Universal House of Justice

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Bahá'í Faith
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The Universal House of Justice is the supreme governing institution of the Bahá'í Faith. It is a legislative institution with the authority to supplement and apply the laws of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, and exercises a judicial function as the highest appellate institution in the Bahá'í administration. The institution was defined in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's successor, and was officially established in 1963 as the culmination of the Ten Year Crusade, an international Bahá'í teaching plan.[1]

Its nine members are elected every five years from the male membership in good standing of the world community by an electoral college consisting of all the members of each Bahá'í National Spiritual Assembly throughout the world. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice and its members reside in Haifa, Israel, on the slope of Mount Carmel.[1]

While being empowered to legislate on matters, the Universal House of Justice has, since its inception, limited its exercise of this function. Instead it has generally provided guidance to Bahá'ís around the world through letters and messages.[2] The books and documents published by the Universal House of Justice are considered authoritative and its legislative decisions are considered infallible to Bahá'ís.[3] The institution has also collected and published extracts from the writings of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá.[2]

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