On 23 March 2022, the IRZ, in cooperation with the Constitutional Court of Jordan, organised an online discussion on the structure and functioning of constitutional court jurisdiction in Jordan and in Germany. The event was held within the framework of institutional funding by the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ).

The IRZ has been working with the Constitutional Court of Jordan since its establishment in 2012. After the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic cooperation became difficult, activities are anticipated to resume in full this year.

The discussion on the following topics, among others:

  • The establishment of the Constitutional Court of Jordan and its role in protecting freedoms and democracy,
  • the structure, organisation and guidelines of the constitutional court jurisdiction in Germany,
  • procedures and methods of decision-making (including abstract and specific judicial review and the individual constitutional complaint),
  • the role of constitutional jurisdiction in the protection of human rights in Germany.

The seminar was opened by Mr. Sidi M. O. Khairy, Project Manager for the Middle East. He welcomed the participants on behalf of the IRZ and contributed to the discussion with questions and suggestions. On the Jordanian side, the event was co-organised by presentations by Mr Fayez Al-Hamarneh and Dr Akram Al-Masaedah, Judge at the Constitutional Court of Jordan. Prof. Dr Michael Eichberger, former judge of the Federal Constitutional Court, and Prof. Dr Reinhard Gaier, also a former judge of the Federal Constitutional Court, took part in the event on behalf of IRZ.

The similarities and differences in the constitutional court jurisdictions of both countries were explored during the exchanges and the consolidation of the still young Constitutional Court of Jordan and its role in the protection of human rights and democracy were discussed. In his presentation, Judge Dr. Akram Al-Masaedah explained the origins of the Constitutional Court of Jordan, its structure, organisation, guidelines and its role in the protection of civil liberties and democracy. The discussion also raised the question of how the constitutional court jurisdiction should behave if the decisions taken are not implemented by the state authorities. In this context Prof. Dr. Reinhard Gaier addressed the situation in Germany and said that the decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court were generally implemented and that no further measures were necessary. If, for example, a standard or rule is declared null and void, it is established that such standard or rule was invalid from the outset (ex tunc). No specific measure of enforcement is required for the immediate implementation of such a decision; however, the application of the respective standard or rule, in particular by the courts, should be avoided. Moreover, the court can respond in various ways to the legislator's failure to implement a regulatory mandate. The legal basis for this is the power under § 35 of the Federal Constitutional Court Act to regulate the enforcement of its decisions. Accordingly, the Federal Constitutional Court may determine in its decision who shall enforce it and may also regulate the manner of enforcement in individual cases.

The event demonstrated that the topic requires further discussion and some in-depth exchanges of views. The IRZ will therefore continue and deepen its long-standing cooperation with the Jordanian judiciary in the coming months.