Online Seminars on the Topic of "Modern Court Administration”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

In October and December 2021, IRZ, in cooperation with the Jordanian Judicial Council and the Jordanian Judicial Academy, organised two online seminars on the topic of "Modern Judicial and Court Administration" . The events were aimed in particular at court presidents and were financed within the framework of institutional funding by the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ). 

The seminars focused on the following key topics, among others:

  • Modern court and judicial administration in Jordan and Germany 
  • Strategies for strengthening the effectiveness, efficiency and qualitative improvement of court work 
  • Change management in court and judicial administration 
  • Recruitment procedures and methods of personnel management 
  • Training opportunities for the judiciary 
  • Fighting corruption in the judiciary and judicial administration 

On the Jordanian side, the seminars were opened by the President of the Court of First Instance of Amman, Ayoub Al-Sawair. In his presentations, he focused on the structures and reform projects in the Jordanian court administration. In particular, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also posed great challenges to the Jordanian courts and revealed new needs. 

From the IRZ side, the events were accompanied by Christian Schmitz-Justen, Vice-President of the Cologne Higher Regional Court, and Gerd Nolden, Leitender Regierungsdirektor of the Cologne Higher Regional Court. 

The aim of the events was to exchange experiences and methods on court and personnel management and to provide the participants with new knowledge and skills in these areas. 

In the coming year, IRZ will continue and deepen its long-standing cooperation with the Jordanian judiciary.

Exchange of experiences on the topic of “International legal foundations of asylum law and international best practice models”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

Jordan hosts more than 750,000 refugees, 80 per cent of whom live outside refugee camps in urban areas. The capital city, Amman, alone is currently home to more than 270,000 refugees. After Lebanon, Jordan has a higher percentage of refugees than any other country in the world, with one in three people living in Jordan a refugee. It is not just the strain on the economy that poses a challenge for the state in dealing with refugees; access to justice for vulnerable groups is also difficult in Jordan. In order to counteract this, numerous civil society organisations are getting involved, offering legal counselling for refugees in order to support them.

In this context, IRZ together with the three Jordanian non-governmental organisations Justice Center for legal aid, Mizan and ARDD organised a first online exchange of experiences on the topic of “International legal foundations of asylum law and international best practice models”, which took place on 1 July 2021. The aim of the event was to identify any shortcomings in dealing with refugees and to share expertise from German practice with the organisations. Another subject of discussion was how representatives from civil society can improve the situation of refugees and offer them support.

Birgit Naujoks, Managing Director of the Refugee Council NRW, and lawyer Jochen Beekes participated in the event on behalf of IRZ. Once Jochen Beekes had presented the developments and resulting shortcomings in German asylum law, Birgit Naujoks explicitly addressed the role of representatives from civil society in migration issues. On the Jordanian side, Hadeel Abdel Aziz (Legal Center) and Suzan Mohareb (ARDD) reported on the work of their organisations and the situation of refugees in Jordan. Following on from the introductions by the experts, the discussions focused on the following topics:

  • Implementation of international conventions in national law: Geneva Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights
  • Asylum law and its practice in Germany: Priorities and reforms since 2015
  • The role of civil society in asylum and migration issues in Germany: Refugee councils in Germany as examples of best practice

The lively discussions and exchanges between the experts and participants reflected the particular relevance of the topic. It also became clear that dealing with refugees poses similar challenges for Jordan and Germany. Creating meaningful and humane foundations for the future is a goal that both countries hope to achieve.

In order to further promote exchange and to help to resolve migration issues in the legal field, IRZ aims to deepen cooperation in this area with representatives from civil society in Jordan.

The event was financed by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

Training in dealing with prisoners with mental disorders, violence and/or addiction problems

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

In cooperation with the Jordan Public Security Directorate (PSD), IRZ organised a four-day online training course within the period from 31 May to 9 2021 on "Dealing with prisoners with mental disorders or with violence and/or addiction problems".

The Director of the PSD's International Cooperation Department, Ali Alutoum, chaired the event for prison officers who are in direct contact with the prisoners concerned and act as their contact persons. The training course was aimed at teaching the specific social and communication skills to be able to fulfil this role. The topics discussed during the event were:

  • Classification of inmates with regard to mental disorders, addiction and/or violence problems
  • Preparation of enforcement and integration plans
  • Step-by-step concept for reintegration
  • Special challenges in dealing with addiction problems
  • Conflict management and communication
  • Typical psychiatric disorders in prisons
  • Possible effects of inmates' mental disorders on prison staff and how they deal with them
  • Balance between safety and treatment
  • De-escalation measures for prison staff
  • Managing prison release
  • Roles and cooperation of members of psychiatric and psychological services, social workers and law enforcement

The following experts participated in the online training on behalf of IRZ:

  • Steffi Lindemann, a psychologist at the Berlin young offenders’ institution,
  • Alexander Grundlach from the central addiction department of the Berlin young offenders’ institution,
  • Janet Juvet, a specialist in psychiatric care at the Hameln prison, and
  • Esther Chan, a graduate psychologist and head of the psychological department at the Wuppertal-Ronsdorf prison.

They provided the participants with detailed insights into dealing with the aforementioned group of people and provided comprehensive information on prison conditions and enforcement plans, as well as on non-violent communication. The experts emphasised the great importance of cooperation between psychological services, social workers and the prison service. They also went into detail about the training of prison staff in Germany.

The lively discussions and exchange between all participants during the event show that the topic is of great interest to the Jordanian prison system. IRZ therefore aims to continue the cooperation in this area.

This event took place within the framework of the institutional funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).