With regard to complexity and broadness of government structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its massive population, people’s representatives especially in major cities are not capable of handling people’s problems and issues related to urban management.
By: Gholamreza Bahrami
Supervisor: Dr. Assadollah Yavari
Advisor: Dr. Shifteh Nazeri
University: Shahid Beheshti University
Field of Study: Public Law
With regard to complexity and broadness of government structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its massive population, people’s representatives especially in major cities are not capable of handling people’s problems and issues related to urban management. Therefore, we would once again witness the same problems facing the representation system which is the same lack of presence and direct, objective, detailed and concrete involvement of people in their affairs. To this end, and for the overall participation of people in public affairs to resolve local problems and needs of each neighborhood, the Tehran City Council on 26 October 2009 decided to form district councils.
The present study is seeking to examine the legal status of district councils while looking for legitimacy of the mentioned institutions within the framework of the constitution, relevant rules and regulations and also letters of association of district councils. In terms of legal status, the writer holds that district councils should be considered as special institutions with legal entity separate from other powers of the country. But a careful and critical review of current regulations concerning district councils, especially the statute of this local institution, shows that the district council has been considered an institution and executive wing of the City Council which is devoid of an independent legal identity in an effective and complete way.
With regard to legitimacy of the district councils it should be noted that despite certain basics in Article 7 of the Constitution and local decentralization system and participatory democracy which has considered the local Islamic councils (district councils) equal to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) and a decision making and administration body of the country, the statute of the district councils stresses its non-legal binding supervisory, consultative, recognizing and cooperative role.
Keywords: Legal status, district councils, decision-making, participatory democracy, decentralization