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                               U.S. EMBASSY BAGHDAD

                                Office of the Spokesman


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               March 7, 2012


Statement of Joint Coordinating Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation

The United States of America and the Republic of Iraq are committed to continuing and strengthening law enforcement and judicial cooperation.  Pursuant to the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) between the United States and Iraq, the Joint Coordinating Committee for Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation met on March 3 in Baghdad.  The Committee met last in Baghdad in April 2011. Since then, we have continued to expand our joint efforts in police development, prosecutorial training, and judicial security.

This latest meeting of the JCC for Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation, hosted at the Judicial Development Institute in Baghdad, was co-chaired by Iraqi Chief Justice Medhat al-Mehmood and U.S. Embassy Assistant Chief of Mission Michele Sison.  The meeting of the JCC builds on efforts to strengthen the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq, particularly through the continued development of effective, accountable civilian police and justice sector institutions and capabilities.

The U.S. and Iraq agreed in 2008 to cooperate to support the further integration of Iraq’s criminal justice system, including police, courts, and prisons.  There have been several important milestones in these fields since the signing of the Strategic Framework Agreement, milestones that have an impact on every Iraqi citizen.

In the past year, hundreds of Iraqi law enforcement officers have received professional law enforcement training here in Iraq, in neighboring countries, and in the United States.  In October 2011, the U.S. State Department launched a new Police Development Program with the Ministry of Interior.  The U.S. side briefed the Iraqi delegation on the Police Development Program which incorporates senior-level law enforcement advising and specialized training, with an ongoing focus on forensics, community policing, border enforcement, and combating both terror and criminal threats.    The contributions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation were also noted.

Great strides have also been made in judicial modernization. The creation of the Judicial Development Institute, a joint U.S. -Higher Judicial Council capacity-building initiative, has allowed thousands of Iraqi judges, judicial investigators, judicial security personnel, court administrators, and case management staff to access continuing legal education. The JCC delegations noted with satisfaction the completion over the past year of curriculum development and infrastructure work at the Institute.  The delegations also noted with satisfaction the contributions of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training attorney-advisors in working with Iraq’s prosecutors, judges, and judicial investigators. Meanwhile, the successful delivery of professional corrections and detentions training by U.S. International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program advisors was also noted.

In addition, the delegations noted the progress of the U.S. Commercial Law Development Program, CLDP, in training on four main areas:  arbitration, international sales contracts, financial transactions and international partnerships. Over the past year, CLDP has conducted workshops on these topics and additional priority areas, including intellectual property and commercial court procedure.

The delegations stressed the importance of ongoing consultation and information exchange at all levels.  They pledged to support these law enforcement and judicial cooperation efforts with the goal supporting Iraq’s quest for a democratic and accountable government working to meet the needs and fulfill the aspirations of all of Iraq’s citizens.