Posted Oct 09, 2008 11:54 pm CDT
The law school at the University of Utah has been awarded a $2.5 million one-year grant from the U.S. State Department to help forge an independent judiciary in Iraq, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
“We can’t reform the Iraqi system, but we can inform the reformers of the system. We’re committed to developing the capacity of the Iraqi judiciary so they won’t have to rely on outside advisers,” says Dean Hiram Chodosh of the university’s S.J. Quinney College of Law in a press release. “We want to contribute in whatever modest way we can and then withdraw, leaving the society better than when we found it.”
The project will be spearheaded by Chodosh and professors Chibli Mallat, a former presidential candidate in his native Lebanon, and Wayne McCormack.
The plan is for faculty and students to consult with Iraqi judicial and political leaders, as well as outside advisers. They will work together to develop an appropriate constitutional and judicial structure, as well as a strategy for enacting laws and constitutional amendments. Iraq’s criminal law and procedure will also be a major focus.