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The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Article 161 [Supreme Court]

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.

Article 162 [Chief of the Supreme Court, Prosecutor-General]

The Chief of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor-General must both be just honorable men 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.

Article 163 [Qualifications]

The conditions and qualifications to be fulfilled by a judge will be determined by law, in accordance with religious criteria.

Article 164 [Independence]

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 re-designated 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.

Article 165 [Public Trials]

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.

Article 166 [Reasoned Verdicts]

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.

Article 167 [Rule of Law for Judiciary]

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.

Article 168 [Political and Press Offences]

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.

Article 169 [Nulla Poena Sine Lege]

No act or omission may be regarded as a crime with retrospective effect on the basis of a law framed subsequently.

Article 170 [Control of Regulations]

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.

Article 171 [Liability of Judges]

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.

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