Imam Khamenei

The Judiciary Branch should conduct PR meetings to inform the people

The following is the full text of a speech delivered on June 27, 2018, by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with the head and officials of the Judiciary Branch. The meeting was held during National Judiciary Week.


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,


All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; peace and greetings upon our Master, Muhammad, and upon his pure household, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.


I would like to welcome all our dear brothers and sisters here today, and I congratulate all of you, dear people – who are in charge of this important and fundamental task – on Judiciary Day and during Judiciary Week. I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His blessings, assistance, and guidance on all of you: I hope that He will reward you in this world and in the hereafter, God willing.


I am very grateful to Mr. Amoli – the honorable head of the Judiciary Branch – for a comprehensive and detailed report which he delivered. His report was truly comprehensive and all-inclusive, and I hope that the people will be informed on these matters with adequate promotional efforts. I was informed of these reports; before this meeting, I read a comprehensive and detailed report. Nonetheless, I was unaware on some of the points that the head of the judiciary branch raised. In other words, I did not know about them despite the fact that I am informed about most matters, let alone there are many people who do not know of these achievements. By Allah's favor, I will speak on the issue of public relations. In any case, his report was a good, comprehensive, and detailed report: I thank him for raising these matters.


Like other prominent days of our Islamic calendar, Judiciary Week and Judiciary Day are based on the concept of martyrdom. This day has been chosen on the basis of sacrifice and martyrdom on the path of God; like Teachers' Day, the 15th of Khordad and other days are known for martyrdom on the path of God. Well, this concept introduces the Judiciary Branch in a special way: it gives a special meaning to the Judiciary Branch.


The Judiciary Branch is not merely a bureaucratic organization with duties that should merely be carried and reported on; rather it is a humane organization that should engage in jihad: this organization should engage in comprehensive jihad. Self-sacrifice should exist within the judiciary branch, as martyrdom is the peak of self-sacrifice. Individuals should abandon their interests and their personal goals while part of the judiciary branch and they should be at the service of lofty goals. --This is the meaning of the judiciary branch, which is very important. This definition entrusts certain responsibilities to the judiciary branch which go beyond ordinary bureaucratic tasks and paperwork.


I feel it is necessary to thank judiciary officials for all the efforts they have carried out, including the honorable head of the judiciary branch – who, thankfully, entered the arena with competence and skill and with a spirit of endeavor and progress – the officials of the judiciary headquarters, and the officials working within the body of the judiciary branch throughout the country. The last group includes the judges, staff members, and those of operational centers in courts of law: I thank all these individuals because they are truly hard working.


The activities which Mr. Amoli mentioned that have been carried out because of the judiciary branch, were not possible except with collective and communal efforts within the body. It is not that some individuals sit at the top and act without the help and the presence of the entire body: it is evident that the body is, thankfully, diligent and hard-working.


An important point is that the responsibility of the judiciary branch is a governmental one: there is no room for doubt about this. This is a task that needs to be carried out by the ruling system in the country: this is the case all over the world. It is a governmental responsibility which includes judging, settling disputes, and punishing criminals according to the law. It is a task that the establishment should carry out. If this task is carried out properly, the result is that the people will become pleased and satisfied with the ruling system. If it is carried out in an incomplete, bad, or flawed manner, the people will become upset and displeased with the ruling system. If the latter happens, the people will not say that the judiciary branch has a problem, for instance: this is a governmental responsibility, and the ruling system in the country is responsible in this regard. --This is why your job is increasingly sensitive.


If this duty (mentioned previously) is carried out, not only will the people become satisfied, but this will also affect the people's lives. If the violation of a law is confronted in a serious, proper, reasonable, persistent and determined manner, you will notice how influential it will be in the country. Observing the law is the basis of communal life, and one of the responsibilities of the judiciary branch is combating the violation and violators of the law. Another duty is settling disputes. If the judiciary branch succeeds in settling disputes, notice how influential this will be in the people's lives. If we avoid dragging disputes, complaints, and concerns into the people's lives and if we prevent them, this will bring about many blessings.


One important point, in this regard, is that with this heavy responsibility, the judiciary branch should be the manifestation of justice. Everyone should feel that justice is being served by the judiciary branch. In a previous meeting with our judiciary friends, [Supreme Leader's speech delivered on June 25, 2008 in meeting with judiciary officials] I said that the judiciary branch should reach a point where everyone feels confident that he or she can refer to the judiciary branch whenever he or she has a complaint about a person or an organization. We should reach this point: this is a goal. The judiciary branch should be the manifestation of justice. The people should be confident that they can refer to the judiciary branch if someone does them an injustice and if they violate their rights. The people should be psychologically assured that they can seek help from the judiciary branch.


As for asserting the rights of the public, this is another responsibility which was discussed by Mr. Amoli. As soon as something occurs like the examples he cited – I am aware of these examples: the issue of meat, roads, airplanes, and other such matters – the people should be confident that they can relay them to the judiciary branch. They should know where to go, and they should be confident that when they go there, their public rights will be asserted and granted. --The judiciary branch should reach this point. We should set this as the standard.


Mr. Amoli pointed to the issue of transformation. This is one of the issues which I have always repeated in my meeting with judiciary officials – whether in this term or in previous terms with other friends at the top of the judiciary branch. Well, how is the transformation achieved? First, we should lay down some criteria for a transformation. What must happen so that we know the judiciary branch has been transformed? It is very important to know what this transformation means. Firstly, we should lay down the criteria for transformation, and after that, we should set a timeline for these criteria. Otherwise, if this does not happen and if as he said – I also read this in the report – we move gradually towards transformation, there will not be a transformation. --This is because problems always move ahead of us if we decide to move forward slowly.


Transformation is an almost immediate and sudden phenomenon. I said, "almost" not "always." In other words, the transformation should occur promptly and at a good pace so that it becomes clear we have achieved transformation and that the criteria for it have materialized. The times in which the honorable heads of the judiciary branch undertake responsibilities are very important times. These are good times for achieving transformation in the real sense of the word. It is completely permissible to carry out several transformations in the judiciary branch over the course of several decades. --This is a completely normal and natural thing.


For example, Mr. Amoli can bring about transformation in the judiciary branch with his diligence. He can create innovation and novelty, and he can give fresh impetus to the judiciary branch: this means launching a movement from scratch. During another term, someone else will improve on this, and they will do so in a better way. We should look at the issue of transformation from this perspective.


An important point regarding the judiciary branch – which is among the main concerns of the honorable officials in the judiciary branch and Mr. Amoli himself – is earning the trust of the people. Of course, more often than not, these concerns do not go anywhere. In other ways, they are not managed properly. I have discussed this issue before, but I would like to expand on this matter. Well, public opinion is very important. We should confront the enemy, malicious individuals, plotters, liars and slanderers in a determined and powerful way. Thankfully, the positions of Mr. Amoli are really good positions in confronting such individuals. The speech that he delivered the day before yesterday was a great and powerful speech, one that the people liked.


We should behave in a powerful way towards slanderers, corrupt people, and wrongdoers; however, we cannot treat the public opinion in the same manner. We should behave in a modest, sympathetic, and kind manner towards the public opinion. We should reach mutual understanding with the public: this is a very important point. We should do this so that we can win the trust of the public opinion.


Winning the trust of the people and the public opinion is a fundamental task for the judiciary branch. Of course, this holds true for all organizations; but, because the judiciary branch deals with disputes and complaints, and confronts transgressors and violators of the laws, it needs to earn the people's trust more than other organizations. --This is true for both the judiciary branch itself and the organizations affiliated with the judiciary branch: they too need to earn the people's trust. For example, the Police force, which is affiliated with the judiciary branch, needs to earn the people's trust in case it needs to exert its position of power and use force somewhere, the people must trust this sector to the point that they say: "Yes, this was necessary, and it had to be done."


Now, what should we do to earn their trust? Two tasks, it seems, should be carried out in this regard. One is an operational task, and another is a promotional task. Let us discuss the promotional task first. Notice that today, the judiciary branch is under the most severe pressures initiated by propaganda organizations and media. This is committed both by the enemies who are outside the country and by some ignorant people inside the country. I say, "ignorant" because I want to be optimistic. For example, a merciless, murderer kills some young men or women who are in charge of preserving security; later on, the judiciary branch attends to his crime in a legal process which might last several months; it condemns the guilty party, and it carries out the verdict: this is a completely fair, just, and proper course of action.


The enemy's propaganda, however, focuses exactly on the opposite. In other words, he introduces the merciless murderer as innocent, and he introduces the sympathetic judiciary branch – which is eager to assert the rights of the oppressed – as an oppressive and transgressing organization: propaganda works like this. Propaganda against someone exerts more influence: this is normally the case. Slandering, spreading rumors, and making nonsensical comments are usually more popular, and this makes it difficult for one to make up for it, to improve and correct it, and to replace it with correct comments and ideas.


Well, how do you want to resolve this? One should do public relations tasks to counteract it. Public relations mean conveying the truth to the hearts – not the ears – of our audience. We should influence the hearts of our audience. Well, this is a technical and artistic task. Presently, this is being carried out at an extensive level throughout the world. They portray black as white. Notice that in the present time, this is how propaganda apparatuses around the world work: they portray a completely wrong and fake event as the truth, and people believe them. How can they do so? They merely say something, and they explain it in a seemingly wise or "scientific" way. There are methods for combating this; this requires work; this is an artistic task: this is one of the most important tasks that you should do.


You should employ a strong media group which knows artistic work when they see it. They should devise artistic plans, not just for one, two days, or one month, rather they should do this constantly, so that they can convey what you have accomplished, in the area of dismissing judges, adopting reforms, exerting legal changes and formulating long-term plans, to the people. They should do this, so the people may see your work: this is an important task, one that we have underestimated to a great extent.


Many of our organizations are suffering from this problem [lack of trust from the people]. It is not only the judiciary branch which faces this problem, but it is the judiciary system that very much needs to earn the people's trust. One of the two tasks that must be carried out to earn the people's trust involves technical and artistic promotions, properly. --This can only be achieved by a competent group of people who are skilled at promotional work and communicational techniques.  Discussed, is one of the tasks that must be carried out.


The second task requires making a serious internal move within the judiciary branch. Now, this move has begun: I am aware of it, and the head of the judiciary branch has discussed it with me. We have spoken about this task several times. I have discussed it whenever I felt it was necessary. I've mentioned that some officials should visit the courts of law anonymously. They should witness the conditions of the courts and the people's comings and goings. Then, they should pay a visit to the judges and inspectors to better understand how courts of law and prosecutors' offices work and what type of sentences they pass. These are very good measures, but they should be executed 10 times more than the present: 10 times! I am not saying this based on exact calculations: this is just a figure that has crossed my mind. Perhaps, it is necessary to say 100 times, rather than 10 times. I am just trying to be cautious, but those tasks should be carried out at least 10 times more. I say this because the number of complaints is large, and the people naturally refer to you; they refer to us as well.


In one of the meetings – I think it was last year or the year before that – I said that you do not have a shortage of good judges. You have very good judges. Your judges are people who work day and night, who dedicate their rest and family time to reach the depth of a legal case and revive its contents. They are diligent and hardworking judges who endeavor greatly and who are honest and modest. Well, you should introduce them so that they can become well-known. You should highlight and introduce a judge who has attended to such cases, in the best way possible, and who gained the satisfaction of the plaintiffs. This is similar to what we do in the case of outstanding teachers, university professors, researchers, and entrepreneurs. You should introduce outstanding judges so that people get encouraged by this.


Well, everyone likes a good reputation, and this course of action establishes credibility and a good reputation for these individuals: this is one of the tasks. The opposite should be done as well. I am not saying that you should make anyone who does one thing wrong notorious: this may not be necessary, and it may not be appropriate in certain cases. However, exposing such individuals is sometimes necessary: you should introduce them. You should introduce [and expose] a judge who has committed an act of treason in a judiciary position – be that a judge or members of the prosecutor's office. What is wrong with this? You should introduce them. --These courses of action should be carried out.


And in my opinion, the movement of the judiciary branch towards the internal reform of the branch should be launched in a ceaseless manner. I will tell you that whenever you open an important lawsuit and whenever you pass a fair sentence on a certain dispute, this is a good deed and a blessing to you on the part of God: "And as for the favor of your Lord, do announce it" [The Holy Quran, 93: 11]. You should announce this blessing so that everyone knows about it. This is another issue which I've discussed. Another issue is combating corruption, which I believe to be very important.


Today, the issue of the economy is a fundamental matter of the country. Of course, the main addressee in managing the economy of the country is the executive branch and partly, the legislative branch. There is no doubt about this, but the judiciary branch can play a part in the economy of the country as well. One of the areas where the judiciary branch can play its part, for the sake of reforming the economy of the country, is in creating a safe environment for the economy. --This is the responsibility of the judiciary branch. The judiciary branch should be able to confront those who jeopardize security, in a way that the environment for the people's financial activities and livelihood become safe. This is one of the areas where the judiciary branch can work for the economy of the country.


Another task that the judiciary branch can carry out in the area of the economy involves combating economic corruption and those who engage in economic corruption. The judiciary branch should enter the arena transparently and sometimes even provocatively. Generally speaking, I believe that the judiciary branch has made a two-part mistake in confronting economic matters. One part involves speaking or behaving in a way that the people are led to believe corruption exists at a nationwide scale, while this is not the case. Corruption originates from a few corrupt individuals both in governmental and private organizations. In the area of finance, too, those who are corrupt are few in number. They are few, but we make comments that lead the people to believe that corruption has engulfed the country everywhere: this is wrong and not the truth of the matter. This is one erroneous part I wanted to address. The second wrong part is that we do not act determinedly or transparently toward real cases of corruption: these cases should be confronted! Wherever economic corruption exists, we should be outspoken and transparent.


Of course, confrontation should be accompanied by clarification: this is an important task which is related to the issue of public relations. When you put a corrupt individual on trial or when you impose punishment on them, this should be explained to the people in a way that they feel such actions are adequate and that it is the best way to manage the matter at hand.


I just remembered that this has been carried out some time in our history. During the lifetime of Imam Hassan (peace and greetings be upon him), Ubaydullah ibn Abbas – who was a commander in a very important part of Imam Hassan's army, fled his camp. When they woke up in the morning, they saw that he was not in his tent. He had fled to join Muawiyah; they bribed him, and he joined Muawiyah. Well, this incident was a very damaging incident for Imam Hassan's (as) army.


One of the close companions of Imam Hassan -- I do not remember who he was because I read this a long time ago, it may have been Hujr ibn ‘Adi or someone else – spoke to the people. He said something, and after his speech, everyone expressed their happiness. The people said: "Thank God he left." --True clarification and true public relations work like this. He talked and let everyone know that what had happened was to the advantage of all people. As they say today, "he turned a threat into an opportunity." This should exist in the judiciary branch: ensuring the safety of the financial environment, combating the corrupt in the area of the economy in a determined way, and cooperating with the administration in resolving problems are among the tasks that the judiciary branch can carry out in the area of the economy.


Mr. Amoli pointed to the tasks that have been carried out in the area of human rights and international relations. The judiciary branch has really accomplished good and unprecedented tasks in this area. What he said about the 120 billion dollars is completely accurate. Of course, whether we can take it back or not is another issue.


Another point is about issues related to human rights. When it comes to human rights issues, we are the ones to demand; we are not the ones that have to response. I used to, frequently, visit universities at the beginning of the Revolution. I used to deliver speeches at various universities. The students would ask, and I would answer. Once, a student asked me, "What defense do you have in regard to the issue of women? What defense does the Islamic Republic have?" I answered that we do not have a defensive position, rather we have an offensive position. We charge at these issues. What is a defensive position? We have strong claims regarding the issue of women. We have strong claims for the world when it comes to women! We have strong claims against the tyrannical [Pahlavi] regime – at that time, those issues were being brought up. We do not have a defensive position.


In the area of human rights, the same thing is true. We should not defend, rather we should charge these issues. There are so many people who have committed many crimes and who were engaged in grave corruption. These crimes were not committed in the past only; they are being committed in the present time as well.


Today, the French have become the embodiment of human rights! When you read about the crimes committed by the French in Africa – in Algeria and other African countries – you tremble. Imagine that some people fill a lake or a big marsh with oil and other such substances, and then they make a large number of people – women, men, and children – evacuate their village, force them out to a place nearby this swamp, and then shoot them. After that, those innocent people resort to the lake or the marsh, then they set the lake on fire. --This has actually happened. Such a crime has been committed by the French! In India, six thousand people gathered in a garden to protest against something, but the English placed their machine guns at the gate and they murdered six thousand people in the course of one day, half a day, or several hours!


These events date back to 50, 100 years ago, but notice what they did in our own time with DAESH or in Syria and Myanmar. That is while they claim to be supporting human rights. We have clear ideas about human rights. We have claims against those untruthful and brazen people who make extravagant claims about human rights. These tasks are very good tasks which are, thankfully, being done in the judiciary branch.


I hope that God will help you succeed so that you can create a judiciary branch which is approved by Allah the Exalted, and which is desired by righteous and fair-minded individuals of the country and by the Islamic government, God willing. I hope that you will at least be able to prepare the ground for it. If everyone takes even one step on this path, this is very valuable. I hope that God will help all of you succeed, God willing.


Greetings are upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings



  • Human rights
  • Judiciary Branch
  • Justice