However, the decision might prove controversial, as Salem Chalabi, a US-educated lawyer who is a nephew of Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi, has been appointed to head the all-Iraqi tribunal.
He immediately named seven judges and four prosecutors, and said further judges would be appointed.
Many feel Saddam should be prosecuted by people who lived under his brutal rule.
Mohammed Rashdan, a Jordanian lawyer heading a team to defend Saddam, branded the selection process a “violation of international law”, and said he would file a suit contesting the move in the event of a trial.
The tribunal will not be an international one. However, its Iraqi judges and prosecutors will be trained in international law and war crimes law, and look at the experiences of bodies such as the Rwanda war crimes tribunal.