Government of Iraq

Iraq (or the Republic of Iraq) is Western Asian country, bordered by Turkey (north), Iran (east), Kuwait (southeast), Saudi Arabia (south), Jordan (southwest) and Syria (west), with Baghdad as the capital city. The population of Iraq, which is approximately 37 million, is composed of Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya – 95% of the country's 37 are Muslims, with all other religious groups in the minority.

Iraq is structured around a federal parliamentary republic made up of 19 governorates and one autonomous region known as Iraqi Kurdistan. The country has a rich cultural heritage and is internationally renowned for its poets, with its painters and sculptors ranking very highly in the Arab world. Iraq remains a founding member of the UN, along with the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.

The Legislative Branch

The legislative branch of the Iraq government is made up of the Council of Representatives and a hypothetical Federation Council.

The Council of Representatives is the primary elected body of the Iraq government. Constitutionally, the number of members in the council must be at a ratio of one representative per 100,000 Iraqi persons, with members elected for terms of 4 years at a time.

The council is responsible for electing the President of Iraq, as well as approving the appointment of Federal Court of Cassation members, along with the Chief Public Prosecutor and the President of Judicial Oversight Commission. It also approves the appointment of the Army Chief of Staff, along with his assistants and the director of the intelligence service.

It is the intention that the Federation Council be composed of representatives from the regions and the governorates that are not organised in any particular region in Iraq. By law, the council is to be regulated by the Council of Representatives, but as of 2018, the Council has yet to come into existence.

The Executive Branch

The executive branch is of the Iraq government comprises the President and the Council of Ministers.

The President of Iraq is the head of state and is responsible for maintaining Iraq’s commitment to constitutional peace and democracy. The President is elected by the Council of Representatives by a majority of two-thirds majority and can serve a maximum of two four-year terms. The President is responsible for ratifying treaties and laws submitted and passed by the Council of Representatives, issuing pardons based on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and acting as the head of the Iraq armed forces in a ceremonial role. A Vice President also serves alongside the President, and assumes his office if he is unable to do so.

The Council of Ministers is made up of the Prime Minister (who acts as the head of government) and his cabinet of ministers. The President of Iraq is responsible for naming the nominee from the Council of Representatives bloc who holds the majority to form the Cabinet. The Prime Minister is responsible for overseeing the general policy of the State and acts as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He also directs the Council of Ministers and chairs its meetings; he retains the right to dismiss any ministers with the consent of the Council of Representatives.

Cabinet members are responsible for overseeing their individual ministries, as well as proposing laws, setting the budget, and signing international agreements; they also appoint undersecretaries, ambassadors, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and his assistants, Division Commanders, the Director of the National Intelligence Service, and all heads of security institutions.

The Judicial Branch

The federal judiciary of Iraq is made up of the Higher Judicial Council, the Supreme Court, the Court of Cassation, the Public Prosecution Department, the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and other federal courts.

The Higher Judicial Council is responsible for managing and supervising the actions of the federal judiciary. It oversees various judicial committees, nominates the Chief Justice and members of the Court of Cassation, and the Chief Public Prosecutor.

The Supreme Court is an independent judicial body which determines the constitutionality of laws and regulations. It is essentially the final court of appeals, settling disputes between the federal government and the regions, governorates, municipalities, and local administrations.

The Central Criminal Court is the main criminal court of Iraq, and is based on an inquisitorial system. It has two chambers: an investigative court, and a criminal court.