ILBF ships 400 books to Iraq

The ILBF has been working with the British Embassy in Iraq and the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council to arrange the shipment of legal textbooks from a number of donor organisations, to support legal education in Iraq, particularly for universities whose collections were destroyed by Da’esh. The first shipment arrived in November 2019.

The ILBF is very grateful for the donation of high quality books by the London School of Economics and HM Treasury. Additional books were added from the ILBF book store at Clifford Chance to make up a collection of 400 key textbooks across many areas of law, including comparative constitutional law.

A packing day was held at the Royal Courts of Justice in the summer, with Judicial Office colleagues joining ILBF volunteers to sort and pack the books donated by the London School of Economics. HM Treasury also helped our ILBF administrator to select and pack their donated texts.

On 19 November 2019, the 400 books from the ILBF were handed over by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, His Excellency Mr Stephen Hickey, to His Excellency the Chief Justice of Iraq, Mr Faeq Zaidan. The meeting was recorded on the website of the Supreme Judicial Council:

‘The Chief Justice met with the new British Ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey. A statement released by Supreme Judicial Council said: “The two sides seek co-operation between the UK and Iraq in supporting the application of the law, and the provision of training to the staff of the Supreme Judicial Council in their specialist areas”. The statement added: “The Chief Justice received a collection of legal textbooks from Stephen Hickey”.’

To see the video click here.

‘The UK is committed to supporting and enhancing the capacity of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council. Education and training is central to that. This very generous donation from the ILBF has provided a significant boost to the library at the Iraqi Judicial Institute.’

Stephen Hickey, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq

The ILBF worked closely with Mark Thompson, Transitional Justice Advisor to the British Embassy in Iraq and the Chief Justice of Iraq to identify relevant books for shipment.

‘The relationship between the Judiciaries of Iraq and England and Wales has grown from strength to strength in recent years. This new cooperation and contribution from the ILBF to the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council has further bolstered this important relationship.’

‘We look forward to working with the ILBF to expand their engagement with Iraq, with a desire to next work with Iraqi Universities and facilitate shipments of books to their respective libraries.’

Mark Thompson, Transitional Justice Advisor to the British Embassy in Iraq

The ILBF’s CEO and Chairman of Trustees met with His Excellency Mr Faeq Zaidan in London in October 2019, to discuss how the ILBF can assist the Supreme Judicial Council with the rebuilding of libraries in Baghdad and Mosul, and building links with UK law schools.

‘I was delighted to meet the Chief Justice of Iraq when he visited London in October. We discussed how the ILBF can support the rule of law in Iraq with future shipments of books and I looking forward to developing those plans with the support of the British Embassy in Baghdad.’

Paul Lowenstein QC, Chairman of Trustees of the ILBF

The ILBF is keen to continue to support the judiciary and universities in Iraq. This is the first shipment of many and we plan to reach libraries all over Iraq, including those that Da’esh destroyed.