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This book is the first to discuss the new constitutional settlement in Iraq, the manner in which it came about, and how it has been implemented since coming into force in 2006. The book presents the constitution-making process, focusing on the wider factual, historical and legal context, the drafting exercise and how it evolved in practice, and the legitimacy of the final text as affected by that process.
The book also highlights the most contentious aspect of the new constitution, the federal system, emphasizing the horizontal and vertical divisions of legislative, administrative and judicial power, the flexibility offered by possible devolution of competence from the centre, and the distribution of natural resources. These provisions have affected Iraq's traditionally centralized system of government and certain state institutions have resisted the changes.
Fundamental rights are also discussed, as is the manner in which they interact with other values such as Islam, socio-economic rights, group rights, international human rights protection and the role of the courts in adjudicating disputes. The book looks carefully at Iraq's constitutional transition, and whether the new settlement has helped to resolve conflict and promote national reconciliation. Finally, the book looks at the informal sectarian system of government that has been enshrined since ratification of the Constitution.