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Civilian Detentions in Iraq

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses solely on the legality of civilian detentions and the review of those detentions required by international law. It describes conduct and legality of detention operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Between April 2003 and June 2004, Coalition Forces were authorized to detain civilians whom they reasonably believed either posed a threat to their security or mission, or were suspected of committing a serious crime. The detention of criminal suspects was dictated under occupation law given that there was often no functioning Iraqi law enforcement or judiciary mechanism in place. Policy makers continually negotiated with, prodded and cajoled Iraqi government officials to assume ever-greater responsibility for and jurisdiction over the detention process, all in furtherance of the goal of replacing wartime security detentions with peacetime criminal accountability and the rule of law.

Keywords: civilian detentions; Coalition Forces; criminal suspects; international law; Iraqi law

10.1163/ej.9789004154285.i-590.85
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