On Apr 16, Marzieh Tofighi Darian gave a talk on "Judicial Review in Iran: Whose Guardian: Constitution or Sharia?" in which she examined the role of Iran's Guardian Council in evaluating claims of sharīʿa compatibility and constitutional violations. She detailed the Guardian Council’s place in Iran’s constitutional design and the controversies that arise with Parliament … Continue reading Lunch Talk: Judicial Review in Iran
In December 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) considered the question whether Muslim citizens who lived in the Greek province of Thrace could be required to submit to the jurisdiction of Islamic law, as detailed by local experts called muftīs. In Greek law, Islamic law usually governed matters of family law—such as marriage, … Continue reading European Court of Human Rights Rules Against Forcing Greek Muslim Minority to Follow Islamic Law [Molla Sali v. Greece (ECHR 2018)]
This post analyzes the self-proclaimed power of Iran’s Guardian Council to strike down previously approved laws due to claims of inconsistency with sharīʿa. In order to contextualize this problem, I analyze a recent opinion of the Guardian Council that nullified the results of recent elections, on grounds that a law legalizing membership of religious minorities in … Continue reading Guardian Council and the Ultimate Power
This post argues that there is an excessive focus on sharīʿa -compatibility for legislation and judicial decisions in Iran. Even when a law enters into force or a judicial decision becomes final there are still tools for the Guardian Council to legally invalidate the law or reverse the judicial decision. Assessing the problem of nonfinality … Continue reading The Problem of Nonfinality of Judicial Decisions in Iran’s Sharīʿa-Compliance Jurisprudence
The right to counsel is one of the constituent elements of a fair trial. Iran’s judicial system has long grappled with the question whether, to ensure the basic rights of defendants, they must have unqualified access to an attorney in criminal investigations, especially for serious felonies such as national security crimes. In this post, through analyzing … Continue reading Right to Counsel and the Problem of Distrust
Judicial review has become a cornerstone of constitutionalism globally. In Muslim countries, judicial review, despite being a rising trend, has not been robustly practiced across the region. Iran is one of the countries that has had a poor record with judicial review. In the absence of a constitutional court in Iran, constitutional review of legislation falls to … Continue reading Whose Guardian: Sharīʿa or the Constitution? Judicial Review of Iran’s New Criminal Procedure Code
Professor Intisar Rabb and Iran editor Marzieh Tofighi Darian analyze changes made to statutes defining juvenile crimes and punishment under Iran's new Islamic Penal Code, passed in 2013. The Code follows a traditional dichotomy between ḥudūd fixed crimes and qiṣāṣ retaliatory scheme (which are directly incorporated from classical Islamic law interpretations of criminal law into … Continue reading Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code: Have International Criticisms Been Effective for Children and Juvenile Offenders?