Institute for
International Law and Human Rights

Constitutional Development Rule of Law

Interpreting Article 56 of the Iraqi Constitution: The Timing of the Next Parliamentary Elections

Provides basis and precedent for interpreting Article 56 in terms of the “fourth year” ending on 31 December 2009 or, alternatively, on 28 February 2010. Identifies that the question hinges on the interpretation of the term “calendar year” as it applies in the context of the article and whether “fourth year” refers to the calendar year or a 365-day cycle based on the start of the first session in March. Recommends that Article 56 be interpreted to support holding the parliamentary elections in January 2010 rather than November 2009 based on the strength of comparative findings and pragmatic considerations.