Concluding observations Human Rights Committee CCPR/C/79/Add.25 para 20
Full recommendation:
The Committee recommends that Iranian legislation and practice be brought into line with the
provisions of articles 9 and 14 of the Covenant, which provide that all persons should have the
right to a fair trial, including the assistance of counsel, the right to be brought promptly before a
judge and the right to be tried in public. Urgent consideration should also be given to the
abolition of the Revolutionary courts.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1

A. Right to a fair trial: the right to access legal counsel
The guarantee of to the right to legal defense is enshrined in Article 35 of the Constitution which
ensures the right to choose a lawyer.2 Article 190 of the revised Code of Criminal Procedure
(CCP) protects the right of a suspect to “be accompanied by a lawyer during the preliminary
investigations”. Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), revised in 2015, permits
the accused to “demand the presence of a lawyer from the start of detention.”3 4
Article 48 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), revised in 2015, permits the accused to
“demand the presence of a lawyer from the start of detention.”5 6 Although the CCP guarantees
the right to free legal assistance for those without adequate financial resources, the applicability
of this right is differentiated between the pre-trial and trial phases.7 For instance, the CCP does
not ensure access to free legal assistance during the investigation phase in cases where the
accused faces charges other than those punishable by severe punishments such as the death
penalty or life imprisonment. As a consequence, safeguards provided in the Iranian legal

1

CCPR.9.3.S.3; CCPR.9.3.S.1; CCPR.14.1.S.3, CCPR.14.3.S.4
CCPR.9.3.P.1; CCPR.9.2.P.1; CCPR.14.3.P.2, CCPR.14.1.P.5
CCPR.9.1.O.1; CCPR.14.3.O.3, CCPR.14.1.O.10
2
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran < http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php>
3
Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2015) as referenced in the joint submission to the Human Rights
Committee from the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Impact Iran, Human Rights
Activists in Iran, 2020,
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/IRN/INT_CCPR_ICS_IRN_42313_E.pdf
4
Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2015) original version http://dotic.ir/print/5584
5
Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2015) as referenced in the joint submission to the Human Rights
Committee from the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Impact Iran, Human Rights
Activists in Iran, 2020,
https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/IRN/INT_CCPR_ICS_IRN_42313_E.pdf
6
Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2015) original version http://dotic.ir/print/5584
7
Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE1327082016ENGLISH.PDF

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