Persian Voices: Doctors of Theology Reject or Repudiate

It is hereby declared that, it is for the learned doctors of theology (the ulema)… to determine whether such laws as may be proposed are or are not conformable to the rules of Islam; and it is therefore officially enacted that there shall at all times exist a committee composed of not less than five jujahids or other devout theologians, so that they may carefully discuss and consider all matters proposed in the Assembly, and reject and repudiate, wholly or in part, any such proposal which is at variance with the sacred laws of Islam, so that it shall not obtain the title of legality.

—Article 2 of 1907 Supplement of the Iranian Constitution


Edited by: John T. Ishiyama , Marijke Breuning. 21st Century Political Science: A Reference Handbook. Page 571. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., 2011. Print.


Editor’s Note 1: Iran’s 1906 constitution was modeled on the Belgium constitution, so the 1907 supplement limited the rule of law to conform to sharia law. This supplement was signed shortly after the Anglo-Russian Entente divided Iran into zones of influence.

Editor’s Note 2: This committee was never formally established, because Iran soon fell into civil war in 1908, but years later, the Islamic Republic of Iran established a similar panel called, the Council of Guardians consisting of 6 religious judges and 6 secular judges to determine the religious integrity of the law. This council establishes Iran’s present-day judicial review.