Kurdistan Judicial Council to Iraqi Federal Court: KRG Oil Industry not in Clash with Iraqi Constitution
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Kurdistan Judicial Council to Iraqi Federal Court: KRG Oil Industry not in Clash with Iraqi Constitution

ERBIL — The Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region has reacted to recent rulings by the Iraqi Supreme Federal Court on the oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), saying it does not violate the Constitution of Iraq. 

“KRG’s dealing with the oil dossier and the process of oil and gas production is in line with the 2005’s Constitution of Iraq. The articles in the Oil and Gas Law no. 22 of the year 2007, passed by the Kurdistan Parliament, are not in contradiction with the articles from the Iraqi Constitution,” reads a statement by Judge Abduljabbar Aziz Hassan, head of the Kurdistan Region Judicial Council. 

The statement argued that the oil fields discovered after 2005 shall be under the control of the regional governments as the articles 110 and 112 of the Constitution stipulate join operations between the federal and regional governments only at the oil fields which were discovered prior to 2005. 

“The oil fields in the Kurdistan Region were utilized after 2005. Therefore, the Kurdistan Region manages them in accordance with the Oil and Gas Law no. 22 of 2007 of the Kurdistan Region, which also goes in line with the Iraqi Constitution,” the statement added. 

Article 112 of the Iraqi Constitution sets down that “the federal government, with the producing governorates and regional governments, shall undertake the management of oil and gas extracted from present fields, provided that it distributes its revenues in a fair manner in proportion to the population distribution in all parts of the country, specifying an allotment for a specified period for the damaged regions which were unjustly deprived of them the former regime, and the regions that were damaged afterwards in a way that ensures balanced development in different areas of the country, and this shall be regulated by law.”

In February, Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court said the KRG must hand over oil management in the autonomous region to the federal government. It also claimed the KRG’s Oil and Gas Law, and the contracts with foreign oil companies, are unconstitutional. 

However, the KRG officially rejected the ruling, saying that the Supreme Federal Court’s decisions were politicized, and that the oil industry in the Kurdistan Region was managed completely within the framework set by the Iraqi Constitution. 

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