The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Approved in 1980 - Revised in 1989

PART ELEVEN - Judicial power


Article 156

The Judiciary39 is an independent power that protects the individual and collective rights of the people and is responsible for the administration of justice. The Judiciary also has the duty to perform the following tasks: 1) Investigations and issuance of judgments in cases of offense, lawsuit, transgression, settlement of cases of request for recognition of rights, settlement of disputes and disputes, adoption of appropriate decisions in matters indisputable established by law. 2) Consolidation of collective rights and promotion of justice and legitimate freedoms. 3) Control on the correct application of the law. 4) Identification of offenses and offenses, putting in state of indictment and punishment of the offenders and application of the rules of Islamic justice. 5) Adopting appropriate measures for crime prevention and criminal redemption. 

Article 157

In order for the responsibilities of the Judicial Body to be fulfilled, in the juridical, administrative and executive sphere, a qualified Islamic jurist, expert in Islamic Jurisprudence and with appropriate administrative skills, is appointed for a period of five years by the Supreme Guide. of the Judicial Body, or the supreme judicial authority.

Article 158

The President of the Judicial Body has the following tasks: 1) Creation of the most appropriate structures40 for the implementation of what is indicated in Art. 156. 2) Elaboration of draft judicial laws conforming to the principles of the Islamic Republic. 3) Hiring of judges of proven competence and fairness, their appointment and removal from office, assignment of duties and transfers, and other administrative functions in accordance with the law41.


The official authority for investigating disputes and lawsuits depends on the Ministry of Justice. The organization and jurisdiction of the Courts of Justice are established by law.

Article 160

The Minister of Justice is responsible for all matters concerning the relations of the judiciary with the legislative and executive powers, and is elected from among the candidates proposed by the President of the Judicial Body to the President of the Republic. The President of the Judicial Body has the right to entrust all economic and administrative affairs and the recruitment of personnel, with the exception of judges, to the Minister of Justice.


The Supreme Court42 is established, on the basis of the criteria established by the President of the Judicial Body, in order to verify the correct application of the laws in the courts, to maintain unambiguousness in the application of judicial procedures and to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to it by law.


The President of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General are chosen among the top Islamic jurists of proven fairness, are appointed by the President of the Judicial Authority with the consultation of the judges of the Supreme Court and remain in office for five years.

Article 163

The requirements and qualifications of members of the judicial system are established by law in accordance with the principles of Islamic jurisprudence43.


The judge can not be dismissed from his office either provisionally or definitively except as a result of the trial and only after having been found guilty of an offense or an offense leading to his removal from office. The judge can not be transferred from his place of employment or assigned to a different assignment without his consent, except in cases where the general interest requires it. This decision must be approved by the President of the Judicial Authority. The periodic transfer of judges takes place in accordance with the general regulations established by law and on the decision of the President of the Judicial Authority, after having consulted the President of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

Article 165

The sessions of the criminal proceedings take place in an open forum and in the presence of the public with the exception of cases in which the court decides that the presence of the public is incompatible with the common morality, and when, in the context of private disputes, the parties require that the process takes place behind closed doors.


The judgments of the courts must be based on sufficient evidence and motivation and on the basis of the norms and principles of the law.


The judge has the duty to make every attempt to identify in the codified laws the rules applicable to each dispute. If this is not possible, he issues the most appropriate sentence in reference to Islamic sources worthy of faith or previous judgments and official opinions issued by recognized religious authorities44. The judge cannot refuse to investigate the merits of any controversy or refrain from issuing the relative sentence on the pretext of silence regarding the codified laws, or their ambiguities, deficiencies or gaps. Article 168 The trial for political and press crimes takes place in the judicial courts in session open to the public and in the presence of a jury. The methods of choosing the members of the jury, their eligibility requirements and their jurisdiction, as well as the definition of political crime, will be established by law in accordance with Islamic norms.

Article 169

No action or omission can be considered a crime on the basis of a law that came into force after its occurrence.

Article 170

Judges of the judicial tribunals must refrain from applying those decrees or regulations passed by the government that are proven contrary to Islamic laws and norms or go beyond the powers of the Executive Power. Any person has the right to contact the administrative courts to request the invalidation of these laws and regulations.    

Article 171

In the event that a person suffers moral or material damage as a result of intentional or negligent error committed by a judge, and the guilt of the judge has been proven, the judge is responsible for it in accordance with Islamic norms. In the event that the damage is to be ascribed to governmental responsibility, it is compensated by the government. In such cases the accused is rehabilitated.


In order to investigate crimes related to specific military or security duties of members of the Army, Gendarmerie, Police and the Guardian Corps of the Islamic Revolution, military courts are set up in accordance with the law to perform this function . However, the common crimes committed by the same members, or the crimes committed by them in their function of administration of justice, are judged by ordinary courts. The military courts and the related prosecutors are an integral part of the country's judicial system and as such are subject to the regulations concerning this system.     

Article 173

The Administrative Court is established, under the control of the President of the Judicial Body, for the purpose of investigating and ruling on complaints and protests of the people against government officials, members, structures or regulations, and to ascertain their rights and administer justice. . The jurisdiction and procedures for the functioning of this Court are determined by law.

Article 174

For the implementation of the right of the judiciary to control the proper conduct of activities and the appropriate application of laws in administrative offices, the State Inspectorate General is established, under the supervision of the President of the Judicial Body. The jurisdiction and procedures for the functioning of this Institution are determined by law.

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