Barriers to Immigrant Defendants’ Access to Justice during the Prosecution Phase in Iranian Criminal Justice System


1 Assistant Professor of the Institute for Research & Development in the Humanities (SAMT)

2 Tarbiat Modares University (TMU). Tehran, Iran



Access to justice consists of equal enjoyment and fulfillment of all members of society, especially those potentially,  deprived of rights e.g. vulnerable groups, from high quality legal services, access to judicial structures such as juries and the use of necessary mechanisms to achieve fair and just verdicts. The present article aims at addressing the status of immigrant defendants in Iranian criminal justice system in the light of the notion ‘access to justice’. Results of the study indicate that immigrant defendants living in Iran, including Afghans, Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs and Tanzanians, experience significant obstacles in criminal process. One of the main causes is lack of laws and provisions, especially those assigned for immigrants in different stages of proceedings. Another reason is driven by Iranian criminal justice system. For example, high numbers of cases made administrative authorities out of enough time for clearing up the process, defendant’s rights and decisions made about defendants. Another reason is related to the defendant according which illegal immigrants are not as confident as legal immigrants in criminal process. Consequently, eliminating current obstacles needs to take action in different aspects such as amending the related laws and provisions.


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