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Power Relations and Judicial Corruption in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mehdi Khosravi

In order to understand the political structure and stability in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the nature of the Islamic judicial system in the country must be analysed. This book undertakes this responsibility and is the first comprehensive study of structurally deep-rooted corruption in the Islamic judiciary system. The findings of this research show that corruption in the judiciary is widespread in breadth and depth. This corruption has infiltrated every sector of the Islamic regime to the point where it impacts the day-to-day routine of the Iranian people.

Without a doubt, the influence of the Supreme Leader on the judiciary is the most prominent factor in the formation of judicial corruption and its epidemical spread to other parts of the government. This judicial corruption has calamitous consequences on Iranian society and has endangered society’s security. It has infringed on human rights, caused a dwindling economy, devalued the rule of law, and delayed social progress in the country.

This book will be of interest to students of legal studies, political science, Islamic studies, sociology, or religious studies. The book also provides precious insights for journalists, civil service employees, decision-makers, and all of those who are interested in discovering the reason for brutality in the Islamic judiciary. The book also provides useful information for the learned societies and research centres that are concentrated on Iranian studies, criminology, good governance, rule of law, and criminal justice systems.

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Chapter 6: Comparison and Assessment



Comparison and Assessment

Shortcomings and Advantages of Comparative Approaches

Scholars claim that a comparative approach should be used to better understand the judicial system and provide suggestions for reform in the judiciary (Cole, George F., Frankowski, Stanislaw, Gertz & Marc, 1987). In fact, the comparison of judicial systems helps to abandon the existing cultural frameworks or “self-sealing cultural logics” (Nelken, 2010, p 11), and have a better understanding of the judicial systems. However, the researcher might face problems when making comparisons. For example, a body of research might deal with the judiciary in other countries like a “tourist” with only a marginal understanding of the culture and the host country. In this way the researcher may be unable to have an in-depth understanding, or may have a lack of mastery of the language in the country in which it intends to compare (Zedner, 1995).

In this research, in order to achieve a better understanding of judicial corruption in Iran, the judiciary has been compared with that of developing countries, including China; and with developed countries’ judicial systems such as England and Wales.

Comparative Approach (Iran, England, and Wales)

The UK judicial system and its complexities are one of the oldest and most transparent judicial systems in the world. The transparency in the UK, which results from citizens’ free access to information, gives permission to every citizen to freely access its organisations, activities, and events.


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