This is an overview of an internet research on legislation in Iran (as of January 2019). This overview aims to serve as a starting point to facilitate the research into legal texts. However, it should not replace independent verification of the different legal texts as to their currency, validity and accuracy. Please also bear in mind that official translations of legal texts only exist in rare cases.

Researching Laws

The state-run website ‘Laws and Regulations Portal of Iran’ provides a database of laws and regulations in Persian language:

The US-based non-governmental organisation Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) provides unofficial translations of some Iranian laws:

The Refworld database which is operated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides the option to search for English translations of some legislative texts:

On the website of the United Nation’s agency World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) unofficial English translations of several laws can be downloaded:

Selected iranian laws are available on Natlex, a Portal of the International Labour Organization:

To access the collection of national laws for Iran on ecoi.net, please follow this link.

Constitution

According to an article published in March 2018 by Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran dates from 1979 and was amended in 1989 (Radio Farda, 1 March 2018).

On the website of the Research Centre of the Iranian Parliament, the current constitution of Iran is available in Persian:

The Refworld database provides an - according to Refworld - official English translation of the Iranian Constitution of 1979, including an amendment of 1989:

Another translation of the Iranian Constitution (1989 version) is available on the website of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to the document, the copyright for the translation is held by the Association for Iranian Studies (formerly the International Society for Iranian Studies), an academic society that promotes and supports academic work and research on Iran:

Criminal Law

The database of the state-run website ‘Laws and Regulations Portal of Iran’ contains the Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Persian, which in this form came into force in June 2013:

In a July 2013 preface commentary on the publication of a translation of Book V of the Iranian Penal Code, IHRDC mentions that the code was amended in January 2012 and the amended version was subsequently adopted in 2013. Book V, however, had not been subject to the revision. (IHRDC, 15 July 2013)

In an April 2014 preface commentary on the publication of a translation of Books I and II of the revised Iranian Penal Code, the IHRDC mentions that the new Penal Code, amended in January 2012, replaces Books I, II, III and IV of the old Penal Code, while Book V remains applicable in its 1996 version. The statement goes on to elaborate on the content of Books I-IV of the revised Penal Code as follows:

“Book One of the new IPC [Islamic Penal Code] incorporates the preliminary provisions and definitions. Book Two covers, arguably, the most controversial part of the Code, Islamic hudud which are those crimes with fixed and severe punishments in Islamic sources, including, inter alia, illicit (outside of marriage) sex (known as zina), sodomy and homosexual acts between men (livat) and women (mosahaqa), insulting the Prophet (sabb-e-nabi), and consumption of an intoxicant (shorb-e-khamr). Book Three and Book Four address qisas (retaliation) and diyat (monetary compensation for deaths and bodily injuries).” (IHRDC, 4 April 2014)

The same website provides the above mentioned unofficial English translation of Books I and II of the Iranian Penal Code. It includes all amendments up to January 2012:

In July 2013, the IHRDC published an unofficial English translation of Book V of the Iranian Penal Code. According to a preface commentary, Book V was adopted in May 1996 and deals with crimes against national security, crimes against property and crimes against people, including theft and fraud (IHRDC, 15. July 2013). The unofficial English translation of Book V is available under the following link:

No English translations of the current versions of Books III and IV of the Criminal Code could be found.

Criminal Procedure Code

The state-run ‘Laws and Regulations Portal of Iran’ provides the Persian version of the amended Code of Criminal Procedure of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The code came into force in this form in June 2015:

In a teaser to a February 2016 article, the IHRDC states that an amended Code of Criminal Procedure entered into force in June 2015. (IHRDC, no date)

No English translation of the current version of the Code of Criminal Procedure could be found.

In December 2011, IHRDC published an unofficial English translation of an older version of the Code of Criminal Procedure:

The following two IHRDC-articles of August 2015 and February 2016 contain further information on the version of the Code of Criminal Procedure that entered into force in June 2015:

Civil Code and Citizenship Law

The state-run ‘Laws and Regulations Portal of Iran’ provides a Persian version of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

UNHCR’s Refworld provides an English translation of the Iranian Civil Code. The document's metadata says that the law was published in May 1928 and was last amended in July 2006. The Website refers to the following Persian version of the law, available on the website of the Research Centre of the Iranian Parliament, which represents the current state of the law, according to the metadata of the website (Refworld, no date):

The unofficial English translation mentioned above can be found under the following Refworld-link. However, according to the metadata of the website, the December 1985 amendment was the last one to be included in this translation:

A website of the Iran Data Portal, an online portal for socio-economic and political data financed by the Universities of Princeton and Syracuse, provides English extracts from the Iranian Civil Code (Book II and Book VII/Chapter 3) relevant to the subject of Iranian citizenship. The website was last updated in April 2013:

References:

(all links accessed December 2018)

Cite as:

ACCORD - Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation: ecoi.net Iran Law Guide, January 2019
https://www.ecoi.net/en/countries/iran/law-guide/