Legal Education in Iraq: An Analytical and Critical Introduction

AuthorNajmadeen A. Muhamad
DOI10.1177/2322005815578512
Published date01 July 2015
Date01 July 2015
Subject MatterEssays
Essay
Legal Education in Iraq: An Analytical
and Critical Introduction
Najmadeen A. Muhamad1
Abstract
This article intends to provide a general overview of the current state of legal education in Iraq and
some of its historical foundation. It focuses on the main characteristics and the processes of Iraqi
system of legal education. In doing so, it has been divided into six sections. The first part presents the
historical background. The second part examines the institutional arrangement and law schools. The
third part explains the types of degrees, programmes, curricula and courses that are offered. The fourth
part critically examines the methodology of educating law students. The fifth part investigates the
model of Iraqi legal education as a part of civil law tradition and finally the last part concludes the article.
Introduction
The quality and structure of Iraqi legal education directly affects the quality of the professional services
that legal practitioners offer, as well as the quality and efciency of the Iraqi legal system. Despite its
importance, there are only a few studies on Iraqi legal education and little is known about the subject.
This study aims at providing information about the subject by analyzing and giving a critical view of the
structure of Iraqi system of legal education, specically the content and structure of the law programmes,
courses, methods of teaching, law schools and their historical foundations and giving the identity for its
model among a different legal education traditions. In a narrow sense, the term ‘Iraqi legal education’
refers to the necessity of law studies to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (or other advance degrees)
under the university system, which is a requirement to become judges, lawyers, legal counsels, law
ofcers, teachers and researchers.
Legal education in Iraq is currently in a state of ferment. As institutions, Iraqi law colleges have
been controlled by tough policies and university system through its regulations which have given them
two themes, theoretical and academic, far away from the real world of legal practise. Thereby, the aim
of Iraqi legal education is the process of teaching students the legal science, but it is not a process of
how to learn a legal skill used to practise law. Under this purpose, legal education has been shaped
in Iraq. The number of law degrees is limited under the university system. And, the legal courses which
are offered to obtain a law degree are widely ranged by the large number of course materials, which are
1 PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, UK; LLM, Valparaiso University School of Law-USA 2012; BSc Law, the
University of Sulaimani, Iraq 2007.
Asian Journal of Legal Education
2(2) 133–142
© 2015 The West Bengal National
University of Juridical Sciences
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/2322005815578512
http://ale.sagepub.com
Corresponding author:
Najmadeen A. Muhamad, 95 Gell Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S3 7QT, United Kingdom.
E-mails: najmarchive@gmail.com; Najmadeen.Muhamad@valpo.edu
Acknowledgement: The help of friends and colleagues is gratefully acknowledged.

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