The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran
The judiciary is an independent power, the protector of the rights of the individual and society, responsible for the implementation of justice, and entrusted with the following duties:
- Investigating and passing judgment on grievances, violations of rights, and complaints; the resolving of litigation; the settling of disputes; and the taking of all necessary decisions and measures in probate matters as the law may determine;
- Restoring public rights and promoting justice and legitimate freedoms;
- Supervising the proper enforcement of laws;
- Uncovering crimes; prosecuting, punishing, and chastising criminals; and enacting the penalties and provisions of the Islamic penal code;
- Taking suitable measures to prevent the occurrence of crime and to reform criminals.
In order to fulfill the responsibilities of the judiciary power in all the matters concerning judiciary, administrative and executive areas, the Leader shall appoint a just Mujtahid well versed in judiciary affairs and possessing prudence. and administrative abilities as the head of the judiciary power for a period of five years who shall be the highest judicial authority.
The head of the judiciary branch is responsible for the following:
- Establishment of the organizational structure necessary for the administration of justice commensurate with the responsibilities mentioned under Article 156.
- Drafting judiciary bills appropriate for the Islamic Republic.
- Employment of just and worthy judges, their dismissal, appointment, transfer, assignment to particular duties, promotions, and carrying out similar administrative duties, in accordance with the law.
The courts of justice are the official bodies to which all grievances and complaints are to be referred. The formation of courts and their jurisdiction is to be determined by law.
The Minister of Justice owes responsibility in all matters concerning the relationship between the judiciary, on the one hand, and the executive and legislative branches, on the other hand. He will be elected from among the individuals proposed to the President by the head of the judiciary branch. The head of the judiciary may delegate full authority to the Minister of Justice in financial and administrative areas and for employment of personnel other than judges in which case the Minister of Justice shall have the same authority and responsibility as those possessed by the other ministers in their capacity as the highest ranking government executives.
The Supreme Court is to be formed for the purpose of supervising the correct implementation of the laws by the courts, ensuring uniformity of judicial procedure, and fulfilling any other responsibilities assigned to it by law, on the basis of regulations to be established by the head of the judicial branch.
The chief of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor-General must both be just mujtahids well versed in judicial matters. They will be nominated by the head of the judiciary branch for a period of five years, in consultation with the judges of the Supreme Court.
The conditions and qualifications to be fulfilled by a judge will be determined by law, in accordance with the criteria of fiqh.
A judge cannot be removed, whether temporarily or permanently, from the post he occupies except by trial and proof of his guilt, or in consequence of a violation entailing his dismissal. A judge cannot be transferred or redesignated without his consent, except in cases when the interest of society necessitates it, that too, with the decision of the head of the judiciary branch after consultation with the chief of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General. The periodic transfer and rotation of judges will be in accordance with general regulations to be laid down by law.
Trials are to be held openly and members of the public may attend without any restriction; unless the court determines that an open trial would be detrimental to public morality or discipline, or if in case of private disputes, both the parties request not to hold open hearing.
The verdicts of courts must be well reasoned out and documented with reference to the articles and principles of the law in accordance with which they are delivered.
The judge is bound to endeavor to judge each case on the basis of the codified law. In case of the absence of any such law, he has to deliver his judgment on the basis of authoritative Islamic sources and authentic fatwa. He, on the pretext of the silence of or deficiency of law in the matter, or its brevity or contradictory nature, cannot refrain from admitting and examining cases and delivering his judgment.
Political and press offenses will be tried openly and in the presence of a jury, in courts of justice. The manner of the selection of the jury, its powers, and the definition of political offenses, will be determined by law in accordance with the Islamic criteria.
No act or omission may be regarded as a crime with retrospective effect on the basis of a law framed subsequently.
Judges of courts are obliged to refrain from executing statutes and regulations of the government that are in conflict with the laws or the norms of Islam, or lie outside the competence of, the executive power. Everyone has the right to demand the annulment of any such regulation from the Court of Administrative Justice.
Whenever an individual suffers moral or material loss as the result of a default or error of the judge with respect to the subject matter of a case or the verdict delivered, or the application of a rule in a particular case, the defaulting judge must stand surety for the reparation of that loss in accordance with the Islamic criteria, if it be a case of default. Otherwise, losses will be compensated for by the State. In all such cases, the repute and good standing of the accused will be restored.
Military courts will be established by law to investigate crimes committed in connection with military or security duties by members of the Army, the Gendarmerie, the police, and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. They will be tried in public courts, however, for common crimes or crimes committed while serving the department of justice in executive capacity. The office of military prosecutor and the military courts form part of the judiciary and are subject to the same principles that regulate the judiciary.
In order to investigate the complaints, grievances, and objections of the people with respect to government officials, organs, and statutes, a court will be established to be known as the Court of Administrative Justice under the supervision of the head of the judiciary branch. The jurisdiction, powers, and mode of operation of this court will be laid down by law.
In accordance with the right of the judiciary to supervise the proper conducting of affairs and the correct implementation of laws by the administrative organs of the government, an organization I will be constituted under the supervision of the head of the judiciary branch to be known as the National General Inspectorate. The powers and duties of this organization will be determined by law.