Published: Feb 23, 2022

Iraqi Federal Supreme Court Issue a Decision of the Unconstitutionality of KRG Oil & Gas Law

On 15/02/2022, the Federal Supreme Court issued, based on case No. (59/Federal/2021) which is attached with the case (110/Federal/2019), a decision ruling that Oil & Gas Law of Kurdistan Region Government No. (22) of (2007) is unconstitutional for violating the provisions of the in force Iraqi constitution of 2005. The decision included obligating Kurdistan Region Government to hand over all oil production of oil fields in Kurdistan Region and other areas, from which the Ministry of Natural Resources in Kurdistan Region has extracted oil, to the Federal Government and enable to use its authority regarding oil exploration and extraction. The decision granted the right to the Federal Ministry of Oil to follow up the invalidity of the concluded oil contracts by Kurdistan Region Government with foreign parties, countries and companies regarding oil exploration, extraction, export, and sale. Finally, the decision obligated Kurdistan Region Government to enable the Federal Government (Ministry of Oil) and (Federal Board of Supreme Audit Editorial) to review all the concluded oil contracts with Kurdistan Region Government regarding oil & gas exportation and selling for the purpose of auditing and determining the financial rights owed by the Region Government.

The decision of the Federal Supreme Court, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Federal Supreme Court Law No. (30) of (2005), is considered final and binding on all governmental bodies and authorities. The Federal Supreme Court constitutes one of the pillars of the independent judicial authority in the structure of the Iraqi state. It has specific powers stipulated in Article (4) of the Court Law including oversight on the constitutionality of the enforced laws and regulations.

According to the decision of the Federal Supreme Court above:

  1. All oil contracts are considered the exclusive authority of the Federal Government.
  2. The invalidity of all oil contracts entered into or concluded by Kurdistan Regional Government or any party other than the Federal Government represented by the Federal Ministry of Oil.

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Key Contacts

Jawad Khalaf

Partner, Head of Litigation - Iraq