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Visit to Erbil’s Court of Appeal marks the launch of the project ‘Good Governance and the Justice System’

On March 2nd, 2015, MERI’s Democracy and Governance team visited the Presidency of Erbil’s Court of Appeal to discuss the new project, ‘Good Governance and the Justice System.’ This project is part of MERI’s Rule of Law initiative and will be conducted in close collaboration with Kurdistan Region’s Judicial Council and other institutional and individual partners.

With this project, MERI helps relevant state institutions to improve the quality of services provided to the public. During the visit at the Court of Appeal, Justice Shakir Sharif acknowledged MERI’s initiative and reaffirmed the significance of court modernisation in the nation-building process.

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The MERI team was guided through the new Court building, which accommodates all courts in Erbil in a modern and purpose-built environment.  The MERI team, however, reminded officials present at the meeting, that to strengthen the rule of law, state institutions need to go beyond facilities and infrastructure and provide quality public services. The quality of services is predominantly reflected through the quality of performance of each and every civil servant, including judges. It is obvious that more transparent mechanisms on performance evaluation will increase the legitimacy and trust and will ultimately contribute to the empowerment of judges to implement the law.10

MERI’s President, Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, expressed his gratitude to Justice Shakir Sharif for his and his colleagues’ openness and genuine desire to jointly improve the system of governance in institutions of justice.  The project will proceed through a series of workshops, where a selection of judges will be trained on principles and practices of ‘Management & Leadership’ as an important tool for upholding the rule of law.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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