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Iraqi panel proposing rehabilitation of former Baath party officials

[JURIST] The Iraqi government's DeBaathification Commission [official website] plans to submit a proposal to Iraq's parliament that would allow most members of Saddam Hussein's now-defunct Baath Party [BBC backgrounder] to be reinstated to public life, the commission's executive director said Tuesday. The commission was set up with the approval of the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority [official website] in 2003 and its early agenda was rooting out members of Hussein's Baath party from positions of power in the Iraqi government, prompting the forced removal [JURIST report] of nearly 30,000 Baathists from public life. The Bush administration, however, has urged the Iraqi government to shift the commission to promote "accountability and reconciliation" in the interests of countering the growing insurgency in the country.

DeBaathification Commission Executive Director Ali Faysal al-Lami said the group plans to propose that only 1,500 of the most senior Baath party members not be allowed to return to their posts. The committee has been criticized for the wide ban on Baath members without taking into account those who joined the former party due to necessity rather than actual beliefs in the Baathist platform. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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