Victims’ Rights and Retribution
This chapter discusses the foundational aspects of Iran's victim-centered justice system. Iran's criminal justice system allows a privileging of victims' rights over those of the state, even as the state's delegation of the right of life and death both legitimizes the system and makes the plaintiffs complicit in that system. It is, above all, a victim-centered system. The revised penal codes demand that judicial officials seek to reconcile and mediate between the parties, while also allowing them time to determine the conditions of their forbearance. One of the residual effects of customary practices on the codified system is the greater entrenchment of gender roles and the explicit concern with honor. Another trace of the orfi system, however, is that parties are not limited to seeking damages prescribed in the laws. The mechanisms for forging resolution are similarly unconstrained. In the context of resolving the dispute, there is a permeability of the border between judicial and extrajudicial remedies. The laws provide for, even prescribe, extrajudicial processes to unfold in the name of restorative justice, and directly charge judicial officials to seek as much through mediation and reconciliation.
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