ON EVIDENCE IN SUBSTANTIATION OF CLAIMS: The Civil Code of Iran

ON EVIDENCE IN SUBSTANTIATION OF CLAIMS

On Evidence in Substantiation of Claims

Article 1257 – Anyone who claims a right has to establish the same and if the defendant, wishing to defend himself, claims something which may require evidence, it is he who must prove it.

Article 1258 – The evidence admissible in proving a claim is as follows:

1 – Confession.

2- Written documents.

3 – Oral testimony (evidence).

4-Indications.

5 – Oaths.


BOOK 1

Regarding Confession

CHAPTER 1

ON THE CONDITIONS OF CONFESSION

Article 1259 – Confession in acknowledging the right of another person against one’s own interest.

Article 1260 – Confession takes place in any expression which implies the same.

Article 1261 – A sign made by a dumb person, which clearly indicates a confession is valid.

Article 1262 – The person making a confession must be mature, sane, capable of forming an intention, and free. Therefore, an avowal made by a minor, or an insane person in a state of lunacy, or one who has no fixed intention or one who is under compulsion is of no effect.

Article 1263 – The confession made by a person of unsound mind in financial matters is of no effect.

Article 1264 – A confession made by a destitute person or a bankrupt in respect of his property and against the interest of the creditors is not effective.

Article 1265 – A confession made by person claiming destitution and bankruptcy in matters relating to his property is of no effect in regard to the safeguarding of the rights of others unless the destitution or otherwise is proved.

Article 1266 – Capacity is not essential in respect of the person in whose favour the confession is made. But he must be capable, according to law, of possessing what the confession has conferred upon him.

Article 1267 – A confession made to the benefit of a deceased person will be effective for the latter’s heirs.

Article 1268 – A conditional confession is not effective.

Article 1269 – A confession made in a matter which is practically or rationally impossible, or which is not valid in law is not effective.

Article 1270 – A confession made in respect of an unborn child is only valid when the child is born alive.

Article 1271 – If the person in whose favour the confession is made is unknown, the confession is of no value. If he is partially specified, the confession is effective; as for instance when one of two known persons is meant.

Article 1272 – The validity of the confession does not depend or the approval of the person in whose favour the confession is made. If, however, he (the letter person) denied the substance of the confession, the said confession will have no effect in his favour.

Article 1273 – A confession made in respect of parentage is only valid whom (1) the fact of such parentage is possible by law and custom and (2) the person with whom the confessor alleges relationship admits the same, except in the cause of a minor who is admitted by a person as being his child, provided that no other person disputes his statement.

Article 1274-Disagreement between the person making a confession and the person in whose favour the confession is made concerning the cause of the confession does not make a confession invalid.

CHAPTER 2

ON THE EFFECTS OF CONFESSION

Article 1275 – Any person admitting the right of another person is bound by his admission.

Article 1276 – In case the falseness of a confession is proved before the magistrate, the confession shall have no value.

Article 1277 – A denial, if made after a confession, is not admissible. But in case a person making a confession claims that the confession made by him was faulty or based on error or mistake, his claim will be heard. The case is similar if that person mentions an excuse for his confession which is admissible, such as a statement made by him to the effect that the confession made by him related to a sum received against a document or draft which has not been cashed. These claims, however, do not affect the confession so long as they have not been established.

Article 1278 – The confession made by a person is valid only in respect of that person or his legal representative and has no effect in respect of others unless the law has made the confession effective in respect of that person.

Article 1279 – An oral confession made outside a court can only be proved by giving evidence by witnesses, when the claim itself is capable of being proved by evidence given by witness, or when proofs or indications exist that the confession really took place.

Article 1280 – A written confession follows the same rules as an oral one.

Article 1281 – The mention of a debt in a commercial account – book is equivalent to a written confession.

Article 1282 – If the confession made in a court depends on a condition or a situation, the person in whose favour the confession is made cannot partition the same by taking advantage of the part which is to his interest and against the interest of the confessor, while ignoring the remaining part of the confession.

Article 1283 – If the confession made contains two parts which are of different effect and which are closely related to each other, as for instance where the defendant admits to have received the amount claimed from the claimant but claims to have returned it, steps will be taken in accordance with Article 1334.

BOOK 2

Regarding Documents

Article 1284 – By “document” is meant any writing which can be referred to in connection with a claim or a defence.

Article 1285 – Signed testimony is not regarded as a document; it only has the value of signed testimony.

Article 1286 – Documents are two kinds: notarial and private.

Article 1287 – Documents which have been drawn up at the General Department for Registration of Documents and Landed Properties, or at the offices of Notaries Public, or before other official authorities, within the limit of their competency and in accordance with legal Regulations, are notarial.

Article 1288 – The contents of a document are authentic if it is not contrary to the laws.

Article 1289 – With the exception of such documents as are mentioned in Article 1287, all documents are regarded as private.

Article 1290 – Official documents are binding in respect of the two parties and their and successors. They are binding in respect of third persons if this has been stipulated by the law.

Article 1291 – Private documents shall in two cases have the value of notarial documents, and shall be binding in respect of the two parties and their heirs and successors

1 – If the party against whom a document is lodged admits that the document has been issued by the person who is alleged to have issued it.

2- If it is proved in the court that the document has actually been signed or sealed by the party who has denied it or expressed doubts as to its authenticity.

Article 1292 – Denial and expression of doubt is not entertainable against notarial documents or documents which have the value of notarial documents, but the party can claim that the documents have been forged or prove that they have for some reason lost their validity.

Article 1293 – If a document has been prepared by an official authority charged with the drawing up of documents, but that authority has not been competent to draw up the document or has not observed the legal requirements connected with the drawing up of the document, such a document, if it bears the signature or the seal of the party is regarded as private.

Article 1294 – Failure to comply with the provisions regarding stamp fees which are due on documents does not make a document lose its authenticity

Article 1295 – Iranian courts will give to documents drawn up in foreign countries the same credit as the said documents possess in accordance with the laws of the country in which they have been drawn up, provided that:

Firstly, they have not lost their validity for any legal reason.

Secondly, their contents are not in contravention with the laws connected with public order or good morals in Iran.

Thirdly, the country in which the documents have been drawn up gives credit to documents drawn up in Iran, in accordance with its laws or treaties.

Fourthly, the Iranian diplomatic or consular representative accredited to the country where the document has been drawn up or the diplomatic or consular representative of that country in Iran has certified that the document has been drawn up according to the local laws.

Article 1296 – In case the conformity of the documents referred to in the preceding Article with the laws of the locality where they have been drawn up has been attested by the foreign diplomatic or consular representative in Iran, the admittance of the document in the courts of Iran depends on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran or the Governor – General and Governors in the Provinces and towns having certified as true the signature of the foreign representative.

Article 1297 – In connection with a claim lodged by one merchant against another merchant in circumstances where the claim has arisen out of commercial accounts and dues, the commercial books will be considered as evidence, provided that the said books have been drawn up in conformity with the Commercial Code.

Article 1298 – A merchant’s book shall not be valid as against a non – merchant; but it can be accepted as one of the indications and clues. But if a person refers to the book of a merchant, he cannot make a differentiation, accepting what is to his interest and rejecting what is to his disadvantage, unless he proves the invalidity rejecting what is to his disadvantage, unless he proves the invalidity of what stands to his disadvantage.

Article 1299 – Commercial books are not considered as evidence in the following cases:

1 – If it is proved that new sheets have been entered into the books or that the book has erasure (s).

2 – When an irregularity or disorder is discovered in the book, being in the interest of the owner of the book.

3 – If the invalidity of the book has been formerly established in the court, for some reason.

Article 1300 – In cases where a commercial book is not evidence in favour of its owner it will be a valid document against him.

Article 1301 – A signature apposed on a script or document serves as evidence against the signatory.

Article 1302 – If at the foot or on the margin or the back of a document which is in the hand of the producer (of the document) there are endorsement made showing the invalidity or the invalidation of the whole or part of the substance of the document, the said endorsements shall be considered as valid even if they have no date or signature, or have been cancelled by drawing a line through them or some other way.

Article 1303 – The contents mentioned in the preceding Article shall have no effect if their cancellation is accepted by the other party, or if it is proved in court.

Article 1304 – If a signature to an undertaking is not given in the written undertaking itself but is given in a separate script, such written undertaking shall be an evidence against the signatory, if the script specifies to which undertaking or transaction it relates.

Article 1305 – In notarial documents the date of drawing up (of the document) is valid, even against third person, but in private documents the date is valid only in respect of those persons who have had participation in their drawing up and their heirs and the person in whose favour a will has been made.

BOOK3

Regarding Testimony

PART 1

ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF EVIDENCE

Article 1306 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1307 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1308 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1309 – Against an official document or a document whose validity has been established at the court, no claim which is in contradiction with the substance or contents thereof can be proved by evidence.

Article 1310 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1311 – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1312 – The rules laid down as above shall not be binding in the following cases:

1 – In cases where the testimony of a witness strengthens or completes the evidence, as when some proof is available in support of the original claim, but the quantity or the amount is unknown and the testimony is given to indicate the quantity or the amount.

2 – In cases where it is not possible to obtain a document owing to an accident, such as fire, blood, earthquake or shipwreck, in which circumstances a person who has entrusted his property to another person cannot possibly obtain a document for it.

3 – In respect of all obligations for which documents are not usually obtained, as for instance, the goods which persons entrust to hotel, cafes, inns, and theatres and such as the fees of doctors and midwives; also in respect of discharge or obligations for which it is not usual to obtain a document, such as works undertaken under contract or the like, even if the original undertaking is based on a document.

4 – In cases where the document has been lost or destroyed as the result of unexpected events.

5 – In cases of automatic guarantees and other affairs not involved in contracts and transactions.

Article 1313 – 1n a witness maturity, sanity, justice, faith and legitimate descent are required.

Note 1 – The witness’ justice must be established by a religious procedure for the Court.

Note 2 – The testimony of a person who has a personal interest, the res or prefit thereof, in the subject – matter of the Claim or has the right to challenge the claim, as well as the testimony of medicants shall not be accepted.

Article 1313 bis – Repealed on 29 December 1982.

Article 1314 – The evidence of children who have not reached the full age of 15 may be heard only for supplementing information, except where the law has recognized evidence given by such children as valid.

PART 2

ON THE CONDITIONS OF GIVING EVIDENCE

Article 1315 – Evidence must be given from a sure and certain knowledge, not by way of doubt or hesitation.

Article 1316 – Evidence give must correspond with the lawsuit, but it is not invalid if it is contradictory in words but consonant in meaning, or proves less than (the amount of) the claim.

Article 1317 – Evidence given by witnesses must agree in substance. Therefore, if witnesses give evidence found to be at variance with each other such evidence shall not have any effect unless sure conclusion can be drawn from the substance of their declarations.

Article 1318 – There will be no objection to varying statements by witnesses in respect of the details of a matter if they (such statements) do not involve contradiction on the subject about which evidence is being given.

Article 1319 – No effect will be given to the evidence given by a witness if he withdraws his evidence or he is found to have given incorrect evidence

Article 1320 – Hearsay evidence will be admissible if the first witness has died or is unable to be called owing to other impediments such as sickness, travel, imprisonment, etc.

BOOK 4

On Circumstantial Evidence

Article 1321 – By circumstantial evidence is meant conditions and circumstances which are considered, by virtue of law, or in the view of judge, as proofs of a matter

Article 1322 – Legal circumstantial evidence are such indications which the law has regarded as evidence in a matter, such as the indications mentioned in this Act, Articles 35, 109, 110, 1158 and 1159 etc. and other proofs stipulated in other laws.

Article 1323 – Legal circumstantial evidence shall be valid in respect of all claims, even if they are such claims as cannot be proved by the evidence of witnesses, unless there is proof defeating such circumstantial evidence.

Article 1324 – The circumstantial evidence left to the view of the judge are the conditions and circumstances regarding the issue (of a claim), and can be accepted only in cases where the claim is provable by the evidence of witnesses, or where it (the circumstantial evidence) completes other evidence.

BOOK S

Concerning Oaths

Article 1325 – In respect of claims which can be proven by the evidence of witnesses, the claimant may subject the decision to be issued respecting his claim denied by the defendant, to the latter’s taking an oath.

Article 1326 – In the cases covered by the preceding Article, the defendant can also, in the event of asserting that the debt or obligation or the like has lapsed, make the decision to be issued respecting the claim subject to an oath being taken by the claimant.

Article 1327 – The claimant or the defendant in the cases covered by the two preceding Article can request that an oath should be taken by the other party if the act or the issue of the claim is related to the other party in person. In respect of claims against minors and insane persons, therefore, an oath cannot be required from the natural guardian, guardian or executor for the acts done by him personally as long as he remains in their charge as natural guardian, or guardian or executor. This also applies to all cases where a matter is related to one party.

Article 1328 – The person whose lot it is to swear must, in the event of failing to prove the nullity of the claim put forward by the other party, either take an oath or pass it on to the other party . In case he will neither take an oath nor pass it on to the other party, he will be condemned in regard to the claim for which an oath has been requested, on the oath taken by the claimant as decided by the Court.

Article1328(a)-added as an amendment .on 29 December 1982. The court can on the basis of The importance of the subject of litigation, the personality of the litigant, a other effective circumstances offer that the oath should be taken with certain special religious .ceremonies , or make the taking of the oath more solid in any other way.

Note – If a person who has been required to take oath with these religious formalities or solidness , does not accept these extra formalities and nevertheless takes an oath (without these additional formalities), will not he considered as having de the oath.

Article 1329 – An oath is to be imposed upon a person whose confession would he binding if he made a confession.

Article 1330 – The request for an oath may be delegated and the advocate in charge of the lawsuit can ask for the other party to swear an oath, but an oath to be sworn cannot be delegated and an advocate cannot swear an oath instead of his client.

Article 1331 – An oath terminates a claim and no statement contradictory to the oath may be accepted from the other party.

Article 1332 – An oath shall have an effect only in respect of those persons who are parties to the suit and their successors.

Article 1333 – In respect of a claim against a deceased person, if the original right has been proven but the continuance of its existence is not established in the view of the judge, the latter can ask the claimant to swear an oath as to the continuance of existence of the right. In such circumstances, the person who has been asked to take the oath cannot pass it on to the defendant. The provisions of this Article shall not apply in the case where the evidence for a claim is a no trial document.

Article. 1334 – In the case of Article 1283 the person who has confessed can request that an oath be taken by the other party for anything that he (the former) claims, unless the evidence in support of the claimant’s claim is a notarial document or a document whose validity has been established in the court.

Article 1335 – Taking oath is permissible only in circumstances where none of the evidences mentioned in Books One to Four of Three of this law exists to prove a claim . Only in such a case the claimant can offer an oath to resolve his claim against a defendant who denies the substance of the claim.