War on Terrorism

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Joint Coordination Committee for Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation Meets in Iraq

By Tracy Russo

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole was in Iraq this weekend for the first meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC)  for Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation. The committee, as established by the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, seeks to:

1.Support the further integration and security of the Iraqi criminal justice system, including police, courts, and prisons.
2.Exchange views and best practices related to judicial capacity building and training, including on continuing professional development for judges, judicial investigators, judicial security personnel, and court administrative staff.
3.Enhance law enforcement and judicial relationships to address corruption, and common transnational criminal threats, such as terrorism, trafficking in persons, organized crime, drugs, money laundering, smuggling of archeological artifacts, and cyber crime.
The JCC meeting was co-chaired by the Honorable Medhat al-Mahmoud, the Chief Justice and President of the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council (HJC), and Deputy Attorney General Cole.

Chief Justice Medhat underscored Iraq’s commitment to the Strategic Framework Agreement and hailed the close cooperation between the Department of Justice and the HJC in the field of the rule of law, protection of judges, and court security.  He also praised the Embassy’s efforts to introduce modern technology to some Iraqi courts and its positive effects on expediting the judicial process.

Deputy Attorney General Cole reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the Iraqi people.

“The great progress that has been made toward the goals of our Strategic Framework Agreement should encourage us to persist in meeting the challenges of what remains to be done in Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation. As we all know, effective rule of law critically underpins” the goals of the Strategic Framework Agreement, and “sets the rules for the political process; it sustains the framework of national unity, and it secures the range of property rights essential to economic prosperity.”

The meeting focused on  the areas of detentions, police development, and judicial security. Participants from law enforcement agencies and rule of law ministries were able to discuss the current areas of cooperation, unique challenges and future opportunities for collaboration across Iraq’s law enforcement and judicial sectors.

The work of the committee will continue towards the shared vision of growing peace and prosperity in Iraq and security and stability in the Middle East.

For more information about the Department of Justice in Iraq, visit justice.gov/iraq/.

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