Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
E/CN.4/2006/61/Add.3 para 73 (f)
Full assessment:
In order to enhance women’s access to justice through a transparent legal and judiciary reform
it is recommended that the Government:
Ensure that the right to a fair trial is fully respected and that all women detainees are brought to
trial, with access to a lawyer and legal aid where necessary, without undue delay;
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Ensuring the standards of a fair trial in the judicial system in the Islamic Republic can be
measured for women in the general context of evaluating the judicial system, as the benefits and
shortcomings of the justice system affect everyone, although its shortcomings can be greater for
some vulnerable groups. For example, the inequality in the value of male and female testimony,
where the testimony of a man is worth twice as much as that of a woman, in the courts is one of
the main causes of gender discrimination that violates a fair trial.2
In order to ensure fair trial and transparency for all individuals, the constitution of the Islamic
Republic of Iran encapsulates, to a certain extent, the principles of fair trial standards in the
ICCPR: 1) non-discriminatory access to a court of law is enshrined in the constitution in Article
34 and Article 20 emphasises the equality of all people before the law; 2) the principles of
independence and impartiality is ensured by Article 3 of the Criminal Code of Procedure; 3) the
guarantee of the defense of the rights of the individual is enshrined in Article 35 of the
constitution, which ensures the right to choose a lawyer; 4) the right to open hearings is covered
by Article 165 of the constitution, which refers to the right to a public trial; 5) a reasonable
procedural deadline/timeline is encapsulated in multiple articles of the Iranian Criminal
Procedure Code, which discuss the proper timelines for various types of crimes; and 6) the right
to appeal is guaranteed by Chapter 4 of this code (Articles 426-483).
In general, the constitution3 has positive provisions which demand that everyone should have a
lawyer in court, but these positive points are not necessarily translated into practice to guarantee
the standards of a fair trial. Other laws, including the Code of Criminal Procedure, restrict some
of these positive points, including the right of access to a lawyer.4 The Note to Article 48 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure, in security crimes, restricts the access of a lawyer to the
1

CCPR.14.1.S.1; CCPR.14.1.S.2; CCPR.14.3.S.4; CCPR.14.1.P.1; CCPR.14.3.P.2; CCPR.14.1.O.3; CCPR.14.1.O.1;
CCPR.14.3.O.3
2
Articles 174 to 200 of Islamic Penal Code.
3
Article 35 of the Constitution.
4
Article 48 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

1

Select target paragraph3