Recent events suggest that Iraq's Supreme Court is determined to shed whatever standing it may still have as a non-political institution. The court has come under criticism for looking like a willing accomplice in Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki's efforts to prosecute Vice President Tariq Al Hashemi for allegedly running death squads.
Whatever the truth of the allegations, the manner in which Mr Al Maliki has carried out the prosecution - investigations carried out by forces which answer only to him, and Saddam Hussein-style televised confessions - has not been good. But at least the Hashemi case involves alleged criminality.
Lower in profile, but perhaps more troubling, has been the use of legal action against politicians who have merely made statements critical of the government.
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