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Forgiveness WorkMercy, Law, and Victims' Rights in Iran$
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Arzoo Osanloo

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172040

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172040.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Legal Foundations

Legal Foundations

Victims’ Rights and Retribution

(p.37) 1 Legal Foundations
Forgiveness Work

Arzoo Osanloo

Princeton University Press

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.

Keywords:   Iranian criminal justice system, victim-centered justice system, victims' rights, penal codes, judicial officials, forbearance, gender roles, honor, restorative justice, reconciliation

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