Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic
of Iran A/HRC/37/68 para 94
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur further notes that an independent bar association is vital to the
promotion to the rule of law. All executive and judicial interference in management and working
of bar associations should be removed and the bar association should be made an autonomous
and self- regulatory body.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The 1955 Law on the Independence of Lawyers established the independence of the Iranian Bar
association and granted lawyers immunity from prosecution for carrying out their profession.2 3
The Association has been dismantled, after the Iranian Revolution, and reinstituted, but
throughout the years the Bar association has been under the increased control of the Judiciary.4
Additionally, the Iranian Government repeatedly tried to amend the bylaws of the Bar
Association, in an attempt to reduce the independence of lawyers.5 6 7 8 Most recently, a draft bill
presented in May 2020 sought to replace the Bar association with the ”Supreme Council of the
Coordination of Lawyers’ Affairs”, which would have been composed of government appointed
judicial officials.9 The Bar association was not involved in the drafting process of the text.10 As
of February 2021, the bill is still under consideration.
The Judiciary is in charge of reviewing lawyers’ qualifications and confirming the issuance of
licenses to newly qualified lawyers.11 In November 2020, the Judiciary issued a directive
allowing it to investigate complaints against lawyers instead of the Bar association’s own
disciplinary tribunal.12
In 2000, the Judiciary established the General Office for the Supervision of Lawyers, Experts,
Family Counselors and Official Translators in accordance with Article 187 of the Law of the

1

CCPR.14.2.S.2; CCPR.14.1.P.3; CCPR.14.1.O.5.; CCPR.14.1.O.6.; CCPR.14.1.O.8.
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, https://www.iranrights.org/newsletter/issue/97
3
Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/94754
4
See more: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/iranian-bar-associations-struggle-for-independence/
5
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, May 2015, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/28/70
6
Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/07/16/iran-halt-moves-curtail-lawyers
7
Lawyers for Lawyers, https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/iran-lawyers-call-upon-iranian-authorities-to-revoke-controversial-bill/
8
ILNA News https://www.ilna.news/fa/tiny/news-795247
9
Radio Farda, https://en.radiofarda.com/a/more-than-12-000-lawyers-in-iran-reject-move-to-dismantle-barassociation/30590110.html
10
ILNA News https://www.ilna.news/fa/tiny/news-892761
11
The Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges has the authority to vet lawyers. https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/92825
12
Vokalapress, https://vokalapress.ir/?p=7708
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