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Constitution Day
Iraq's New Constitution



Iraq's New Constitution
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    autonomy, constitutionality, dissolution, Saddam, secular, unaccepted, sovereign, gender, citizenship, executive, minority, launched, sect, reality, banned, majority
     content words:    Operation Iraqi Freedom, Saddam Hussein, President George W., United States, Coalition Provisional Authority, Governing Council, Transitional Administrative Law, National Assembly, Presidency Council, Prime Minister


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Iraq's New Constitution
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     On March 19, 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched. Saddam Hussein was removed from power. President George W. Bush announced that the war was over on May 1, 2003. The United States and other coalition forces would occupy Iraq while they formed a new democratic government. The process of a new Iraq had begun.
 
2     The constitutional process began on May 16, 2003 when the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was formed. The CPA created the Governing Council in July to begin the process of autonomy. These two bodies worked out an agreement that transferred all government power to Iraqi control. The agreement also laid the foundation to create a constitution for the country. The first step taken by the Governing Council was to create the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL). This document outlines the formal steps for the constitutional process. It also formed the interim government and became the highest law in Iraq during the transitional period. The TAL took effect on March 8, 2004.
 
3     The TAL contains many of the provisions that will be included in the new constitution. It says that all people have equal rights without regard to "gender, sect, opinion, belief, nationality, religion or origin." The TAL includes freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to own private property, and the right to privacy. For those accused of crimes, they will have the right to a speedy and fair trial. Unlawful arrest and detention, torture, and cruel and unusual punishment are banned. The right to bear arms will be subject to licensing. Citizenship is explicitly spelled out. The TAL is the framework that will be used to ensure Iraq's constitution grants individual rights.

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