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Challenging the law of the National Oil Company pays off

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Challenging the law of the National Oil Company pays off

Bertha News Agency
252 2018-09-28
Ahmed Mousa Jeyad

A few days ago, the Federal Supreme Court adjourned the pleading of the unconstitutionality of articles in the Iraqi National Oil Company Law No. 4 of 2018 to the third of next October and decided to introduce the Prime Minister and the Minister of Oil in addition to their posts, Need to be resolved.

"These appeals included Articles 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 and 17 of the said law," the court spokesman said.

The move by the Honorable Court reinforces, to a large extent, our firm conviction that this "malicious" law does not serve the oil sector nor the company itself or the Iraqi economy;

it will only fragment Iraq and threaten its sovereign existence.

Therefore, the national mission has become a broad and intensive movement to stand against this law and prevent its entry into force.

The aim of this study is to provide a brief documentation of the course of the appeal and to draw the lesson from this pioneering attempt in the face of attempts to tamper with the oil sector, which leads to the result of compromising the national interest and damage to the Iraqi economy.

How did this happen, and what are the stages and steps of submitting the appeal, and what are the sincere national and participatory efforts that contributed to bringing the appeal to this important stage and what is the lesson from this experience?

First: objective evaluation, professional and specialized and then challenge "public and media" by law

The House voted in its session No. 14 of March 5, 2018 on the law that passed the law on haste and at a critical time and was suffering from serious gaps and inconsistencies between the functions of the company and the formation of its board of directors and the seriousness of the formation of two entities competing for the management of the petroleum extractive sector and its blatant opposition to the Constitution and turn it sovereign returns to the proceeds of a public company Thus losing sovereign protection under international law and carrying out tasks that do not at all relate to their nature as an oil company as a result of populist tendencies and electoral objectives.

After submitting the components of the evaluation and its details, I called on the executive authority (the Council of Ministers) to act immediately to stop the law enforcement procedures and to ask the State Consultative Council to examine the legality of the law and challenge the constitutionality of the law before the Federal Supreme Court..

With the aim of circulating the evaluation of the law to the widest possible extent, I sent it to a very large network of contacts including senior officials, parliamentarians, academics, experts, politicians, lawyers, economists, civil society organizations and others inside and outside Iraq.

The evaluation was also published on several news websites, including the following news site: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] in Arabic on March 8, 2018 and in English on the website of March 12,

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Then I conducted the economic calculations and showed how the law will work and authorize the dismantling of Iraq and eliminate the company itself.

Here too, the study was widely distributed and published on March 15 and can be accessed through the following link

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

As a result of the great support it has received and the wide support, it has become necessary to move from the evaluation and analysis stage to the specific stage of action towards filing an appeal before the Federal Supreme Court.

In this area, three studies were written on March 26, 27 and April 4 on the contents, justifications and the form of appeal against the law and can be found through the following links:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] l 4 April 2018

Second: Activities arising from the law and those supporting the appeal

The above-mentioned writings and the need to move to challenge the unconstitutionality of the law have caused widespread reactions, including support, but there is a motive for the law, especially by those who worked to pass it in the House of Representatives.

Without mentioning the names to avoid the possibility of forgetting to mention all those who contributed to various activities, I will mention below the most important of these activities:

1- On March 28, Al-Shaab newspaper published three articles on the law, including his article

2- On April 7, the new culture magazine held a round table on the law, in which many participants participated. In order to be unable to attend the invitation, I prepared a contribution in the form of PowerPoint slides,

3- The new culture magazine 397 for the month of May 2018 published the submitted papers - including my written paper - and the interventions that took place during the symposium above.

4- A group of Iraqi dignitaries residing abroad on 4 April launched a "campaign to collect signatures against the law" and in support of the appeal at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Site 39444 and the number of signatories more than 400 until June 25.

Third: The actual appeal of the law before the Federal Supreme Court

The third stage included the submission of the appeal to the Federal Supreme Court, according to the context of the legal assets in force in this field.

The first step is to appoint a law firm to present the list of appeal,

secondly to prepare and present a "public agency" for lawyers and

thirdly prepare a list of appeal on the basis of the contested articles in the law and

fourthly wait until the law is published in the Iraqi fact sheet.

And finally to agree with lawyers on their fees and court fees.

In view of the difficulties that prevented the presence of Baghdad and the problems of preparing a public agency certified by many parties (including the Iraqi embassies) and because of the urgency of the matter, the following were said:

1 - Dear brothers Fouad Prince and Majed Allawi, a law firm and agree on the amount of service fees

2 - After intense deliberation with the brothers Fouad Prince and Majed Allawi and the law team, we agreed on the form of appeal and prefer the brothers Fouad Prince and Majed Allawi to undertake the task of instituting an appeal

3 - The lawyers filed an appeal against the law on behalf of Fouad Prince and Majed Allawi to the defendant Mr. Speaker of the House of Representatives (in addition to his job)

4 - After the submission of the appeal I circulated the subject and was agreed on a "memorandum of support for the appeal by Iraqi oil experts and economists addressed to the Federal Supreme Court," which was published on 1 June and can be found on the text of the memorandum and the names of signatories at the following link: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

5. With regard to the financial burdens, the brothers Fuad Al-Amir and Majed Allawi may pay them and we (four of the Iraqi experts mentioned above and I) will contribute as needed.

Fourth: Proceedings of the Federal Supreme Court

The Federal Supreme Court sent a list of appeal in case No. 71 / Federal / 2018 to the Council of Representatives to answer the contents of the list of appeal.

The legal department in the House of Representatives on 20/5/2018 sent an answer list

We (the brothers Fuad Prince and Majid Allawi, lawyers and I) studied the list of responses to the House of Representatives and the preparation of our list of responses, which was submitted in early June to the Federal Supreme Court.

It was announced on September 12 that the Federal Supreme Court postponed the pleading concerning the unconstitutionality of articles (3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 17) in the Iraqi National Oil Company Law No. 4 of 2018 to the third of October 2018 and decided to introduce the President The Council of Ministers and the Minister of Oil,

in addition to their functions, the fact that the subject of the case affects them for the purpose of clarifying what is necessary to resolve them.

Fifth: Procedures of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Oil

On May 28, 2018, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers sent a letter to the Ministry of Oil asking:

First, to know what measures were taken by the ministry to implement the law,

and secondly, the ministry's opinion on the appeal against the law and the materials that the ministry intends to appeal to allow the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to take the necessary measures.

This book clearly refers to the issue of appeal and the need to deal with it seriously and in accordance with the legal contexts, especially that it comes only eight days after the date of the list of responses to the House of Representatives referred to above.

In implementation of the above book, the Ministry of Oil on June 4 formed a committee composed of 12 members of the leading positions in the ministry and the oil companies affiliated to the ministry headed by the Undersecretary for Extraction Affairs.

The committee shall submit its report within a maximum period of two months;

It is strange and sad that he mentioned (on June 20) that a delegation from the ministry will visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and China to benefit from the experiences of these countries to assist the Commission in proposing mechanisms to form the company;

as if Iraq's oil experience of nearly a century and the history of the Iraqi National Oil Company Contracts do not mean anything!!!

To date, the Ministry of Oil has not announced whether the committee completed its tasks and whether it submitted its report within the time specified on 4 August and what the contents of the report and its recommendations, if any.

Sixth: Concluding Observations

1. Although the six-month period for the effective implementation of the law is about to be completed within 10 days on October 9, there is no indication that the Ministry of Oil has completed the necessary operational procedures.

In my opinion, this is due to two basic reasons.

The first is the structural imbalance and unconstitutionality of the basic articles in the law itself, which were diagnosed in the evaluation of the law and the list of appeal before the Federal Supreme Court.

The second is due to the interest of Oil Minister Jabbar Luaibi in the prosecution of the charges against Iraqi oil experts living abroad, who criticized the law and supported the appeal.

The minister and a general meeting used a provocative rhetoric and low phrases that reflect his level of morals and personality, as can be seen from the registration below: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

2 - Some international sources indicated in the last week of last July the possibility of "freezing" the law to be reconsidered by the new government.

After contacting the Oil Ministry, I was informed that the ministry does not have the legal authority to freeze the law but is working to amend the law.

Therefore, since the possibility of forming a new government is not possible at all before October 9, and since the Federal Supreme Court has set on October 2 the attendance of both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Oil on the subject of the challenge of law on the other,

this clearly indicates the impossibility of the Ministry The oil from the completion of all the executive procedures before the end of the six-month period on October 9 set out on the basis of Article 19 of the same law.

It is important to know the prime minister's opinion as head of the executive branch and that this law deprives him of many of his basic constitutional powers.

In light of that, I hope that the Supreme Federal Court will accept the appeal of all seven of the contested articles and return the law to the House of Representatives.

3 - I am convinced that the experience of submission of the appeal is the first of its kind in the history of contemporary judicial Iraq where the individual action led to a broad popular interaction and collective effort and co-ordinated to stand in the face of this malicious law and protect Iraq from destructive damage and I wish to continue such a collective effort effective participatory and effective In dealing with the issues suffered by the oil sector and the Iraqi economy.

Ahmed Mousa Jeyad
Development and Research Consultancy / Iraq
September 27,

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