rA-1DHRD Center with the cooperation of NED Org. has entered its 3rd year of the project of Court watch and support in Kurdistan. From our absolute believe in the independence of the judicial authority and court jurisdiction, and in order to prevent the interfering in court’s affairs, also to retain the public trust in the judicial system. The DHRD teams in Kurdistan are publishing their 2nd report for the year 2008 about courts watch and support. Although there were many obstacles and troubles facing us during the information and data collecting, but with the cooperation of some respectful judges and lawyers, we could overcome those obstacles and indicate the violations that reducing the power of law and court’s authorities.

In the first stage that extends to June 31, 2008, the documentation of the violations were done inside the city of Sulaymaniyah only. In the second stage, Monitoring and documentation of the violations, illegal acts and the violation of the convicts’ rights has continued, but because of the importance of the project, we expanded our activities to include the other cities of Erbil, Duhok and Kirkuk, but because Baghdad has not officially recognized our organization yet, we couldn’t continue the project in Kirkuk.

The objective of the project is the independence of judicial authorities, establishment of law power, development of democracy and protecting the rights of the detainees during the investigation and trail process. Also to overcome and eliminate the obstacles facing the judicial authority which makes some people think that they are above the law.

It is worth mentioning that the project has included a number of seminars about related subjects, such as: (A Critical Study for Iraqi’s Penal Law, Civil Court, The Law of Executive, and the Law of Evidence), in order to discus them and identifying the negative sides of the law texts which are becoming obstacles to the judicial system authority and making people loose their trust in the judicial system. Also how to deal with those laws and amending them in the way that suits today’s conditions and fulfill the immediate needs of the people.

We have also made two questionnaires for 150 peoples having cases and lawsuits in the courts, and 100 of the detainees in the detention and transferring station in Sulaymaniyah and Erbil. The outcome of the both questionnaires is attached to the report.