Proposed Personal Status Law will Not Help Jaafaris

Furthermore, the legal justifications for this draft are unviable and not based on valid legal grounds. The civil law currently in force in Iraq does not differentiate between specific sects, but rather ensures the interests of all citizens from all sects equally. Since the personal status law was issued in 1959, its provisions have not caused any negative social or religious rulings.

The personal status law in force was made by collecting and formulating Sharia rulings into legal rules — using modern principles of civil law — to be applied to all, in order to protect their particular religious nature in a variety of matters.

The Jaafari Jurisprudence draft law gives clerics legal powers that go against express provisions of the constitution. Currently, any judicial work is exclusively entrusted to the judiciary. A judge cannot begin practicing law until he has passed through a number of stages — including study, certification and training — after which a public decree is issued appointing him as a judge.

Furthermore, the judiciary's work related to personal status issues is not limited to the Personal Status Law alone. Rather, there are a number of other laws — such as the Law of Custody for Minors — as well as dozens of other complex legal issues that a judge cannot rule on unless he has extensive legal knowledge and is informed about other laws.

Regarding the stipulations of Article 41 mentioned above, the law currently in force ensures religious freedom for followers of different sects within the framework of a civilian, not sectarian, law. Accordingly, there is no need to prepare and present any new draft law to provide demands already ensured in the aforementioned article.

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