Country Visit Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Report E/CN.4/2004/3/Add.2
para 65(4)
Full recommendation:
4. On the right to due process. Three points should be borne in mind, in the following order of
immediacy:
• The immunity of counsel in pleading cases must be reaffirmed and expressly
guaranteed in a legislative instrument formulated in cooperation with representatives
of the Bar;
• The active involvement of counsel must be provided for, whatever the nature of the
case, starting with the custody or, the very least, the investigation phase, throughout
the trial and in the appeals stage;
• Access to legal aid must be made more effective.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
A. Immunity of counsel in pleading cases must be reaffirmed and expressly
guaranteed in a legislative instrument formulated in cooperation with
representatives of the Bar
The 1955 Law for the Independence of Lawyers established the independence of the Bar
Association and granted lawyers with immunity from prosecution for their work.2 However,
following its disestablishment after the Iranian Revolution and its subsequent reinstitution, the
Bar Association has been put under increased Judiciary’s governance.3 Additionally, the
Iranian Government has been repeatedly attempting to amend bylaws of the Bar Association
and reduce the independence of lawyers.4 5 6 Most recently, a draft bill presented in May 2020
would replace the Bar Association with the “Supreme Council of the Coordination of
Lawyers’ Affairs”, which would be composed of Government appointed judiciaries.7 The bill
was drafted without the involvement of the Bar Association.
The Judiciary is in charge of investigating the qualification of lawyers and confirming the
issuance of licenses to newly qualified lawyers.8 In November 2020, the Judiciary issued a

1

CCPR.9.2.S.1; CCPR.9.3.S.1
CCPR.9.2.P.1; CCPR.9.3.P.1
CCPR.9.2.O.3; CCPR.9.2.O.4
2
Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, https://www.iranrights.org/newsletter/issue/97
3
See more: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/iranian-bar-associations-struggle-forindependence/
4
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, May 2015, https://undocs.org/A/HRC/28/70
5
Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/07/16/iran-halt-moves-curtail-lawyers
6
Lawyers for Lawyers, https://lawyersforlawyers.org/en/iran-lawyers-call-upon-iranian-authorities-to-revoke-controversialbill/
7
Radio Farda, https://en.radiofarda.com/a/more-than-12-000-lawyers-in-iran-reject-move-to-dismantle-barassociation/30590110.html
8
The Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges has the authority to vet lawyers. https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/92825

1

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