BAGHDAD - A group of 57 legal advisors from five different Government of Iraq Security Forces agencies are participating in a nine-day conference designed to increase successful prosecution of cases referred to their internal courts.

Legal advisors from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense; Iraqi Ministry of Interior; Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service; the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Interior; and the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs met in Erbil for training provided by GoI officials from the various ISF agencies, the U.S. Forces-Iraq Office of the Staff Judge Advocate's Military Justice Division and the U.S. Defense Institute of International Legal Studies.

According to USF-I OSJA estimates, up to 50 percent of cases sent to the Iraqi Cassation Courts are returned due to insufficient evidence. Military justice officials, from various agencies, determined that the most effective way to strengthen legal cases was through partnership training with legal advisors who counsel the various investigative organizations.

The training focuses primarily on conducting investigations into allegations of misconduct leading to closing of the investigation or referral to trial and successful prosecution. Conducted in both small- and large-group sessions, the training focus provides instruction for identifying and avoiding common investigative errors resulting in reversal and remand by appellate courts.

"If the Rule of Law can be fostered within the ISF, it bodes extremely well for the Rule of Law in society in general," said U.S. Army Maj. E. John Gregory, USF-I's chief of Military Justice. "It is a tremendously meaningful accomplishment, and a great sign of the success of GoI and USF-I efforts that 57 lawyers from five separate ISF agencies could sit down together at a professional legal conference, receive instruction from GoI and U.S. instructors, and discuss common problems and solutions for issues related to ISF-internal investigations."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16