Iraq Legal Education Initiative
Launched in 2012, the Iraq Legal Education Initiative (ILEI) is a partnership between Stanford Law School and the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). The project provides Stanford Law School and AUIS with the unique opportunity to build a center of excellence of legal education in Iraq.
Shaped by decades of dictatorship, war, isolation, and political change, the legal systems of Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region has developed into a complex hybrid of local, regional and federal laws as well as practices rooted in custom or religion. As a result, law school curriculum tends to be outdated and impractical. Many textbooks, for instance, date back to Baghdad in the 1970's and do not cover key recent developments in Iraqi and IKR law, such as the new Constitution of 2005.
In order to address Iraq's legal education needs, AUIS and Stanford Law School will bring a new model of high-quality, modern legal education to Iraq in incremental steps. First, the university will offer a two course sequence on the laws of Iraq and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region beginning in spring semester 2013, with textbooks and curriculum written by Stanford Law students. After the completion of the pilot phase in 2013, SLS students will continue to produce original legal education materials intended for use at AUIS and beyond. This production process will be uniquely iterative, as diverse groups of Iraqi legal actors and Stanford faculty and students share feedback, ideas, and new developments through travel, conferences and an "on-the-ground" fellow supported by the project and based in Iraq.