Kuwaiti Research Center critiques Iraqi court ruling on navigation agreement

A Kuwait-based research center has scrutinized an Iraqi court’s recent decision that invalidated an agreement between Kuwait and Iraq concerning navigation in the Khor Abdullah waterway. The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) questioned the flaws and “historical fallacies” within the ruling, highlighting its paradoxical nature.

The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court had declared the agreement “unconstitutional” this month, despite previously ratifying it in 2014, following unanimous support from Iraqi lawmakers a year earlier.

In its analysis, KISR, with input from Kuwait University’s Faculty of Law professor Dr. Ali Al-Rashidi, argued that the agreement had legal validity and did not contravene constitutional procedures. They pointed out that Iraq’s parliament, as the country’s legislative authority, not only backed the agreement but also dismissed a lawmaker’s appeal to invalidate it. This contrast raises questions about the court’s latest ruling.

Citing the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, KISR emphasized that Iraqi lawmakers’ ratification of the agreement constituted a clear “gesture of consent.” According to the convention’s principles, all treaty parties are obligated to implement the agreement earnestly, and challenging its validity after ratification is considered inappropriate.

The center also noted that the court’s recent decision contradicted the Federal Supreme Court’s final ruling in 2014, confirmed by the Iraqi Constitution and Federal Supreme Court Law Number 30/2005, which had upheld the constitutionality of the agreement regulating maritime navigation between Iraq and Kuwait.