From 23 to 24 May 2016 the IRZ organised an expert seminar on the topic “The relationship between judicial independence and judicial supervision. Practical experience in Germany” in cooperation with the Jordanian Judicial Academy in Amman. The event was funded by the Federal Foreign Office within its project funding for the transformation partnerships Middle East and Maghreb.

About 30 judges of the ordinary jurisdiction from different courts in the districts of Amman, Salt, Zarqua and Rusaifah as well as of the special jurisdiction (customs courts, military courts, police courts) participated in the seminar. The IRZ was represented by the German experts Dr. Stefan von der Beck, Presiding Judge at the Higher Regional Court of Oldenburg, and Dr. Thomas Veen, President of the Local Court of Osnabrück. They engaged in an intensive dialogue with their Jordanian colleagues during the two-day event.

After an introduction into the legal basics of the topic both from the German and the Jordanian side, the seminar was mainly dedicated to practical work on case studies. Taking these case studies as an example, the two poles of judicial independence and judicial supervision were examined in their many different facets.

Moreover, the participants worked on solutions for the cases in lively and intense discussions. In this context, it was remarkable that both sides agreed almost completely on the assessment of the cases. Opinions diverged only with regard to the question whether judges should be allowed to be members of a political party. In contrast to the German professional law for judges, this is not allowed according to the Jordanian Code of Conduct for Judges from 2014.

Mostly, however, it became obvious during the seminar how much the judiciary of both countries has in common. This led to a very productive and satisfactory exchange among the colleagues during the two-day event. Not least, one of the things in common was that the female judges from Jordan raised many crucial aspects and gave major impetus to the discussions.