Iraq’s Supreme Court adjudicates on constitutionality of budget

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Iraq's Supreme Court adjudicates on constitutionality of budget
Iraq's Supreme Court adjudicates on constitutionality of budget

On Monday, the Supreme Federal Court (SFC) in Iraq issued several rulings in response to challenges raised by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) regarding the federal budget law.

The much-awaited verdict has finally brought clarity to the disputed aspects of law number 13 of 2023, which governs Iraq’s federal budget for the fiscal years 2023-2025.

According to an official press release, a lawsuit numbered 168/federal/2023 was reviewed by the court. The KRG President, acting in his official capacity, filed a lawsuit against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, also acting in his official capacity.
The lawsuit targeted specific items in the budget law.

The court declared certain parts of the law “unconstitutional”, such as the use of the phrase “with the approval of the federal Prime Minister” in Article 11/first and “in case the House of Representatives fails to take the necessary decision” in Article 13/seventh. However, the SFC rejected the challenge against the constitutionality of other sections, specifically articles 2/first/5/b, 11/second, 12/second/a, b, c, d, e, and 13/eighth/b.

The SFC made a separate ruling on a related matter regarding the challenge made by the Federal Government against the budget law. As per an additional press release, the court reviewed lawsuit number 153/federal/2023 brought forth by the plaintiff (the Prime Minister in his official capacity) against the defendant (the Speaker of the House of Representatives in his official capacity).

The verdict of the SFC is final and applies to all authorities. It has declared that various phrases in the law are unconstitutional. These phrases include the word “exclusively” in Article 2/first/8/c/6, the phrase “upon his request” in the last section of Article 16/second, and Articles 20/sixth, 28/fourth/a, 57/first/c, 70/second, and 72.

However, the court ruled against the plaintiff’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Articles 28/fourth/b, 62/fourth, 63/third, 65/second, 71, and 75 in the aforementioned law.

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