There is one other group with a particular expertise in international commercial litigation that, I expect, might be of service to the Iraqi judges in trying to make their International Commercial Court a model of legal progress. I refer, of course, to the New York bar, for the members of this bar probably litigate more international commercial disputes than any other bar in the world. I hope the New York bar will find ways to help meet the requests of the Iraqi courts for support and training.
While the Iraqi courts are fiercely independent, they are not shy about requesting our help; and we should not be hesitant in giving it.
History strongly suggests that the rule of law fosters commercial development, and vice versa. In Iraq, brave Iraqi judges, by just going about their business of independently and neutrally interpreting the law, are laying the groundwork for a better tomorrow; but their efforts may not survive the perils of today. In this dicey situation, we all need to do what we can to help tip the balance, and in that small way, enable these Iraqi heroes to simply be judges.
Jed S. Rakoff is a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.