Daily Archives: February 14, 2016
Amnesty International’s Report on; Iran’s New Code of Criminal Procedure
By Amnesty International,
11 February 2016
Nearly four decades after Iran’s 1979 Revolution shook its criminal justice system to the core, the country’s legal framework remains largely inadequate, inefficient and inconsistent with international fair trial standards, leaving individuals who come into contact with it with little or no protection. Amnesty International’s new report, Flawed reforms: Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s new Code of Criminal Procedure, which came into force in June 2015.
The report welcomes the introduction of several long overdue reforms but expresses concern that the Code constitutes a lost opportunity as it fails, by and large, to do more than scratch the surface of the flaws that run deep in Iran’s criminal justice system.
“The issue is that there are individuals among lawyers who could be troublemakers.” Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, June 2015
These words were spoken by Zabihollah Khodaian, the Legal Deputy of Iran’s Judiciary, in June 2015 in the wake of criticism directed at the authorities for imposing restrictions on the right to access a lawyer. While shocking, they are hardly surprising as they exemplify the long-standing lack of regard for due process in Iran’s criminal justice system. Iran’s 1979 revolution triggered a swift and fundamental transformation of the country’s justice system. Its aftermath witnessed vast numbers of people being arbitrarily detained, tortured and summarily executed with almost no regard for due process guarantees such as the right to have access to a lawyer from the time of arrest. Since then, relative order has gradually been restored to the justice system. Many laws hastily adopted after the revolution have been amended and improved. Iran has added the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to the list of international treaties to which it is state party, a list which also includes those ratified before 1979, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
However, flaws in Iranian legislation and the failure to incorporate key human rights guarantees into national law persist, making the country’s legal framework largely inconsistent with international human rights law and standards. In fact, the unfair, summary and predominantly secret processes, and the special and revolutionary courts and tribunals established in the aftermath of the revolution, continue to characterize Iran’s criminal justice system, undermining the right of all to a fair trial In June 2015, a much anticipated new Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) entered into force in Iran.
The new CCP, which had been in the making for almost a decade, was passed by Parliament and signed into law by the President in April 2014. This new Code replaced a deeply flawed Code of Criminal Procedure, adopted in 1999, whose validity was supposed to last only for a trial period of three years but was repeatedly extended. The new Code introduces several long overdue reforms to Iran’s criminal justice system, including the restriction of the use of provisional pre-trial detention to situations where there is a risk of flight or a threat to public safety, stricter regulations governing the questioning of accused persons, and enhancement of the right to access a lawyer during the pre-trial period. However, it has failed to tackle many of the major shortcomings in Iran’s criminal justice system.
Please find the report attached and online at the following link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/2708/2016/en/