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The Asian side of the world - II

Jean-François Sabouret

Part Three. Constructing theories

The Role of the Judiciary in implementing Western Law in Iran under the Pahlavi Dynasty

François Ameli

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March 2012

The Islamic Republic of Iran has over 25 centuries of history. The sources of law and the judicial system of this country have undergone many evolutions and numerous influences, which have been ethnic, religious and legal. They were sometimes imposed on the Persian government and at other times were accepted voluntarily; some were the result of wars. Since the 7th century, many things have changed in Iran, except for one: the concept that Shi’ah Islamic law is the foundation of the Iranian legal system.

Shia and Sunni are the two main branches of Islam. The schism occurred after the Prophet’s death in 655. The Sunnis considered that the followers of the Prophet should elect his successor after his death, whereas the Shias considered that the Prophet’s successor was Ali, his nephew and son-in-law. Shias believe that the Prophet designated Ali as his successor before his death, during his last pilgrimage to Mecca. Ali and his 11 descendants are therefore known as imams (guide...

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