Efficiency and transparency of the judicial system with a focus on criminal procedure.


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.

Establishing facts in court and interrogation techniques in criminal proceedings

Participants of the ToT workshop in Amman on fact-finding in court and techniques of hearing witnesses and suspects in criminal proceedings
Participants of the ToT workshop in Amman on fact-finding in court and techniques of hearing witnesses and suspects in criminal proceedings

IRZ, the Jordanian Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Council and the Jordanian Judicial Academy, organised a two-day seminar on fact-finding in court and techniques for questioning witnesses and suspects in criminal proceedings on 20- and 21 December 2022. The participants from Jordan were judges from different courts and members of the court inspection.

The presentations by the German and Jordanian speakers addressed the following topics among others:

  • Development of investigative and interrogation skills
  • Assessment of evidence in criminal proceedings
  • Error as an unconscious source of error
  • Lying as a conscious source of error


The seminar was opened by Mr. Sidi Mohamed O. Khairy, IRZ Head of Section for the Middle East. He welcomed the participants on behalf of IRZ and contributed to the discussion with questions and suggestions. On the Jordanian side, the event included presentations by Judge Ayman Al-Ghazzawi and Judge Ashraf Al-Abdullah. The two speakers are court inspectors and spoke about the development of investigative and interrogation skills in Jordan. Dr Arnd Weishaupt, judge at the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court attended as the expert for IRZ.

The ToT seminar focused on conducting the hearings of the witness and the accused and evaluating their statements. Discussions included the topic of error as an unconscious source of error; which are much more common in witness interviews than one might think. Errors in the witness's perception of events and in the replaying of their memories play a role that should not be underestimated. The seminar also explored deliberate lying, the principles of interrogation theory, interrogation psychology and questioning techniques.

The participating judges were very interested in the content of the seminar and took part in the discussion with numerous questions and practical suggestions. It became clear that there are many similarities in the conduct of interrogations between Jordanian and German judges. There are many similarities, notably with respect to interrogation and questioning techniques.

IRZ conducted the ToT seminar as part of a project funded by the Federal Foreign Office on “Support for criminal law reforms in Jordan 2020 – 2023”.

Cooperation between Forensic Medicine and the Judiciary in Civil and Criminal Law


IRZ organised two online seminars on cooperation between forensic medicine and the judiciary in Jordan and Germany on 26 and 27 September 2022. The events were held in cooperation with the Jordanian Judicial Council and the Judicial Institute of Jordan.

Mr Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice President of the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, Mr Bernhard Theisen, Presiding Judge at the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Michael Bohnert from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Würzburg and Mr Andreas Stüve, Senior Public Prosecutor at the Düsseldorf Public Prosecutor’s Office took part in the events on behalf of IRZ.

Topical Priorities of the Events

With its focus on civil law, the first event mainly addressed the principles governing expert witnesses and the juridical and practical issues involving the participation of medical experts in Germany and Jordan.

The second event concentrated on cooperation between the judiciary, forensic medicine and the investigating authorities in the area of criminal law.

The German and Jordanian speakers used their talks to address the following and other topics:

  • organisation and structures of forensic medicine in Germany and Jordan as well as formal procedures for forensic medicine training;
  • procedures and methods for determining medical malpractice and consequences under criminal law;
  • general issues of medical liability; and
  • judicial interpretation of expert opinions in the area of medicine.

Forensic Medicine in Jordan

It became clear that there are many similarities between the two countries, especially in medical liability law and with regard to the involvement of experts and their expert opinions. Differences also became apparent in the training and structure of forensic medicine, among others.  While forensic medicine is self-governing in Germany, it is attached to the Ministry of Health in Jordan. In addition, only 19 coroners are currently practising in Jordan. There are plans to increase this number significantly in the coming years.

Participants on the Jordanian side were judges at various courts, representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and members of the forensic medicine profession.

The online seminars were held with institutional funding from the Federal Ministry of Justice.