The Jurisdiction of the Federal Supreme Court in Iraq to Interpret the Constitution

Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Kadhim Awfi
Faculty Member – Constitutional Law – College of Law – University of Baghdad – Iraq


Explanatory jurisdiction is one of the most important competencies exercised by the constitutional judiciary, especially in light of the brief and concise constitutional texts that regulate all state matters, including the relationship between the public authorities, and in particular the relationship between the legislative and executive authorities, as a dispute or conflict often occurs between these two authorities.
The reason for that is that these texts may be ambiguous, unclear, or may be interpreted in different ways. Therefore, the role of the judiciary in interpreting the texts of the constitution is to remove this ambiguity, clarify their meanings and interpret them in correspondence with the constitution.
In this regard, the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq of 2005 granted this jurisdiction to the Federal Supreme Court. However, the court’s exercise of this jurisdiction without issuing the new court law – in accordance with the aforementioned constitution as it is the proper legal basis, especially in light of its current law issued in accordance with the State Administration Law for the Transitional Period – may lead to raising the issue of the constitutionality of this law. This will ultimately contradict the principle of the supremacy of this constitution over the laws issued by the legislative authority.
Therefore, this study has concluded that the legal basis on which the court relies on exercising the interpretative jurisdiction is not sound, and this has consequently affected the adequacy of the conditions adopted by the legislator in the current court law for its exercise of this jurisdiction and its procedures regarding requests for interpretation, the validity of the interpretative decisions issued by it, and its consequent effects.

Keywords: constitution, constitutional law, constitutional judiciary, constitutional judiciary in Iraq, constitutional interpretation.

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