A working group consisting of the German expert team from IRZ and Jordanian judges, public prosecutors met for the first time in November 2022 in Amman to discuss the requirements and building blocks to increase the efficiency and transparency of the judicial system in criminal matters in Jordan. IRZ continued the exchange with the Jordanian Ministry of Justice in a hybrid format event on 13–14 December 2022.

The following experts attended on behalf of IRZ:

  • Fernando Sanchez-Hermosilla, Presiding Judge at the Karlsruhe Regional Court
  • Dr Stefan Trunk, Senior Public Prosecutor at the Duisburg Public Prosecutor's Office
  • Jürgen Marten, Head of Criminal Investigation Division – Head of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Office of Criminal Investigations

The participants and the team of experts focused on the possibilities of accelerating and shortening proceedings, and explained the relevant standards of the German and Jordanian Code of Criminal Procedure and other laws. For example, they discussed § 100 and § 130 of the Jordanian Code of Criminal Procedure, which allow the Public Prosecutor's Office to halt proceedings. At the same time, the IRZ experts dealt with §§ 153 et seq. (discontinuation of proceedings) and § 257c (Communication between the court and the parties to the proceedings) of the German Code of Criminal Procedure.

The topics discussed included in detail:

  • Options to discontinue proceedings: in the event of a minor infraction, after fulfilment of a condition
  • Separation of individual parts of the preliminary proceedings, particularly if that part is not decisive for the outcome of the criminal procedure
  • Mutual agreement procedure on the outcome of the criminal procedure
  • Duration of the pre-trial detention and the shortening of such detention period: legal remedies and special review of detention
  • Suspension of pre-trial detention and alternatives to pre-trial detention

A very interesting and lively exchange of experience took place as experts and participants exchanged views on the similarities in the approach in both countries and also highlighted the differences. For example, Jordanian law stipulates that a judge or magistrate may hold a suspect in pre-trial detention for a longer period of time to protect that person, provided a well-founded concern of revenge exists. German law does not recognise such procedure. In addition, the option to drop proceedings in Jordan only applies to minor offences, whereas in Germany this is possible for both misdemeanours and felonies - depending on the individual case – and is not excluded from the outset even in the case of a felony.

The Jordanian participants also asked question about compensation for pre-trial detention that is unlawfully served, and how it is calculated in the case of innocence, as there are no stipulations for such compensation in the respective regulations in Jordan.

Both parties were highly engaged in the project, and the meeting took place in a friendly and open atmosphere with lively participation from all participants. The aim of our Jordanian partner is to “increase the efficiency and transparency of the Jordanian judicial system in criminal matters” and it recognises the great role played by the Public Prosecutor's Office in achieving this goal.

The working meeting received support for the project from the Federal Foreign Office on the topic: supporting criminal justice reforms in Jordan 2020 – 2023.

IRZ thanked the working group for the successful cooperation.