International Law

No Insurance, No Lawyers: No Problem


Nobody was insured, and no lawyers were involved. But, unusual as it may seem for Americans accustomed to the U.S. system, a recent auto accident in Iraq was settled the same day.

The drivers involved were seated on sofas in the local police chief’s office, and tea was served as he helped them argue out a financial settlement, reports the St. Petersburg Times, whose foreign correspondent was a passenger in one of the vehicles.

The settlement agreement was put in writing, “signed” by the drivers with inked thumbprints. The drivers then shook hands and kissed each other on the cheek, in an Iraqi custom. “No one even got a ticket. Just more tea,” the Times article written by Susan Taylor Martin continues. ” ‘And please,’ the chief said as we left, ‘promise that you will come to my house for lunch the next time you are here.’ “

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