Exchange of experience on the fight against tax evasion and money laundering

Jordan

IRZ organised a virtual exchange of experience on the fight against tax evasion and money laundering on 7 July 2022 in cooperation with the Jordanian Judicial Council and the Judicial Academy. The event was held with institutional funding from the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Participants on the Jordanian side were judges at various courts and representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office specialised in tax law.

The following topics were discussed at the event:

  • methods that the tax authorities and Public Prosecutor’s Office can use to uncover tax evasion
  • procedures and legal mechanisms for prosecuting tax evasion
  • legal measures for preventing tax evasion.

On the Jordanian side, Mr Hussein Abu Al-Samen, President of the Court of Appeal, gave a presentation on the measures to combat tax evasion in Jordan. He referred to the amendments to the Jordanian laws on the collection of income and sales tax and emphasised the immense importance of enabling access to the information held by the financial authorities. Moreover, he addressed the role of public relations in tax matters and the importance of educating taxpayers. Citizens are more willing to pay their taxes if the state uses these revenues efficiently and for the common good.

Dr Michael Nehring, judge at the Regional Court of Bonn, and Mr Stefan Schlotter from the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office represented IRZ at the event. They discussed the situation in Germany and outlined the instrument of voluntary disclosure. Their talks also dealt with the specialised public prosecutor’s offices for capital market offences and the legal measures to prevent tax evasion.

IRZ is planning additional events on these issues in cooperation with its Jordanian partner institutions to reflect the significance and topicality of this topic.

Exchange of experience on protection of human rights and right to access to information

Jordan

In cooperation with the Jordanian Ministry of Justice, IRZ organised an online exchange of experience on 23 May 2022, on protection of human rights and the right of access to information.

The group of participants from Jordan constituted representatives of the Human Rights agency in the Jordanian Ministry of Justice as well as of various courts.

The following topics, among others, were the focus of the exchange:

  • Overall concept of human rights policies and mechanisms for protection of human rights in Jordan: The work of the Jordanian Ministry of Justice
  • Implementation of human rights obligations in German law
  • Preparation and review of the periodic human rights report of the Federal Government
  • The right of access to information: Inspection of records, freedom of information and transparency

Mr. Sidi M. O. Khairy, Head of Section for the Middle East (IRZ) opened the seminar. On the Jordanian side, the Head of the Human Rights agency in the Ministry of Justice, Dr. Ms. Hanan Al-Khalayleh, conducted the event with a lecture. She showcased the work of the Ministry in the field of protection of human rights and gave details of the most important reforms and reform plans in this area. For instance, the Jordanian Criminal Code has been reformed and emphasis was placed on the improvement of the conditions in prisons and the development of rehabilitation proposals for the inmates.

In this context, the use of alternatives to imprisonment (e.g. use of electronic shackles) was also discussed a lot to relieve the penal system. Moreover, the accused must have better legal aid. Also, the topic of combating human trafficking and training the judiciary and Public Prosecutor’s Office in this context is a major topic in Jordan.

From the German side, the role and tasks of the Federal Ministry of Justice in implementing human rights obligations were presented. Furthermore, a representative of the Federal Foreign Office dwelt on the preparation and review of the periodic human rights report of the Federal Government.

Moreover, the right of access to information was discussed as a basic right. Here, the focus was on the development of the right to inspect records, of the freedom of information and of the transparency law.

The event was conducted as part of institutional support by the Federal Ministry of Justice and formed the first exchange of experiences on this topic.

IRZ will continue and intensify its longstanding cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and other judicial institutions in Jordan even in the coming months. Follow-up events on different sub-aspects are also planned in this context.

Online expert talk on the cooperation within the framework of the reform of civil and civil procedural consumer protection and out-of-court dispute resolution

Jordan

An online expert talk on the reform of Jordanian consumer protection guidelines, which had been planned since Autumn 2021, was held on 30 March 2022, in cooperation with the Jordanian Directorate for Consumer Protection, and focused mainly on legal consumer protection.

The Jordanian Directorate for Consumer Protection has been working on reforming the legal framework since it was established in 2017. The cooperation with the IRZ was implemented in late 2020. In specific terms, the event was about improving the quality of the existing consumer protection directives. The Jordanian team had already reported an urgent need for consultation on this issue in 2021. The event was held in an online format owing to the pandemic.

For the Jordanian contingent, Mr. Wael Mouhadin, Head of the Directorate for Consumer Protection, presented the current status of the legal framework in consumer protection and in particular addressed the existing guidelines and processes and the challenges that arise.

On behalf of the IRZ, Experts Dr Arnd Weishaupt, judge at the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf and Dr Martin Vomhof, presiding judge at the Regional Court in Düsseldorf, took part in the discussion. At the talks, the parties discussed the draft consumer protection guidelines revised by the Jordanian partner and presented their suggestions and recommendations. These will be documented in a written report and made available to the Jordanian partner in due course.

The German experts addressed the following aspects during the discussion: the establishment of expert bodies, options for the legal application, criminalisation of infringements of civil law, registration in a register of violations, cost issues, dispute resolution, proceedings before consumer arbitration boards, time-sharing, information obligations, right of withdrawal, sale of used goods.

The lively discussion and exchange between all the participants demonstrated that the topic was of great interest to the Jordanian participants.

The Jordanian team will review the recommendations of the German experts after the event and will apply them as required. Another expert talk around the legal issues of e-commerce is planned for May 2022.