Iran’s New Islamic Penal Code: Have International Criticisms Been Effective for Children and Juvenile Offenders? Professor Intisar Rabb and Iran editor Marzieh Tofighi Darian analyze changes made to statutes defining juvenile crimes and punishment under Iran’s new Islamic Penal Code, passed in 2013. The  Code follows a traditional dichotomy between ḥudūd fixed crimes and qiṣāṣ retaliatory scheme (which are directly incorporated from classical Islamic law interpretations of criminal law into the modern Code) and taʿzīr discretionary (which are acts left to the government to regulate). But the reform has not been balanced to address modern needs and developments in the link between maturity and accountability. The authors see the different means of assessing children’s maturity as problematic for reform, especially under the hudūd-qiṣāṣ section of the Code. Because crimes in this category are derived from classical Islamic law interpretations, Iranian officials find little room to legally redefine them or their associated punishments. Through a side-by-side comparison of the hudūd-qiṣāṣ and ta’zir sections of the Code, the authors suggest areas for which new attempts at reform may focus. Read more. Image credit: Tofighi Darian/Rabb


NEW LEGISLATION: Iranian Islamic Penal Code of 2013 An example of one of the many contemporary primary sources that will be available when the SHARIAsource portal launches publicly later this year, the new Islamic Penal Code of Iran was adopted in May 2013 and entered into force the same year in the Islamic Consultative Assembly. It consists of four books: General Provisions, Ḥudūd (Crimes), Qiṣāṣ (Penalties), and Diyāt (Monetary Compensation for Homicide and Personal Injury). The reforms outlined in this version were the results of five years of debate both in and outside of parliament, in view of the international community’s criticisms of their previous penal code. Read more. (Must have SHARIAsource access)  Image credit: Iranian Penal Code 


CASES TO WATCH (UPDATE): Can a Judge Determine Acceptable Religious Attire in a Quebec, Canada Courtroom? Guest contributor Jennifer Selby answered this two weeks ago in her earlier post on the Ranial El-Alloul case in Quebec. There, she concluded that, “for the time being, yes, a Quebecois provincial judge can dictate religious attire in her courtroom. However, we must wait to see how El-Alloul’s case for clarification unfolds to see whether judges will continue to set these parameters or not.” In a new development, we get a glimpse into how Quebec Superior Court Justice Wilbrod Décarie’s October 3rd ruling may impact future cases. Décarie’s ruling had avoided declaring any bright-line rule as to whether religious attire is allowed in the courtroom. Selby’s updated post now explores the implications of that ruling. She forecasts that an appeal may result in a “more decisive (and perhaps divisive)” clarification. Read more. Image credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz 


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