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MERI NEWSLETTER 
 
New MERI Research Project
  • Good Governance and the Justice System
Report On On-Going Research Projects
  • New Draft Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence
  • Kirkuk Focus Group
Analysis
  • Baghdad-Erbil Agreement on Oil and Budget: Deepening Iraq's Federalism?
Good Governance and the Justice System

Democracy and Governance Program
On December 8, in an official visit to MERI, Mr. Sinan Chalabi, Minister of Justice, together with members of his Ministerial Council met with MERI's President and the Democracy and Governance Team to discuss possible ways forward for the justice system in the Kurdistan Region.

In a round table setting, the participants discussed priority areas for institutional development and agreed that there is need for urgent action to address obstacles to the consolidation of the democratic structure in the Kurdistan Region. One of the key obstacles identified was the low quality of the provision of public services. It was argued that this was a result of systemic weaknesses such as inefficiency in bureaucratic structures, the lack of performance standards as well as incentives for employees which impede the judiciary from fully exercising its functions.

To address this, MERI proposed the development and implementation of a quality-based approach as an integral part of Good Governance in order to enhance the quality of services provided to the citizens. Minister Chalabi reiterated his willingness for a collaborative project on Good Governance in Kurdistan Region's justice system. In collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Judicial Council of Kurdistan Region, MERI will launch a new project on 'Good Governance and the Justice System' in January 2015.

More detailed report on the ministerial visit is available
here.

Kirkuk Focus Group


International Politics and National Security Program
MERI continued its work on the issue of Kirkuk by bringing together representatives from Kirkuk's diverse communities to engage in a constructive debate relative to the current situation as well as identify possible ways forward. Read more here...
New Draft Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence 
 
Democracy and Governance Progam
In 2011, Act No. 8 of Combating Domestic Violence in Kurdistan Region was passed for the the purpose of ensuring safety and stability within family structures and preventing them from disintegration. The law consists of ten articles addressing domestic violence against men, women and children.

Since its enactment, however, a number of concerns have been raised by legal experts, the public, governmental and non-governmental organisations. This instigated MERI to review and encourage amendments to the current legislative framework in order to ensure that it appropriately addresses domestic and family violence incidents taking place in the Kurdistan Region.

For the review and amendment process, MERI established a Legal Committee comprising representatives from the General Directorate for Combating Domestic Violence, NGOs and parliamentarians. Several round table meetings and workshops have taken place, resulting in the first Draft Law on December 1, 2014.

MERI has disseminated the Draft Law to over two hundred local parliamentarians, legal experts and NGOs for consultation. The deadline for submissions is January 7, 2015. The consultants have also been invited to attend a workshop to be organised by MERI on January 14, 2015, after which a Final Draft shall be formulated and submitted to the Kurdistan Region Parliament.

More information on the content of the new Draft Law is available
here.
ANALYSIS
Roger Guiu - Baghdad-Erbil Agreement on Oil and Budget: Deepening Iraq's Federalism?
        The deal puts a novel fiscal architecture in place by providing for an asymmetrical revenue-sharing system in Iraq. It can become the main dividing line between the KRG, Baghdad and Iraq's governorates in the future. Read more here....
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