Reid C. Pixler

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An issue seldom, if ever, addressed regarding the conflict in Iraq is the role of the Iraqi criminal justice system in addressing acts of terrorism. The figures of "detainees" or "enemy combatants" held by the United States have been widely published, but little comment has been made regarding the challenges facing a small judicial system attempting to function in a war zone. Most of the judges assigned to the major crimes courts live in the same community where the court is located and have modest, if any, special security for their families. This short account details the conflict between the competing political interests grasping for power in post-Saddam Iraq and how the first "Traveling Judges Court," or Task Force Zorro, made an impact in northern Iraq. Once the citizens of Mosul learned of a truly independent court making rulings on the evidence, and not as the result of political or sectarian influence, confidence in the government rose dramatically and cooperation in the identification of terrorists and their "safe houses" became significant. There are no easy solutions to the problems in Iraq. This article addresses some of the "minority" populations living in Iraq, such as the Turkish Kurds and Iranian revolutionaries, whose future is directly dependent upon the role of the United States, and it explores the Rule of Law as a pivotal component in achieving a lasting peace

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Northern Illinois University Law Review

Suggested Citation

Reid C. Pixler, Peace Is Not the Absence of Conflict, but the Presence of Justice, 29 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 335 (2009).

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