Departing US Baghdad embassy advisor slams ‘rule of law’ effort in Iraq
Departing US Baghdad embassy advisor slams ‘rule of law’ effort in Iraq

[JURIST] A former Senior Advisor for Legislative Framework in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office set to depart from the US embassy in Baghdad after a year-long posting told US Ambassador Ryan Crocker [official profile] in a memo [PDF text] obtained by Fox News and published Friday that US officials in the country had

mostly ignored legal culture institutions that address underlying requirements for the very success of the rule of law, such as the confidence of citizens, a preventive rather than punitive program against corruption, and the qualifications of the legal profession.

Manuel A. Miranda further alleged that Iraq's law school and the Iraqi bar had been largely overlooked in the struggle to restore local rule of law. The memo quoted a letter to President Bush from Aswad Al-Minshidi, the president of the Iraq bar:

America's Rule of Law effort in Iraq has focused almost entirely on training police, building prisons, and supporting prosecutions. This is understandable. These areas are important to security but they represent a policeman's and a prosecutor's definition of what Rule of Law means. This definition is limited to law enforcement… [O]ur legal culture is in need of assistance and America's millions of dollars have done little to assist our institutions…If you think that "implanting" the Rule of Law in Iraq is limited to your current Rule of Law efforts, then you are receiving poor advice.

Miranda was on the Senate Judiciary Committee's Republican staff in the first term of the Bush administration and was later counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Fox News has more.