Putting Iranian Bar Association under supervision of Ministry of Economy will destroy independence of lawyers

A few days ago, the Iranian Parliament approved a plan that, if approved by the Guardian Council of the Constitution, would destroy the limited independence of the hundred-year-old Iranian Bar Association. According to this resolution, lawyers’ associations will henceforward be under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and everything from the issuance to the revocation of a lawyer’s license will be done through the website of the Ministry of Economy.

This decree has caused protests by lawyers. The argument of the opponents of this resolution, reflected in the country’s 7th development plan, is that making lawyers dependent on a government institution is a violation of people’s rights.  They also say that attaching lawyers’ associations to the Ministry of Economy is a violation of the separation of powers and a contradiction of the state’s general policies in judicial affairs.

In addition to the protests of lawyers in provinces such as Razavi Khorasan, South Khorasan, West Azabaijan , Yazd, etc., a campaign titled “Opposition to plans and bills against the independence of lawyers’ associations and judicial security” has been created that from August 29 to the writing of this dispatch has gained more than 24 thousand signatures. Lawyers are trying to prevent the final approval of the resolution by persuading the members of the Guardian Council to reject it as contrary to the Constitution, Sharia standards and other regulations.

The resolution fundamentally affects the independence of the legal profession. This is something that the Bar Association has tried to protect for years because it is necessary for a fair trial. The independence of the lawyer’s institution is the basic right of the nation, and a person who is under suspicion for any reason or whose rights are violated needs an independent lawyer. A lawyer must be a person who is not professionally affiliated with the government. Especially in security cases, a lawyer whose life and death is dependent on a government institution cannot defend his client completely and with courage and self-confidence, and the victim of this lack of independence is the client who was deprived of having an independent lawyer. If a lawyer is contacted by certain institutions to make him feel threatened, he will be worried that the license given by the government will be revoked.










Putting Iranian Bar Association under supervision of Ministry of Economy will destroy independence of lawyers