Iranian Legal System

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Table of Contents in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia

Iranian Legal System in Asia

Iran (Persia, officially named the Islamic Republic of Iran), is situated in Western Asia. The legal system of Iran is mixed (Muslim/Civil law). The country has basically religious legal system based on sharia law.

Legal Research in Iran: a Guide for Lawyers

In a globalized world, lawyers outside Iran may come into contact with Iranian law, Iranian lawyers or Iranian clients, and the last would be better served when their lawyers have an understanding of the essential characteristics and aspects of the Iranian legal system. Likewise, in researching Iranian law, it is important for non-Iranian lawyers not to limit their inquiry to their country sources. In addition, instead of looking for precedents, in Iran lawyers browse first the provisions of the corresponding legislation for an appropriate legal principle applied to the case or Iranian law problem.

Any serious legal issue involving Iran must require consultation with a lawyer trained and licensed in Iran. International materials and resources, like this Encyclopedia, however, may provide some familiarity with the basic concepts of the Iranian law, a solid starting point and new perspectives and solutions that are not apparent, sometimes, from within a non-Iranian legal tradition. Their study may help the non-Iranian lawyer to determine the general nature of a problem, and can facilitate a better understanding with the Iranian colleague who may be called in to assist.

Where to Start

General Information about Iran and their Legal Tradition

Iran and their People

Read about Iran and their People here.

Historical Background of Iran

Overview of the history of Iran.

Legal Education

Offering a summary of the legal education, including law schools , in Iran.

Development of Iranian Law

Report on the development of the law in Iran.

Structures of Iranian Law

It offers a description of the structures of the law in Iran.

Sources of the Iranian Law

Summary of the sources of Law in Iran.

Historical Background

More about the history of the Iranian law here.

Enacted Law in Iran

Read more about the legislation in Iran.

  • The Iranian Constitution

Learn more about the Constitution of Iran.

  • Iran Codes and Statutes

Survey of Iranian Codes and Statutes.

  • Iran Statutory Decrees

Outline of the Iran Statutory Decrees.

  • Iran Regulations

Scope of the Regulations enacted in Iran.

  • Iran By-Laws

Observation about the By-Laws in existence in Iran.

Customary Law

Learn more about the customary law of Iran.

Case Law as a Source of Law

Analysis of the Case Law in Iran.

Precedents in Iran

Evaluation of the role of Precedents in the Iranian legal system.

Doctrine in Iran

Review of the legal Doctrine in Iran.

International sources of law

See more about the international sources of law in Iran and Asia, including International Treaties.

The Iranian Government System

Study of the Government system in existence in Iran.

Iranian Constitutional Structure

Overview of the Constitutional Structure in Iran.

Historical Background

Read more about the history of the Government System of the country.

General Characteristics of the Constitution

Constitution of Iran: the main features.

Human Rights in Iran

Scope of the Civil and Human rights in the country.

Legislative Branch

The legislative branch proposes laws. Find a description of the Legislative Power in Iran here.

Structure of the Iranian Legislative Branch

Observation of the structure of the legislative power in Iran.

Functions and Powers

See more about the role of the legislative power in Iran here.

Legislative Process

Read how the Iranian legislative procedures work here.

Supervision of the Executive

Learn how the legislative branch supervises the executive branch.

Executive Branch

The executive power proposes laws. Read more.

Head of State in Iran

The head of state of Iran is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of Iran.

Head of Government in Iran

The head of government in Iran is the Prime Minister of Iran, the political leader of the government of Iran.

Iranian Council of Ministers

See information about the Cabinet Ministers of Iran here.

Iranian Local Governments

Review of the local government powers in Iran. See the definition of local rule here.

Local Organizations of Central Administration

The central administration consists of a number of ministries and other organizations, including local ones. Various departments, offices and divisions are established in each ministry in Iran. See the definition of centralization here.

Iranian Municipalities

Outlook of the cities, towns, villages and other communities, including municipal courts (when applicable), and their legal authority in Iran.

Judiciary Branch

The judiciary power interprets and applies laws. Find here a review of the Judicial System in Iran.

Main Features of the Judiciary

Read the most important characteristics of the Judiciary system in Iran here.

Iran Judicial Structure

Report of the Court Organization and Jurisdiction in Iran.
The Courts in Iran may be divided into:

  • High Courts

Description of the functioning of high courts in Iran.

  • Lower Courts

Summary of the roles of courts of lesser rank.


Information about rules that influence sentencing in Iran.

Participants in the Administration of Justice

Survey about the players in the Administration of Justice in Iran and other countries.


Information about the impartial administration of justice, the independence and status of the judiciary and other issues related to Judges in Iran.

Public Prosecutors

The role of those government officials who represent, in Iran, legal authorities (often prosecuting criminal actions in Iran and Asia).

The practice of law

More about the practice of law in Iran and Asia.

The legal professions

Outline of the legal professions in Iran and Asia.

Practitioners (Lawyers and others)

Learn about the legal role of practitioners, specially lawyers.

Notary-Public in Iran

Overview about Public Notaries practising in Iran.

Court reporter – Clerks

Overview of Court reporters and Clerks in Iranian and Asian courthouses.

Civil Law Procedure

Outlook of the main features of the Iranian civil process, including:

Pretrial Proceedings in Iran

Information about what pretrial proceedings consist of.

The Trial in Iran

Review of the judicial examinations in civil or criminal actions in Iran.

Civil Litigation

Overview of the steps of litigation in Iran, the litigator’s role and the types of civil litigation in the country here.


Evidence law outline in Iran.

The Judgment

Outlook of the tribunal decisions in Iran. For Judgments which are of significance as legal precedents on points of law in Iran, see precedents.

The Effect of the Judgment

Overview of effects and recognition of a valid judgment delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in Iran.

Legal Remedies in Iran

Enforcement of a legal right ordered by the court. See also the Judicial Relief definition.

Appeals – Judicial Review

Description of the Appeals process and the Judicial Review process of challenging the lawfulness of decisions in Iran.

Criminal Law Procedure

Observation of the Criminal Process.

The Investigation of Crime

Scope of the investigation of crimes:

The Prosecution of Crime

Crime Prosecution.

Criminal Trials in Iran

Laws and rules of the administration of justice when a person has been accused of a crime.

Appeals – Judicial Review

When a party files an appeal, asking to review the case:

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Iran

Method of resolving disputes out-of-court (ADR).

Private Law

Family Law in Iran

Guide to Marriage Law, Succession Law and other Family Law topics in Iran.

Contract Law in Iran

Contracts Law outline in Iran.

Tort Law in Iran

Regulating claims by civil wrongs that result in an injury or harm.

Property Law in Iran

Real property and Personal property law in Iran.

Copyright and Industrial Property

Survey of industrial and intellectual property laws in Iran.

Foreign Trade

Regulation of Foreign Trade in Iran and Asia.

Business Law in Iran

Besides commercial law and the law of corporations and other entities, this guide provides comprehensive information about:

Criminal Law in Iran

Penal law involves prosecution for a crime in Iran and Asia. Find out more.

Family Law in Iran

Family legal issues including:

  • Divorce and separation
  • Child protection, custody, support and access
  • Adoptions
  • Property Division

Public Law

More about Public Law here.

Administrative Law

Report of the branches of the Administrative law, including Environmental law.

Administrative Processes

Administrative Processing in Iran and Asia.


Taxation in Iran explained.

Labor Law

Overview of the labor law and social security in Iran.

Asia Legal Systems

Further Resources

History of the Iranian Legal System

The Iranian legal tradition has been shaped by many different influences, domestic as well as foreign. More than one different legal system has coexisted in Iran at various points in the long country history. The Portal of Iranian law provides introductory entries about the background and history of the law of the country.

Iran Law Portal

The Iran Law Portal provides an introductory overview of the history of legal development in Iran, major legal concepts, the structure of Iranian government, the Iranian judicial and court system, and peculiar characteristic of the response of the Iranian legal system to development in Iran.

The Iran Portal presents the main areas of its legal system and the wider aspects of how law is made and reformed. The entries of the Iran Law Portal include consideration of the primary features of the Iranian legal system, including the Iranian legal history, Iranian judicial structure and operation, the Iranian Constitution and the legislative and administrative structure and process. The contents of the Iran Portal also include discussion of Iranian legal actors (including Iranian lawyers), legal education, judges and other participants in the Iranian legal landscape.

The Portal introduces legal professionals, students and the general reader to terms and concepts necessary for understanding the Iranian legal system, the jurisdiction, organization and authority of courts in Iran, and the Iranian judicial interpretation and decision-making. The substantive areas of law such as public law, torts and product liability, property (including intellectual property rights and copyright infringements), and family law are also covered. The Portal also treats the law governing the main business legal topics: contracts, business regulation, companies and taxation. It also examines the civil, criminal and administrative processes, the procedural rights, main court opinions and the various modes of alternative dispute resolution available in Iran.

Useful to the reader of the Encyclopedia as a reference, the Portal provides a table of cases, indices provides even greater detail, a glossary of selected legal terms and many entries provide bibliographies for further reading.

Comparative Law and Legal Systems in Asia

One of the goals of the comparative law is to wrap up the similarities and differences among countries, including Iran. the different legal traditions in Asia and could be able thereby better to understand the Iranian law. to the reception of legal systems in Iran and other countries of Asia, with special reference to the reception of foreign law (specially English law and Islamic law) by these countries.

The Asian Encyclopedia of Law provides a survey of the legal systems of almost all the Asian jurisdictions. Being the Encyclopedia a work in progress, the length of the entries may vary considerably. Each country section includes a description of their major subject areas of law, notes on the main compilations (or official codifications), a detailed listing of legislation covering specific topics and resources for enacted laws and judicial decisions (including references to further online sources).

Conclusion about the Legal System of Iran

A good comprehension of the Iranian legal system requires knowledge and skill in a number of disciplines. The Iranian system itself is the result of developments in law, economy, politics, sociological change and the theories which feed all these bodies of knowledge. The law or Iran may be relevant in a foreign jurisdiction court proceeding involving international transactions. The Knowledge of the Iranian traditions and its legal institutions allows a good understanding of the Iranian law, its institutions and processes and sets the Iranian law and system in a social context.

This guide introduces some of the main procedural and substantive Iranian principles, with a more detailed treatment of resources in the major subject areas of the Iranian law, with access to primary materials.

The general reader and students may learn some basic legal concepts and principles of the Iranian law, to explain how the Iranian legal system operates, and to provide a sense of how the systems within Iran have evolved historically in Iran from its origins.

A globally focused guide like this site, including the legal concepts and principles of Asia, cannot
avoid taking many culture-specific elements into account.

About the Author

Salvador Trinxet Llorca is a law writer, professor and lawyer specialized in comparative and international law.

See Also

References and Further Reading

  • Comparative law in a global context: the legal systems of Asia and Africa, Werner Menski
  • Asian legal systems: law, society, and pluralism in East Asia, Poh-Ling Tan
  • Philanthropy and law in Asia: a comparative study of the nonprofit legal systems in ten Asia Pacific societies, Thomas Silk
  • Law and legal institutions of Asia: traditions, adaptations and innovations, E Ann Black; Gary F Bell
  • Law, capitalism and power in Asia: the rule of law and legal institutions, Kanishka Jayasuriya
  • Asia-Pacific legal development, Douglas M Johnston and Gerry A Ferguson
  • Modern legal systems cyclopedia, Kenneth R Redden and William Emerson Brock
  • Constitutionalism in Asia: Asian views of the American influence, Lawrence Ward Beer
  • The judicialization of politics in Asia, Björn Dressel
  • East Asian Law: Universal Norms and Local Cultures
  • Law, Capitalism and Power in Asia: The Rule of Law and Legal Institutions
  • Doing Business in Asia (updated regularly)
  • Copyright Law and the Information Society in Asia
  • Insolvency Law in East Asia
  • Intellectual Property Law in Asia
  • A Legal Guide to Doing Business in the Asia-Pacific


  • Asia-Pacific Development Journal
  • Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
  • Asian Law Journal
  • Australian Journal of Asian Law
  • Columbia Journal of Asian Law

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