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The Judiciary

Trying Cases Just to Fill Quotas Means People's Rights are Violated

IRNA / Translation by Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
May 18, 2019
Web article

Tehran, IRNA: An attorney at law stated: “In certain courts, adjudicating cases just to meet quotas results in the violation of people’s rights, and we hope that the Head of the Judiciary takes serious steps in order to resolve this predicament.”

In an interview with IRNA’s judiciary reporter on Saturday, Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini stated that certain judges adjudicate cases just to meet quotas, and that is one of the Judiciary Branch’s main problems, and added: “Hearing a case [requires the application of high standards and] is quality-based work, not statistics- and quota-based, and the reason is that cases are substantively very different.”

He further added: “Cases in the Judiciary are usually not similar; one case could [be lighter] and [the case file] may contain only 10 pages, and another could contain 120 volumes; one case may have a single defendant while another may have dozens. Furthermore, a judge may spend only an hour on one case, whereas he might spend months on another.”

This attorney at law added: “When they do not meet their quotas at the end of the month, some courts close a large number of cases, in such a way that there may be 50 cases closed early in the month, but that number reaches 150 in the second half of that [same] month.”

He added: “When you concentrate only on meeting quotas, the result is that cases are not heard in a quality-based fashion. Some judges usually try to issue a ruling quickly so that they can close the case. When that happens, [some] plaintiffs [see themselves] forced to bring a new complaint, and ultimately the result is that the case load in the court systems increases rather than the opposite.”

Hosseini emphasized: “A judge’s work in hearing and reading people’s complaints is formal work that must be done based on the highest standards, and the judge must be the one who decides when to start hearing a case and when to close it, and not be forced to definitively close 200 cases every month, for instance, and turn in his statistics and numbers. Therefore, basing adjudications on quotas results in the violation of a great many people’s rights, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed and resolved. With the great experience he has amassed over the years, I hope that the new Head of the Judiciary Branch can come up with a substantial idea in that regard.”

He added: “Being forced to meet quotas also takes up much more of the judge and the people’s time, and imposes extra expenses on the people. Of course, the intent of the people who came up [with the idea of quotas] was to expedite the adjudication of cases, but it has [had the opposite effect and] created problems, and cases are not closed properly.”

This attorney at law added: “It is also an aspersion of the image and prestige of the Islamic Republic from an international standpoint, as it creates questions for judges and jurists in other countries as to the [high] number of cases: Why are there 15 million cases in the judicial system of a country of 80 million people?

On Majless (“Parliament”) Representatives Practicing Law, and the Resulting Harms

Regarding giving a license to practice law to the representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Majless, after finishing their term, Hosseini stated: “The practice of law is specialized work and requires a period of apprenticeship, and the apprentice attorney must pass various exams in order to obtain a license to practice law. That is why a Majless representative who is not sufficiently familiar with court procedures and legal texts, such as the rules of civil procedure and the rules of criminal procedure, cannot simply start practicing law just because they have a Bachelor’s Degree in Law.”

He added: “Such a person does not have enough knowledge to practice law. Furthermore, because of his/her contact and the influence he/she has had in the Islamic Consultative Assembly and is well-versed in the country’s issues, obtaining a license to practice law might lead to undue advantage and privilege and corruption.”

This attorney at law added: “If a representative has the competency to be an attorney, that representative must take the [relevant] exams and obtain a license to practice law like everyone else. The Majless might argue that the time spent as a representative is, in effect, an apprenticeship, whereas exams administered by the Bar Association include [such subject matters as] civil law, criminal law, rules of criminal procedure, rules of civil procedure, business law, and the like, that are never discussed in the Islamic Consultative Assembly, where political issues, fundamental rights, and public law are discussed mostly, which do not have a great function in the legal profession; in fact, each has its own separate path.”