Imam Khamenei

The judiciary branch should conduct public relations to inform and gain the trust of the people

The following is the full text of the 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 on the occasion of Judiciary Week.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be 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 and I congratulate all you dear ones – who are in charge of this important and fundamental task – on Judiciary Day and Judiciary Week. I ask Allah the Exalted to bestow His blessings, assistance and guidance on all you and 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 the comprehensive and detailed report that he delivered. His report was really comprehensive and all-inclusive and I hope that the people will be informed about these matters with good promotional methods. I am informed about these reports and before this meeting, I read a comprehensive and detailed report in this regard. Nonetheless, I was unaware of 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 for the people who do not know about these achievements. By Allah's favor, I will speak about the issue of public relations. In any case, his report was a good, comprehensive and detailed report and I thank him for raising these matters.

Like other prominent days in our Islamic calendar, Judiciary Week and Judiciary Day are based on martyrdom. This day has been chosen on the basis of making sacrifice and being killed in the way of God, like Teachers' Day, the 15th of Khordad and other days which are known for martyrdom in the way of God. Well, this introduces the judiciary branch in a special way. This gives a special meaning to the judiciary branch.

The judiciary branch is not merely a bureaucratic organization with duties that should be carried out. It is not merely an organization that should deliver repots, rather it is a human organization which should engage in jihad. This organization should engage in comprehensive jihad. Self-sacrifice should exist in the judiciary branch as martyrdom is the peak of self-sacrifice. Individuals should abandon their interests and their personal goals in 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 are beyond ordinary bureaucratic tasks and paperwork.

I deem it necessary to thank judiciary officials for the efforts that have been made, 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 in the headquarters of the judiciary branch and the officials working in the body of the judiciary branch throughout the country. The last group include judges, the staff and operational centers in courts of law. I really thank all these individuals because they are truly working hard.

The activities which Mr. Amoli mentioned have been carried out in the judiciary branch were not possible except with collective and communal efforts in the body. It is not the case that some individuals sit at the top and do something without the help and the presence of the 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 done by the ruling system in the country. This is the case all over the world. This is a governmental responsibility which includes judging, settling disputes and punishing criminals according to the law. This is a task that the government should carry out. If this task is done in a good way, the result is that the people will become pleased and satisfied with the ruling system. If it is done in an incomplete, bad and flawed way, 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 will not be the case. 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 is carried out, not only will the people become satisfied, but this will also affect the people's lives. If the violation of law is confronted in a serious, proper, reasonable, persistent and determined way, 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 there is justice in the judiciary branch. In a previous meeting with our friends in the judiciary branch [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 they can refer to the judiciary branch whenever they have a complaint about a person or an organization. We should reach this point. This is the 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 injustice and if they violate their rights. The people should be psychologically assured that they can seek refuge in 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 that 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 relate them to the judiciary branch. They should know where they should go and they should be confident that when they go there, their public rights will be asserted and granted to them. 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 transformation achieved? First, we should lay down some criteria for transformation. What should happen so that we know that the judiciary branch has been transformed? It is very important to know what transformation means. Firstly, we should lay down the criteria for transformation and after that, we should set timetables 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, it will not be 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, transformation should occur promptly and at a good pace so that it becomes clear that we have achieved transformation and that the criteria for it have materialized. The times during 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 alright to carry out several transformations in the judiciary branch in 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. In another term, someone else will improve on this and they will do it in a better way. We should look at the issue of transformation like this.

An important point in regards with 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 reach 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 very good positions in confronting such individuals. The speech that he delivered the day before yesterday was a very good and powerful speech, one that the people like. We should behave in a powerful way towards slanderers, corrupt people and wrongdoers. However, we cannot behave like this towards public opinion. We should behave in a modest, sympathetic and kind manner towards public opinion. We should reach an understanding with public opinion. This is a very important point. We should do this so that we can win the trust of public opinion.

Winning the trust of public opinion is one of the most fundamental tasks 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 which are 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 so that in case it needs to exert its power and use some violence somewhere, the people trust it so much that they say, "Yes, this was necessary and it needed to be done."

Now, what should we do to earn this 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 by propaganda organizations and media. This is done 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 murders some youth 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 thing. 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 is 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 means conveying the truth to the hearts – not ears – of our addressees. We should influence the hearts of our addressees. Well, this is a technical and artistic task. In the present time, this is being done at an extensive level in the world. They portray black as white. Notice that in the present time, this is how propaganda apparatuses in the world work. They portray a completely wrong and fake thing as the truth and people believe them. How they do so? They merely say something and they explain it in a wise and scientific way. There are methods for doing so. 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. They should devise artistic plans, not just for one, two days or one month, rather they should do this in a constant manner so that they can convey to the people what you have done in the area of dismissing such and such judges, adopting reforms, exerting legal changes and formulating long-term plans. They should do this so that the people can witness what you have done. Well, this is an important task, one that we have underestimated to a great extent.

Many of our organizations are suffering from this problem. It is not only the judiciary branch which has this problem, but the judiciary very much needs to earn the people's trust and good will. One of the two tasks that need to be carried out to earn the people's trust is doing technical and artistic promotions in a proper way. This can only be done by a competent group of people who are skilled at promotional work and communicational techniques. This should be done. One of the tasks is this.

The second task is making a serious internal move inside the judiciary branch. Of course, this move has begun. I am aware of it and the head of the judiciary branch has discussed this with me. We have spoken about it several times. I have discussed it whenever I deemed it necessary. I said that some officials should go and visit courts of law anonymously. They should witness the conditions there and the people's comings and goings. Then, they should pay a visit to judges and inspectors to see how courts of law and prosecutors' offices work and what sentences they pass.

These are very good measures, but they should be done 10 times more than the present time: 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 trying to be cautious. This should be done at least 10 times more. This is because the number of complaints are large. 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 period and the time to spend with their family to reaching the depth of a file and to reviving its substances. They are diligent and hardworking judges who endeavor hard 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 and such files in the best way possible and who has gained the satisfaction of plaintiffs. This is like what we do in the case of outstanding teachers, university professors, researchers and entrepreneurs. You should introduce outstanding judges so that some people become encouraged to do so.

Well, everyone likes reputation and this course of action gives credibility and reputation to these individuals. This is one of the tasks. The opposite should be done as well. I am not saying that you should make notorious everyone who does thing wrong. This may not be necessary and it may not be appropriate in certain cases. However, introducing such individuals is sometimes necessary. You should introduce them. You should introduce 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 judiciary branch should be launched in a ceaseless way. I will tell you that whenever you open an important file 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 introduce this blessing so that everyone knows about it. This is another issue which I discussed.

Another issue is combating corruption, which I believe is very important. Today, the issue of the economy is a fundamental matter in 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 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 issues will become a safe environment. 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 is this: combating economic corruption and those who engage in economic corruption. The judiciary branch should enter the arena in a transparent way and sometimes even in a controversial manner.

Generally speaking, I believe that the judiciary branch has made a two-part mistake in confronting economic matters. One part is speaking and behaving in a way that the people think corruption exists at a countrywide level 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 make the people think that corruption has engulfed everywhere. This is wrong. This is not the truth of the matter. This is one wrong part. The second wrong part is that we do not act in a determined and transparent way in real cases of corruption. These cases should be confronted! Wherever economic corruption exists, we should act in an outspoken and transparent way.

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 and when you impose such and such a punishment on them, this should be explained to the people in a way that they feel this is a correct action and that it is the only way to face the matter.

I just remembered that this has been done in our history. During the lifetime of Imam Hasan (greetings be upon him), Ubaydullah ibn Abbas – who was a commander in a very important part of Imam Hasan's army, fled his camp. When they woke up in the morning, they saw that he was not there 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 Hasan's (greetings be upon him) army.

One of the close companions of Imam Hasan – I do not remember who he was because I read this a long time ago: it was Hujr ibn Adi or someone else – spoke to the people. He said something and after the end of his speech, everyone expressed their happiness. The people said, "Thank God he left." True clarification and true public relations is this. He talked and let everyone know that what had happened was to the advantage of everyone. As they say today, he turned the 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 a completely correct move. Of course, whether we can take it back or not is another issue.

Another point is about issues related to human rights. We are creditors, not debtors, when it comes to human rights issues. I used to frequently visit universities in the beginning of the Revolution. I used to go there many times to deliver speeches. The students would ask and I would answer. Once, a student asked me, "What defense do you have in regards with 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 attack. What is defense? We have strong claims about the issue of women. We have strong claims to make to the world in the case of women! We have strong claims against the taghuti 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 attack. 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 really tremble. Imagine that some people fill a lake or a big march with oil and other such substances and then they make a large number of people – women, men and children – evacuate their village and then shoot their guns at them. After that, those poor people resort to the lake and 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 at once 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 on the issue of the DAESH, 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 in 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 be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings

 

Tags

  • Human rights
  • Judiciary Branch
  • Justice

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