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Iranian Bar Associations: Struggle for Independence

Another interesting statement was made by the Deputy of the Minister of Justice, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, who was representing the government during the discussions and tried to prevent the passage of the law. His statement clearly demonstrated the stance of the Revolutionary Regime against the attorneys:

According to article 7 of the Regulations of the Revolutionary Courts and Prosecution Offices[6]: “every accused person has the right to appoint an attorney who shall be well-informed of the Islamic judicial and criminal law”. So, the Revolutionary Court says that the attorney you want to appoint must be a righteous attorney. A non-righteous person, who has never prostrated in front of God, do not number low in the Bar Association and amongst attorneys, and our committed friends in the Bar Association will admit that the majority [of attorneys] are not righteous. The Revolutionary Court does not say that you do not have to appoint an attorney. The Revolutionary Court has never told anybody that he does not have the right to enjoy this legal right. Instead, they say you must appoint a righteous person…
Another point is that, as you are aware, the Revolutionary Courts deal with security cases and because of the importance of the issue, the judges of the Court considers the interest of the country and does not allow that a file full of security documents be handed to every lawyer coming from somewhere. These reasons together make the Revolutionary Courts cautious about accepting attorneys. So, the assertion that the Revolutionary Courts do not accept attorneys, as referred to in the preamble of this Bill, is not true.”

Finally while the Bill was passed by Parliament the Guardian Council did not confirm it. Due to the insistence of the majority of the Members of Parliament on their Bill, it was sent to the Regime’s Expediency Council to solve the conflict.[7] On October 3, 1991 the Expediency Council passed the Law of “Appointment of Attorney by Parties to a Lawsuit” (hereinafter the “Law of Appointment”) according to which:

“Parties to a lawsuit have the right to appoint their attorneys and all the courts of law are obliged to accept the attorneys.
Note 1- Parties to a lawsuit in the Special Court for Clergy have the same right to appoint their attorneys. The Court shall indicate some clerics as attorneys to be appointed by the accused as his attorney.
Note 2- If the Supreme Court determines that a court has deprived an accused from appointment of attorney, the decision [of the court] is void and in the first occasion [the judge] shall be punishable by disciplinary punishments of level 3 and in the second occasion shall be discharged from judicial office.
Note 3- Attorneys in the position of defence, shall enjoy all respect and safeguards provided for judicial authorities.”
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Lawyers, Right to counsel