directive allowing it to investigate complaints against lawyers instead of the Bar Association’s
own disciplinary tribunal.9
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
Third Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plan.10 In October 2020, Mohammad
Mosaddegh, the Iranian judiciary’s deputy chief for legal and parliamentary affairs,
announced the creation of a judicial body to supervise lawyers, the General Office for the
Supervision of Lawyers, Experts, Family Counselors and Official Translators, under the
responsibility of his Office.11 12
In 2014, President Rouhani reportedly stated that “a lawyer should be immune from any
prosecution for carrying out its professional duty, and the investigative authority for the
lawyers’ professional issues is the Bar Association”. 13 Yet, lawyers have been reportedly
prosecuted for representing prisoners of conscience or political and “security” prisoners.14
Human rights lawyers defending human rights defenders have been reportedly harassed,
arrested and detained in the Islamic Republic of Iran.15 16 17 18
In its General Comment 32 of Article 14 the Human Rights Committee explicitly stipulates
that lawyers “should be able to advise and to represent persons charged with a criminal
offence in accordance with generally recognized professional ethics without restrictions,
influence, pressure or undue interference from any quarter.”19 Additionally, the UN Basic
Principles on the Role of Lawyers provide that “lawyers shall enjoy civil and penal immunity
for relevant statements made in good faith in written or oral pleadings or in their professional
appearances before a court, tribunal or other legal or administrative authority.”20 Despite these
international standards, immunity of counsel in pleading cases has not been reaffirmed under
Iranian legislation, if not actively undermined. Further, the mere existence of the Bar
Association and with it the -already limited-21 independence of lawyers is currently under
threat.22
9

Vokalapress, https://vokalapress.ir/?p=7708
Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, https://rc.majlis.ir/fa/law/show/93301
11
Tabnak News, https://bit.ly/2MNjDOj
12
Center for Human Rights in Iran, https://iranhumanrights.org/2020/12/new-directive-allows-iranian-judiciary-to-controllawyers-through-disciplinary-body/
13
Lawyers for lawyers, https://lawyersforlawyers.org/wp-content/uploads/Oral-statement-Iran-L4L-LRWC-19-3-2015.pdf;
Meeting the members of the board of Directors of Bar Associations, February 2014) See:
http://www.rouhani.ir/event.php?event_id=310
14
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, May 2015,
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/28/70
15
OHCHR News, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24333&LangID=E
16
Center for Human Rights in Iran, https://iranhumanrights.org/2020/06/list-of-attorneys-imprisoned-in-iran-for-defendinghuman-rights/
17
Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/13/iran-escalating-crackdown-lawyers
18
See more: Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, https://www.iranrights.org/newsletter/issue/97
19
https://www.refworld.org/docid/478b2b2f2.html
20
Principle 20 of the Basic Principles https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/roleoflawyers.aspx
21
See more: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, May 2015,
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/28/70
22
Radio Farda, https://en.radiofarda.com/a/more-than-12-000-lawyers-in-iran-reject-move-to-dismantle-barassociation/30590110.html
10

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