Statement from the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
The Kurdistan Regional Government's tenure on the issue of oil and gas exploration on its territory is in accordance with the 2005 Iraqi Constitution. The provisions of Law No. 22, 2007, issued by the Kurdistan Regional Parliament, do not violate the Iraqi Constitution and therefore should be recognized as standing laws.
The oil and gas sector do not fall under the exclusive purview of the Federal Government of Iraq as stated in Article 110 of the Iraqi Constitution, underpinned by Article 112 of the Iraqi Constitution which states the Federal Government is to manage oil and gas exploration of discovered fields, in conjunction with regional governments and oil-producing provinces. Of that, revenues are supposed to be distributed equally among the population of Iraq.
Article 112 refers to existing oil wells and fields prior to the ratification of the Constitution in 2005. As such, oil fields discovered in the Kurdistan Region since 2005 fall under the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Accordingly, the texts of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Oil and Gas Law No. 22, 2007, remain in line with the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution.
Past regimes have made regions unduly suffer and deprived them of their fair share of the revenue from oil and gas exploration in Iraq, limiting their progress and opportunities to prosper. The allocation of national oil and gas revenues should be regulated by law to prevent this from happening again.
Abdul-Jabbar Aziz Hassan
President of the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq