Country Visit Report Working Group on Arbitrary Detention E/CN.4/2004/3/Add.2 para 65(1) Full recommendation 1. On the reduction of the proliferation of judicial decision-making bodies. It should be recalled that the Article 90 Parliamentary Commission highlighted, in receiving the Working Group, “the injustices and inconsistencies resulting from the proliferation of judicial decision-making bodies”. The revolutionary tribunals, one such group of bodies, as well as the religious courts, should be abolished for the following reasons and in the following manner. Historically the revolutionary tribunals were established essentially to judge “collaborators” with the former regime. There seems to be no rationale for their continued existence. Moreover, since these tribunals have no constitutional basis, their absorption by the ordinary courts would not require reform of the Constitution. A further reason: owing to their jurisprudence, which is extremely restrictive of freedom of opinion and expression on the one hand and of due process and the right to a fair trial on the other, they are responsible for many of the cases of arbitrary detention for crimes of opinion, as noted by the Working Group. This reform would have the merit of reflecting recent developments: a first stage has just been completed with the reform reinstating the prosecution service by merging prosecutors in the revolutionary tribunals with those in the ordinary courts. From this standpoint this would constitute a second stage in the current modernization of the system of justice sought by the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Hachemi Chahroudi, who, speaking before senior members of the judiciary in early March 2003, stated that restructuring of the system of justice would be his priority. A further stage concerning religious courts could be completed in due course to further reduce the proliferation of judicial decision-making bodies. The competence of these courts which also have no constitutional basis - would be transferred to the ordinary courts. There are two reasons: according to the second division of the Tehran Special Clerical Court, these courts were originally established to prosecute usurpers who, taking advantage of the early confusion in the revolution, styled themselves “clerics”. As this problem is in the past, this special competence no longer seems justified. These progressive abolitions would also have the merit of restoring respect for article 20 of the Constitution, which embodies the principle of the equality of all citizens before the law and thus before the system of justice. 1

Select target paragraph3