Constitutional Rights and Liberties in the Islamic Republic: A Critical Review

Journal of Social Sciences

DOI: 10.25079/ukhjss.v1n1y2017.pp34-45

This study is aimed at analyzing aspects of individual rights and liberties in theocratic systems by examining the Iranian Constitution as a case study. As it will be shown the current constitution (1979) appears to be riddled with several formal and epistemological inconsistencies, arising from its fundamental ideological underpinnings. Surprisingly these have rarely been subject to systematic analysis capable of addressing both the form and content of the Fundamental Law. My previous manuscript in 2014, provided the basis for such an analysis in an academic format. Nonetheless, in the light of recent updates to Iranian normative system, in particular the prevailing Islamic Penal Code, this requires a thorough revision and reinterpretation. In this pursuit, various linguistic, legal, procedural and conceptual tools have been deployed to highlight inadequacies and incoherencies in support of the claim that the country currently lacks clear normative frameworks for guaranteeing basic rights and freedoms, which should be the raison d'être of all fundamental loci of rights. In addition, as it is argued below, serious conceptual flaws in the constitution of the Islamic Republic itself could be regarded as the prime suspect for the systematic violation of basic principles of rights and liberties, rather than an alleged failure to adhere to the constitution as it is often claimed.

About Dr Vahid Nick Pay 36 Articles
Vahid Nick Pay is a Lecturer in International Politics and Research Methods, a Fellow of the Kellogg College, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Senior Common Room, Saint Antony's College, University of Oxford. He is a member of the Management Committee and Director of the Exam Board at the Diplomatic Studies Programme and also Director of the Exam Board of the Global Health Diplomacy Course. He is also a member of the management committee at the Centre for International Studies (CIS - University of Oxford)