A Comparative Analysis of Iran and England Court Systems

Iranian and English legal systems are two separate legal systems that differ greatly from one another, especially in terms of court proceedings. This essay will analyze the court processes of these two legal systems, emphasizing on judicial function and the adjudication process as a whole.

In English legal system, the court decision is based on statute, regulations and issued judgments in former cases where the court should follow precedent (i.e. stare decisis). In fact, the court system is hierarchical which works from the top down where the higher court is the supreme court investigating the cases whereas the public importance is concerned. Therefore, the supreme court and the court of appeal bind all the courts below same as Iranian legal system.

While in England legal system, apart from the vertical point of view, the horizontal binding is made obligation for the courts of the same level that made a decision in previous cases. So, in case of existence of any conflict between the courts at the same level, the latter decision has an effect. As an example, the made decision by court of appeal will be binding for any future court of appeal cases in civil matter although in criminal cases, the court of appeal has discretion to decline its previous decision.

It is important to cite that in England legal system, the court proceedings are conducted in an adversarial manner where the parties present their case before judge or jury and the parties are responsible for collecting the proof. Certainly, the vital role of lawyers in English legal system is undeniable in examining witnesses and arguments while the judge should comply the raised issues in a case with procedural rules. On the contrary, the court process in Iran is more inquisitorial and complex as the judges actively examine the case’s facts in notion and the role of lawyers is confined compared to common law system.

Further, in England legal system, the jury plays a crucial role in criminal cases as they should make a decision whether the defendant is guilty or innocent according to the provided evidences. Once the jury votes that the defendant is guilty, the judge will determine the sentence. It is noteworthy that the jury shall make a decision based on the fact while they are regular people so it is notable to mention that how England legal system gives weight to public trust. In contrast, no juries are in place in Iran, rather the case is scrutinized through a single judge or a panel of judges from factual and legal points of view.

In addition, in England legal system, Alternative Dispute Resolution is prominent and commonly used to refer for out of court settlement, while in Iran the cases have been mostly raised through the court channel as a primary alternative, though the Dispute Resolution method is in place.

To wrap up, the aforesaid discussed matters are the key differences between the Iranian and England legal system which apparently derived from the religious, culture and historical aspects and anyone attempting to comprehend the legal system of these two nations must be aware of these distinction.

Coordinated by Dr. Mahnaz Mehrinfar and Roza Einifar