in Iraq are often strenuous and many people struggle with poverty, unemployment and malnutrition. The struggle has marked the recent past for many Iraqis, however, despite setbacks, the country is trying to rebuild itself.

What is law No 19 of 2010 Iraq? ›

First: The tax stipulated in Article )1( of imposing income tax on foreign oil companies contracting to work in Iraq law no. (19) of 2010 shall include the following contracts: a. Contracts for exploration, development and production of exploration spots and oil and gas fields.

What is Iraqi Companies law No 21 1997? ›

The new Law will now regulate holding companies; A foreign natural or legal person may acquire membership in his capacity as a founder or a shareholder in a joint stock or limited company, provided the percentage of contribution from an Iraqi person is not less than fifty-one percent (51%) of the capital.

What is Iraqi Law of Customs No 23 1984? ›

1 - Goods may be entered and transported from one place to another within the Iraqi Republic or in transit by land, sea, air or river is allowed together with the suspension of payment of customs duties and other taxes and dues thereof.

What is Iraqi Trade law No 30 of 1984? ›

Law NO. 30 of 1984

The law covers many important aspects related to types of commercial business including eligibility requirements to practice a commercial business, store rent and insurance, types of commercial contracts, illegal competition, marine businesses, commercial ledgers, and guarantees.

What is instructions no 2 of 2008 Iraq? ›

2 of 2008 which requires that information relating to contracts with foreign suppliers should be disclosed to the General Commission for Taxes (“GCT”) in order for the tax office to determine whether the contractor is liable to tax and confirm the rate of retention.

What is Iraqi Nationality law No 26 of 2006? ›

I- An Iraqi who acquires a foreign nationality shall retain his Iraqi nationality, unless he has declared in writing renunciation of his Iraqi nationality. II- Iraqi courts shall apply Iraqi laws on holders of Iraqi nationality together with that of a foreign state.

What is law 37 2015 the Iraqi Labour law? ›

(37) Of 2015 regulates the relationship between employers and workers and outlines their respective rights and obligations in Iraq. This includes wages, working hours, leave entitlements and working conditions. It also outlines rules and provisions to support specific groups such as women in the workplace.

What is investment law no 13 of 2006 Iraq? ›

One such reform, Investment Law 13 of 2006, aims to incentivise foreign investment by granting investors specific privileges, benefits and guarantees. The Investment Law also calls for the establishment of the National Investment Commission (NIC), and defines the organisations design, purpose, and responsibilities.

What is Rule 13 of the customs? ›

—If any imported goods are pilferred after the unloading thereof and before the proper officer has made an order for clearance for home consumption or deposit in a warehouse, the importer shall not be liable to pay the duty leviable on such goods except where such goods are restored to the importer after pilferage.

What is Article 41 of the Iraqi Artefacts law No 55? ›

Article 41 –

Whoever exported or intended to export, deliberately, an antiquity, from Iraq, shall be punishable with execution. 2.

What is Iraq Income Tax law No 113 of 1982? ›

(1) Tax shall be imposed on the income of the Iraqi person resident which arises inside or outside Iraq regardless of place of receipt. (2) Tax shall be imposed on the income of the non-resident which arises in Iraq even if he does not receive it in Iraq.

Can a U.S. company sell to Iraq? ›

You may export or reexport an item to Iraq without an individual validated license if your transaction meets all the applicable terms and conditions of the available license exceptions.

What is the Iraqi Labor law 1987? ›

Chapter I.

(1) A worker's wages shall be paid once a month on a working day, at the workplace or in a nearby pay office. (2) Wages shall be paid in Iraqi currency. Payment of wages in other currencies shall not Page 8 release the employer from his or her obligations to the worker.


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