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Iraq: Constitution

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many women are represented on the Constitutional Review committee for the Iraqi constitution; and whether this fills the applicable quota. (125354)

There are two women on the Constitutional Review committee, Najiiha al-Habib and Aliah Nasif al-Ubeidi. Article 142 of the Constitution, which sets out the provisions for the review, does not stipulate a gender quota for the committee.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the constitutional review process for the Iraqi constitution; and what progress has been made. (125355)

In line with Article 142 of the Iraqi Constitution, a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) was formed on 15 November 2006 to review the Constitution. The CRC is due to present its proposed amendments for the Council of Representative's consideration by mid May 2007.

In December 2006 the CRC established three subcommittees: one to propose technical and drafting improvements; another to look at those areas that are not addressed in the existing Constitution; and a third subcommittee which will consider contentious issues possibly requiring cross-party political agreement. We understand the subcommittees will submit their proposals for the CRC's consideration by the end of March 2007.

Article 142 does not stipulate a time frame for the whole review process. But Iraq's political party leaders have committed to completing the constitutional review process, including the referendum, within a year of the CRC starting work.