The internal bylaw of the Expediency Council of the System was drafted for the first time on 4/12/1366 [23/2/1988] in 10 articles, and has been changed twice in consideration of changes in the functions and duties of this consultative and decision-making institution.
The Council reviewed its internal bylaw on the 2nd of Aban, 1368 [October 24th, 1989]. After making changes and adding articles, the new draft of the Council’s bylaw was passed, which was also approved by the Supreme Leader, His Excellency Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Council reviewed its internal bylaw for a second time on the third of Aban, 1376 [October 25th, 1997]. This bylaw was passed with 35 articles and approved by the Supreme Leader.
The complete text of the internal bylaw of the Council for the Expediency of the System, approved on 10/25/1997, is as follows:
CHAPTER ONE: Generalities
In implementing section 1 and 8 of principles 110 and 112 and other articles in the Constitution, as well as the directive of the 27th of Esfand 1375 by the Supreme Leader, the Council for Expediency of the System is required to “determine expediency in cases when there is a conflict between Parliamentary legislations and the opinion of the Guardian council”. It will also be responsible in “determining the general policies of the System” and “solving the challenges of the country”; as well as consult in the important issues that “are referred to it by the Leader”, “in consideration of the complete set of regulations outlined in the Constitution”, as a “supreme consultative council for the Leadership of the System of the Islamic Republic of Iran”. Its sessions will be held according to the following articles.
To carry out its responsibilities, the Council will be made up of the following units: the Council assembly, which will be formed according to articles 19 and 20. In addition, the Council will have ‘permanent commissions’, ‘special commissions’, and a ‘secretariat’.
The secretary of the Council will be nominated by the head of the Council and, after approval by the Supreme Leader, be appointed by the head of the Council. He will be responsible for the heading the secretariat.
CHAPTER TWO: Permanent and special commissions – method for formation and function.
In order to provide precise information related to the issues and problems that are discussed in the Council; to prepare them for making decisions; to take full advantage of the latest expert findings of the relevant government offices; and to utilize applied, developmental, and principle findings of research institutions in the country; ‘permanent’ expert and special commissions-made up of Council members- will be formed.
Clause: If needed, a commission may form subordinate commissions made up of their own members.
Permanent expert commissions are the following:
1. Scientific, cultural, and social commissions.
2. Political, defense, and security commissions.
3. Structural and production commissions.
4. Macroeconomics, commerce, and administrative commissions.
5. Legal and judiciary commissions.
Members of the permanent expert commissions will be selected in the first session of the Council, by an announcement for volunteers and vote of the Council. Each member, other than the head of the Council, must participate in one commission, and if they would like, in two commissions.
Each commission has one head, one deputy, and one secretary. The commission will select its head, deputy, and secretary for a period of one year. Repeated selection for other years is not prohibited. The secretary of the commission can be selected from Council members or from outside of the Council.
Commission meetings will be held at least once every two weeks. Meeting times for regular meetings will be determined every year on the first meeting of the commission and will be announced to the entire Council. Meeting times for special commissions will also be determined in the same way and announced.
Meetings of the permanent and special commissions will not be cancelled without prior notification. In case of absence of the head of the commission, the deputy will run the meeting. In case the head and the deputy are both absent, the meeting will be run by the oldest member of the commission.
In the meetings of the permanent expert commission and special commissions, members of the permanent or special commissions must participate on a continuous basis.
If they like, other members of the Council may be present in any of the meetings of the permanent or special commissions, without the right to vote.
The issues to be addressed by the commissions will be forwarded by the head of the Council. Likewise, each commission can, within the framework of its responsibilities, and with the vote of the majority, bring up issues that they consider in need of review. The priority is with issues that have been forwarded by the head of the Council.
The secretary of the commission will draft the meeting agenda in coordination with the head of the Council. Urgent issues that are forwarded to the commission will be reviewed with priority and in order of the date received; other issues will be reviewed after those, in order they were received.
The secretariat of the Council must inform all Council members of the meeting agenda and time for each commission meeting at least 48 hours in advance. This announcement also serves as an invitation to the members of the commission.
Meetings of the commissions will take place with the attendance of a majority of the members. Decisions based on the vote of the majority of those present are valid.
Commissions can, within the framework of their responsibilities, utilize experts from government and private sectors, via the secretariat.
The opinion of the commission will be stated in the meeting notes along with the signatures of the proponents and opponents for the measure. This view, after being drafted as a report, will be sent to the Council via the secretariat to the head of the Council.
Commission reports must contain a complete explanation of the issue sent to the commission; summaries and full-length reports of the expert groups; legal, informative, or applied documents related to the topics and reports; a summary of the views of the members of the commission; as well as summary, conclusion, and statements of the commission.
Result of the commission reviews will be placed on the agenda of the Council based on the directive of the head of the Council. Priority will be according to the order received by the secretariat; by classification into topics related to determining expediency and/or solving challenges and other affairs; as well as classification as ‘urgent’ versus ‘normal’.
Clause: In cases where at least five Council members see an issue as urgent, but the head of the Council disagrees, there will be a vote on whether the issue qualifies as ‘urgent’.
CHAPTER THREE: The council assembly, criteria for membership, manner of calling meetings, and method of work
The Council assembly will meet when there is a debate between the parliament and the Guardian Council regarding particular legislations (Topic of the first part of Principle 112 of the Constitution). The assembly will be made up of the members indicated in the directive of the Supreme Leader (sections 1 and 2). These meetings are considered official with the attendance of two-thirds of the members, and the decisions are valid with the absolute majority of those present.
In cases related to the ‘review and solving of challenges to the System’ (topic of paragraph 8 of Principle 110 of the Constitution), and ‘determining the general policies of the System’ (topic of paragraph 1 of Principle 110), and other issues that the Supreme Leadership has referred to the Council (Second section of Principle 112), the Council assembly will be formed of its real members, as well as lines A, J ( ج ) , and D ( د ), of section 1 of the 27th of Esfand directive. These meetings are official in the presence of at least two-thirds of the members, and decisions regarding challenges and other problems are valid by absolute majority of members present. In cases where there is no majority of the vote, the announced opinions, along with the number of votes in the meeting meetings, will be reported to the Supreme Leader.
The regular meetings of the Council will be held at least once every two weeks.
Extraordinary meetings are possible in one of two ways:
A. By establishing and approving a time for the extraordinary meeting during the regular meeting.
B. By agreement of the head of the Council, or the written request of at least one-third of the members (members outlined in articles 19 and/or article 20), along with the agenda.
The meeting agenda for regular meetings will be communicated to the members at least three days prior to the day of the meeting, by order from the head of the Council via the secretariat. The time of the extraordinary meetings, indicated in paragraph B of article 22, will be determined by the head of the Council and the agenda will be relayed to the members in advance of the meeting, and the necessary documents will be sent along with the meeting agenda to members.
Clause: Urgent issues may also be discussed in meetings with the agreement of the head of the Council or five members.
With the approval of the head of the Council, Council members may raise issues that are related to the topic under discussion in each meeting, before the commencement of the meeting agenda.
Based on their relevance, topics may be raised in the Council after going through the following stages:
Parliamentary legislation will be sent to the Guardian Council for review. If the Guardian Council views the law as inconsistent with the Laws of Sharia or the Constitution, it will announce its opinion to the Parliament.
If the Parliament maintains its position (based on a vote, the result of which will be announced), and while considering the interests of the System, does not accept the view of the Guardian Council, and as a result there is a conflict, the legislation will be sent by the Parliament to the Expediency Council.
The President may also request a review of a law by the Council.
The head of the Council may also place the controversial legislation on the meeting agenda, in cases where he sees fit.
Regarding challenges to the System; or other cases that are referred to the Council by the Supreme Leader; or determining the general policies of the System: the result of the discussion and review of the Council will be reported to His Excellency, and after approval and based on the advice of the Supreme Leader, this verdict will be issued to the appropriate responsible authorities.
The Council, on a case-by-case basis, or once in a while, will make a list of cases that it deems important to the general policies of the System that are permitted for discussion in the Council. After approval by the Supreme Leader, it will be placed on the agenda of the Council for review.
When presenting any one of the issues related to a conflict between the Parliament and the Guardian Council; and also challenges and issues that are referred for consultation to the Council by the Supreme Leader; and issues related to the general policies of the System; the order of discussions will be as follows:
A. Regarding conflicts between the Parliament and the Guardian Council: After presenting and explaining the problem, one member of the Guardian Council, then the head of the relevant Parliamentary commission, and then the Minister or head of the office that is involved in the issue under consideration, will provide the necessary explanations. Then, two people in favor and two opposed will provide their views and then a vote will be held.
B. Regarding challenges that are referred from the Supreme Leader: After the presentation and explanation of the issue, the Minister or the head of the relevant office that has brought up the discussion of the challenge will provide explanations; then two people in favor and two people opposed will give their views and then a vote will take place.
C. Regarding the general policies of the System that have been referred for consultation from the Supreme Leader: After the presentation and explanation of the issue, and arguments by two in favor and two opposed, a vote will take place.
Clause 1: In all three cases, if after the explanations, the presented report is not opposed by anyone, those in favor, by permission of the head of the meeting, can offer their opinions. Also, if the chair of the meeting deems it necessary to hear the views of more than two people in favor or opposed, the negotiations may continue until the chair deems it adequate.
Clause 2: In cases where members agree with continuation versus the adequacy of the debate, there will be a vote as to whether to continue the debate or whether the debate has been adequate.
In cases where the conflict between the Guardian Council and the Parliament leads to the modification of the contested article or articles, if the indicated correction requires modifying other article or articles, the Council will implement these modifications as needed.
In reviewing issues related to determining the expediency, and in cases where the members see the decision on the contested issue as contingent upon correcting another section of the legislated articles, which was not initially opposed by the Guardian Council, the Council will inform the Supreme Leader of the issue and if his Excellency approves, will review the indicated section.
The decisions of the Council are drafted and edited by the secretariat, and after review and approval by the head of the Council, they will be enacted according to the following:
1. Legislations related to deciding expediency in cases of disagreement between the Parliament and Guardian Council will be drafted as a unitary article and/or articles and clauses, signed by the head of the Council, and issued to the Parliament.
2. Legislations related to solving challenges will be drafted and edited as a unitary article or articles and clauses. The result of the exchange of opinions, and the final vote of the Council in these cases will be reported to the Supreme Leader to decide on the manner of issuing it as an initiative or as information, and will be announced to the Council.
3. Issues related to determining the general policies and important affairs that are referred to the Council by the Supreme Leader will be drafted as a complete report, along with summary and the final consultative view of the Council, and will be signed by the head of the Council, to be submitted to the Supreme Leader; and then, based on the opinion of his Excellency, the next initiative will be taken.
CHAPTER FOUR: The Council secretariat
In order to coordinate the work of the permanent and special commissions and establish relations with the responsible government offices and public, non-governmental institutions, so their expertise will be fully utilized; in order to have continuous contact with consultative committees; to supervise the administrative and expert work of the commissions; to create an efficient database of information derived from research and studies and important expert reports on issues related Iran and the world; to supervise the proper implementation of the general policies that have been approved by the Supreme Leader, and their follow-up; to issue directives based on legislations and decisions; and to edit summaries of debates; and for other administrative and executive affairs of the Council, a secretariat will be formed within the Expediency Council. The responsibility for the secretariat is with the Council secretary, who will be the head of the secretariat.
The Council secretary will carry out his duties under the supervision of the head of the Council; when necessary, the secretary will be the conduit between the Council and the Supreme Leader.
When necessary, the secretariat will form commissions and committees made up of experts, under the supervision of the Council secretary, in order to evaluate the reports from the responsible government offices and prepare them for presentation in the Council commissions.
The Council secretary will make the necessary arrangements for managing the affairs of the secretariat, as well as those of the commissions; to supervise and follow-up on the decisions and policies approved by the Supreme Leader; and also other administrative and financial affairs of the Council. These arrangements must be approved by the head of the Council.
This bylaw was approved in a meeting of the Expediency Council, dated 3/8/1376 [10/25/1997], and was approved by the Supreme Leader on 5/9/1376 [11/26/1997].