As I drove up to DC yesterday, I thought, heck, I should have given my friend Marina Ottaway a call, to fix up a lunch or something with her. She’s a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
I failed to do that. But today dropped into my electronic mail-box the latest fruits of one of the projects Marina’s been working on at CEIP, which is their Arab Reform Bulletin.
I think it’s their best issue yet. It starts out with a good, detailed analysis by Nathan Brown titled Iraq: The Fate of CPA Orders after June 30. Bottom line:
- In almost all cases in the Arab world in which governments have been overthrown or colonial powers have departed, the new regime has affirmed the legal order it found when it assumed power. Indeed, the CPA itself, in Regulation 1, followed this pattern by affirming all pre-existing laws (unless they obstructed the work of the CPA).
Thus, succeeding Iraqi governments are likely to proceed carefully in discarding CPA enactments. Nonetheless, their nationalist sensibilities will be offended when they turn their attention to specific provisions. When Iraqi political and legal officials discover that multinational troops still are effectively granted extraterritorial status; that their vehicles must be given priority in traffic; that the official name of the country in some documents has been changed (from the “Iraqi Republic” to the “State of Iraq”); and that international agreements may–even absent an explicit provision–override requirements for open and competitive bidding in procurement, they will probably conclude that the CPA orders, while often liberal, are inconsistent with full sovereignty.
The next item is a piece by Eric (Ricky) Goldstein on Morocco’s New Truth Commission: Turning the Page on Past Human Rights Abuses?. His bottom line: