Jordan - annual report 2019

Participants of the seminar “Train the trainer: Teaching methodical-didactic knowledge“ in Amman
Participants of the seminar “Train the trainer: Teaching methodical-didactic knowledge“ in Amman

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has a central function in shaping the security situation in the region. Its geostrategic position and its role in conflict resolution make Jordan an important cooperation partner for many international actors. In the wake of the Arab Spring, the country initiated judicial reforms and made constitutional amendments. Nevertheless, Jordan continues to face challenges on the domestic front. Besides the ramifications of the Syrian war, the current economic crisis is weakening the country. This is why the voices calling for stabilisation of the economic and social situation are becoming louder throughout society, putting pressure on Jordanian rule of law and related political reforms.

According to the Jordanian Ministry of Justice, the economic problems and the occasionally fraught situation in the country‘s refugee camps have led to an increase in criminal proceedings, which exceeds the capacity of the Jordanian judicial institutions. The Jordanian government is aware of the urgency of judicial reform to preserve the rule of law in this difficult starting situation. Reform of the judicial sector is therefore assigned priority status. For instance, the standing of the Constitutional Court in Jordan improved over the past year. Despite initial wrangling over competencies with the established Court of Cassation, it was able to establish its constitutional position and underpin its status with landmark decisions. In this context, the Constitutional Court ruled on 1 August 2019 that it is unconstitutional for a minister to be active in the private sector during his or her term in office. Immediately after the ruling, Prime Minister Al-Razzaz convened a ministerial committee to examine the consequences of the decision for the cabinet, which led to a cabinet reshuffle in November 2019. This decision is symbolic for the country on its way to embracing the rule of law and its practical implementation of the separation of powers.

Overall Concept

Since the start of project work in Jordan in 2006, IRZ has been supporting various institutions within the Jordanian judiciary by providing basic and further training, as well as advisory measures. The Constitutional Court is an important partner. Even after more than six years since starting work, it requires support in the form of exchange of experience in order to ensure a holistic appreciation of its particular position within the judicial system and its significance for the rule of law.

With a project financed by the Federal Foreign Office, IRZ supported the Constitutional Court from 2017 to 2019 in establishing itself and improving cooperation with the lower judicial authorities. The success of this project can also be seen in the first landmark decisions of the Constitutional Court.

The Court of Cassation also has need for counselling. A lack of uniform case-law still persists, which at times leads to an absence of legal certainty.

Workshops and expert talks are held with the General Prosecutor‘s Office in Amman as part of the project work, which now focus more strongly on the area of criminal law in Jordan. IRZ is also building on its cooperation with Judicial Institute of Jordan to support basic and further training of the judiciary.

Focus of Activity in 2019

Constitutional Law/Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Regional conference in Amman on “Constitutional court jurisdiction: Powers and instruments to protect basic rights“

Civil and Commercial Law

  • Regional conference in Amman on “Courts of Cassation and their contribution to the harmonisation of case law, with particula reference to the implementation of international guidelines“

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Exchange of experience in Amman on the fight against organised crime
  • Symposium in Berlin on the practicalities of international legal cooperation in criminal matters, including participants from the Ministries of Justice and Public Prosecutors‘ Offices in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia

Basic and Further Training

  • Seminars in Amman on “Train the trainer: Teaching methodicaldidactic knowledge“


IRZ is continuing its successful cooperation with the project partners, the Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Judicial Institute. An application for a follow-up project funded under the Transformation Partnership run by the Federal Foreign Office has already been submitted. Within this framework, IRZ intends to intensify its advice to the penitentiary authority, the General Prosecutor‘s Office and the Ministry of Justice. There are plans to extend cooperation with Jordan in 2020 to include women‘s rights as well.