Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic
of Iran A/HRC/43/61 para 68(g)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government, the judiciary and the parliament:
Ensure that all persons accused of any crime have access to a lawyer of their choosing during
all stages of the judicial process, including during the initial investigation and interrogation
stage, and are provided with legal aid as needed;
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Article 35 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran guarantees the right to legal
defence, which also ensures the right to choose a lawyer, and stipulates that when a party to a
lawsuit is unable to secure legal counselling “the means of a lawyer being appointed to act for
them must be made available to them”.2 Additionally, 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”. Similarly, Article 48 of the CCP permits the accused to “demand
the presence of a lawyer from the start of detention.”3 4
However, the right to access a lawyer of one’s choosing is limited by a note to Article 48 of the
2015 CCP,5 which specifies that individuals facing charges for certain offences, including those
relating to national security and organized crime, must select their legal counsel from among a
limited list of lawyers approved and announced by the Head of the Judiciary at the phase of
preliminary investigations.6 In 2018, the Judiciary published the list of approved lawyers
(including only 20 names for Tehran). However, many of the lawyers named are reportedly close

1
CCPR.14.3.S.4; CCPR.14.3.S.4;
CCPR.14.3.P.2; ; CCPR.14.3.P.2;
CCPR.14.3.O.3; CCPR.14.3.O.3
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
The former CCP had conditioned the presence of a lawyer at the investigative stage on the permission of the judge in cases with
a “confidential” aspect, cases where the presence of a party other than defendant would “corrupt” proceedings as determined
by the judge, and in national security cases; See the March 17, 2017 report of the UN Special Rapporteur, Asma Jahangir, on fair
trial in Iran (https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/34/65)

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