Jelodarzadeh Proposes Special Women’s Court

Jelodarzadeh Proposes Special Women’s CourtJelodarzadeh Proposes Special Women’s Court

A well-known woman lawmaker has announced that a proposal to establish a women’s court run by female judges is being drafted and would soon be presented to parliament.

“The proposal calls for handling women’s legal issues and problems in a special women’s court where the judges would also be women,” Soheila Jelodarzadeh told IRNA on Saturday.

One of the well-known and outspoken women lawmakers, Jelodarzadeh has won four times in the parliamentary elections in 1996, 2000, 2006 and 2016. The newly-convened legislature has 17 women from among the 290 members.

“An important matter to be addressed in today’s society is issues concerning women which need fundamental resolution,” she said, stressing that “there are various aspects to lawsuits involving women that call for such courts to be designated.”

There are special courts for family matters within Iran’s judicial system. However, there has never been a women-specific court so far and the bill would try to bring about change.

A large number of women, she said, face more hurdles once they start the legal process for a particular economic or familial case. Establishment of a specific women’s court will help in resolving a great deal of those issues, Jelodarzadeh said.

She stressed that with the guidance of female judges, justice for women will be more systematic and “the process will not get derailed.”

The MP also called on NGOs to help provide assistance and guidance to women through female lawyers.

While women can sit as judges in civil courts, they are not allowed to pass judgment in civil cases or attend as judges in criminal courts.

Jelodarzadeh said the issue must be studied from the point of view of Islamic jurisprudence, since “the fact that women cannot hand down verdicts is only rhetoric, without any significance.”

The reasons why women have not been judges so far must also be scrutinized.

Once the bill is presented in the Majlis, it will have to be reviewed by the relevant Majlis committee and the Women and Family Commission.

  Judicial Role

Women in Iran’s judicial system can be legal counsel to judges at a first-level court that is presided by a male judge. They can also operate as paralegals, legal secretaries and legal assistants.

There are over 600 women judges in Iran and most of them work in family courts.

According to Ali Nazari, head of human resources and employment at the Ministry of Justice, 80 qualified female judges were employed by the country’s civil courts in 2012, but only as assistants to male judges.

According to the Iranian Women’s Network, 150 women passed exams last year qualifying as judges, and were interviewed by the Justice Department, which has promised that some of them would be selected among the 500 judges that make up the Arbitration Council.