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Cablegate: Update On Goi Ministerial Committee On Rule of Law

VZCZCXYZ0003
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #0111/01 0150807
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150807Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5229
INFO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000111

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/I, L
JUSTICE FOR JOHN EULER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL IZ
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON GOI MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON RULE OF LAW
AND DETENTION


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (U) Summary. Since its formal commissioning in mid-2007,
the Ministerial Committee on Rule of Law and Detention
(MCRLD) has made significant progress in the practical
application of its operation. MCRLD has ensured all relevant
ministries are adequately represented, meaningful issues are
identified and placed on the agenda, and it has developed a
deliberative process for addressing problems associated with
detainee processing. In 2008, the leadership and the
membership of the committee need to continue taking steps to
ensure the committee becomes a genuine mechanism for
accomplishing the goals set forth in Prime Ministerial Order
207 on detention operations. End Summary.

----------------------
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
----------------------

2. (U) In 2006, the Mission (Rule of Law Office) and MNF-I
(Task Force 134) proposed the concept of an inter-ministerial
committee to address detention operations. The leaders of
the Higher Juridical Council and the Ministries of Interior
and Justice responded in a positive fashion to the concept.
In 2007, the President of the Higher Juridical Council
commissioned a previous committee to have the responsibility
for identifying and addressing critical court related
challenges in the management of Iraqi detainee populations.
However, the previous group did not adequately represent the
necessary ministries, nor did the members (with some
exceptions) have sufficient authority to effect real change.

3. (U) In mid-2007, the Prime Minister issued an order
officially directing that this inter-ministerial committee be
reorganized and re-commissioned to respond with practical
proposals to remedy the numerous issues associated with the
increasing size of the detainee population. After a series
of high-level discussions held in August 2007 between the
Deputy Prime Minister, the National Security Advisor, and the
President of the Higher Juridical Council, the Prime Minister
issued Order No. 207 in September 2007. (Comment: The text
of the order is both motivational and directive. It is
motivational in that it articulates broad goals to which the
Government of Iraq should aspire in its management of the
detainee population. It is directive in that it commissions
particular ministries to engage in specific acts to meet
clearly identified needs and interests with respect to
detention operations. End comment.)

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PRESENT ACTIVITY
----------------

4. (U). The MCRLD membership now includes relatively
senior-level representatives of the Ministries of Defense,
Interior, Health, Human Rights, Justice, and Labor & Social
Affairs, as well as officials from the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister, the Office of the National Security Advisor,
and the Higher Juridical Council. Chief Prosecutor
Ghandanfer al-Jasem of the Higher Juridical Council serves as
the chairman. It also includes representatives of both the
Mission and MNF-I who regularly attend the bi-weekly meetings.

5. (U). The principal detainee-related topics addressed by
MCRLD include: medical issues; juvenile issues; women's
issues; investigative issues; judicial issues; human rights
issues; and corrections issues.

------------------
CURRENT CHALLENGES
------------------

6. (U). Despite the progress made in the evolution of this
committee, MCRLD has not yet pursued some of the key
policy-related and strategic problems identified in Prime
Ministerial Order No. 207. With that in mind, the Rule of
Law Coordinator sent Chairman Ghandanfar al-Jasem a letter
re-identifying the principles in Prime Ministerial Order No.
207 and recommended that they form the basis for committee
attention and activity in the first quarter of 2008.
(Comment: As a procedural matter, we continue to encourage
the Chair to make routine, substantive reports on its
progress and on the challenges to the Ministerial Committee
on National Security. Furthermore, a year-end summary of
accomplishments to the MCRLD leadership group (i.e. the
Deputy Prime Minister, the National Security Advisor, and the
President of the Higher Juridical Council) should be

considered. End comment.)

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COMMENT
-------

7. (U). The MCRLD appears to have overcome its initial
organizational and administrative challenges. It has the
potential to become a meaningful forum for resolution of
detention-related issues. However, it must begin to address
the critical, policy-related challenges codified in Prime
Ministerial Order No. 207. The Mission and MNF-I will
continue to encourage the committee members to fashion the
agendas to ensure the committee addresses those pivotal
issues in 2008.
CROCKER

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