Revolution and Pro-Democracy Aspirations
We Remain Loyal to the Principles of Freedom and the Defense of Rights
February 27, 1979
Yesterday, on the occasion of its independence, the Bar Association issued a communique in which it declared its strong belief in and allegiance to the principles of freedom, defense of rights, and the establishment of the people’s absolute right to govern. The communique states:
“From the very beginning of the Constitutional Revolution [of 1906], one of the objectives of the pioneers of the Revolution was the establishment of a strong and independent judiciary branch as an important element of establishing the people’s true right to govern. This desire was turned into law through the acceptance and incorporation of the principle of separation of powers and of independent courts and their powers. The enemies of the people, of the true right [of the people] to govern, and of freedom, always considered the weakening of the judiciary branch to be the main condition for the victory of conspiracies against freedom and democracy. Every attack by the agents of colonialism and reaction on the Iranian people and their rights was combined with an attack on the judiciary. The establishment of the Pahlavi Dynasty, the product of a colonial coup d’état against the Iranian people’s liberation movement, was followed by repeated attacks against the judiciary branch. That regime’s cronies consciously cut a branch off of the large, strong tree that was the independent judiciary, and tried to cover these attacks with artificial decorations, creating a so-called judicial system that was accepted by the world!
In this worldly judiciary, the principle of a judge’s independence was trampled upon and the principle of the rule of law and of independent courts was violated. Military tribunals and private courts with obedient judges ready to execute every order were used as stabilizing organs of the illegitimate authority of the dictatorship, taking control over people’s lives and property.
It was only after the victory of the Iranian people’s nationalist movement headed by Dr. Mosadeq and the establishment of that great leader’s democratic government that major steps were taken in restoring the independence of the judiciary, and the principle of the courts’ jurisdiction and their powers was revived. And it was also in the same period that a lawyer’s role in the judicial system was correctly assessed and defined, and the bill advocating the Bar Association’s independence was drafted and became law, even though in the past twenty five years, the authoritarian regime found a multitude of ways to violate that law. As we pay homage and our respects to the soul of the eminent leader of Iran’s nationalist movement, Dr. Mohammad Mosadeq, on the occasion of the commemoration of the bar Association’s independence, it is appropriate to recall with great respect the late Abdolali Lotfi, Justice Minister of Dr. Mosadeq’s legal and legitimate government, and to recognize and express our gratitude for his efforts in re-establishing an independent judiciary and creating an independent Bar Association. We must also remember with respect all those colleagues who played a role in drafting the [Bar association] independence bill. May they always be remembered fondly and with gratitude.
The Bar Association takes this opportunity to unequivocally declare its allegiance to the high principles of freedom, defense of rights, and the people’s absolute right to govern, and to once again take on the revival of the complete powers of the courts and of a strong and independent judiciary as its objective and the objective of all attorneys and torch bearers of freedom and justice.