Constitutional Overview

Constitutional life is not new in Jordan , it is even in accompany with establishing Jordanian entity (Emara) at that time , its beginning return to the year 1924 when the prince of princes ( Late King Abdallah I) ordered establishing a committee , of its duty is to put basic law ( i.e a Constitution) this committee finished its work in 1924. However, the implementation of its recommendation of issuing the constitution did not apply until 1928 due to both prevailing circumstances in the region and British occupation, taking into consideration that this basic law -constitution -was not responsive and able at that time to comprehend the aspiration of citizens in the completion of establishing a democratic state by virtue of a set of circumstances and the regional situation that prevailed the region at that time including Franco – British dispute over the region as two mandated powers to manage the area. The case continued until 1946 despite the country’s declaration of independence as a Kingdom. The Constitution did not go out of existence until 1947 nevertheless achieved advanced steps. However, the constitution did not complete all the elements of a democratic state and confined to satisfy the citizen’s needs to establish a democratic and a completed elements structure, the case continued with the occurrence of the Israeli occupation of Palestine as well as advertising the unity of west and east banks in Jericho Conference which resulted in the formation of the First Parliamentary assembly. The council which represented the two banks equally approved the unity of the two banks provided insurance of the Palestinian identity in 24 April 1950.

In Pursuance of the foregoing, the Jordanian government formed a committee to put a constitution project which was presented to the parliament. This constitution had the nature of a contractual or quasi- contractual with the consent of the deputies of the National Assembly that representing people in the two banks. The Constitution was issued in 1952 in the era of King Talal after The assassination of late King Abdullah -The Founder- Thus the Kingdom entered a new phase of its political development. The Kingdom has got one of the best Arabic constitution in the modern era and a pioneering step in the development of political action which has been published and issued in 18/1/1952. The constitution contained clearly very two wisdom basics towards the democracy:

First:

  • Stating that the regime is parliamentary heredity monarchy, noting that parliamentary is before monarchy in this significance text.

Second:

  • Stating that the nation is the source of authority.
  • The nation practice its powers in the manner prescribed in the constitution.

Articles 25,26,27 explained texts that call for the separation of the three authorities, legislative, executive and judicial while maintaining a flexible balance which ensures cooperation among themselves without predominance one authority over the other also the articles explained how each authority practices what is delegated for by the nation according to constitutional and legal rules and thus the issuance of this constitution crowned a long and important stage in the life of Jordanian people. This was done with the least differences with the leadership of the kingdom that is natural in our case and so, the constitutional and democratic process was established. This constitution is still the subject of respect for Jordanian people regardless what amendments were added in the last decades. Under the international and local pressure, the constitution is still a safe platform to comprehend the developmental, modernization and reform calls that are required by the nature of political, economic and social evolution. The last constitutional amendments that carried out in 2011 became as another responsive step for a set of local, international and social conditions and as a complement for reform orientation which prevailed Jordanian society, these amendments became as a response to the general orientation that is aspirant for more development and renewal. This occurred through establishing a royal committee to amend the constitution and mandate this committee with the task of re-considering the development of the constitution in order to update the texts of the constitution and comprehend the developments on the national and international arenas. The constitution has already been amended in 2011 according to the constitutional texts.

 These amendments have a very significant degree of widening, they included more than a third of constitution texts and contained in their entirety significant changes regarding authorities’ administration texts and how they work as well as they contained parts related to human rights and human rights system in its international concept. These amendments have been approved by parliament and have become a valid and enforceable. The most important of these amendments were issues concerning the three authorities guarantees of non- inference or predominance of one over the other. The relations of these authorities and the way they work have been organized, new constitutional organizations were introduced to control the practices of the three authorities and to insure the integrity of the elections. Also, the Constitutional Court was established for the first time and delegated broad authorities; it enjoys complete independence and holds the interpretation of the constitution and control the legality of political performance which causes new significant development in Jordanian political life towards the consolidation of democratic process as well as establishing an independent body to oversee the elections.