Letter appointing Hisham Tal president of the Court of Cassation and the Higher Judicial Council

From King Abdallah II of Jordan
To Hisham Tal
RE: Appointment to the Court of Cassation and the Higher Judicial Council
15 May 2012
Translated from Arabic

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

Your Excellency Hisham Tal,

President of the Court of Cassation, President of the Higher Judicial Council,

I am pleased to convey to you our greetings and wish you all success.

We have known you for years as a loyal soldier of this country as you assumed different positions with competence and efficiency, and proved an example of integrity, faithfulness and excellence.

Based on that, we entrust you today with the post of president of the Court of Cassation and the Judicial Council at such a defining stage in our history, when the judiciary is more than ever called upon to serve as a key pillar of political, economic and social life.

Our view of the judiciary is based on our belief that justice is at the core of governance. Accordingly, we want the Jordanian judicial system to be a model of integrity, transparency and impartiality. It should be the guarantor of the rule of law, the country’s stability and prosperity. The judiciary protects citizens’ dignity and rights, and safeguards public funds, in a way that enhances the credibility of the state and public trust in it, in addition to ensuring the people’s well-being and confidence.

Since we assumed our responsibilities, we have been keen on promoting the judiciary and enhancing its independence. This was evident in the recently endorsed Constitutional amendments, which seek to entrench the independence of the judiciary and empower it so that it can continue to carry out its mission of protecting the freedoms and rights of citizens against any oppression or arbitrary acts.

Due to the significant role of the judiciary and its impact on all aspects of life in our dear country, we emphasise the need to develop the judicial apparatus, inspired by and building on the achievements of the past years, particularly the strategy to build the capacity of the judicial authority for 2012-2014. The development plan should ensure that all cases are ruled on with utter neutrality, in line with the standards of a fair, firm and efficient judicial system.

In this context, we stress the need to proceed with plans to maintain and develop the facilities of the judiciary and supportive apparatuses. Components of the judicial system should have access to each other and should be strengthened with qualified and experienced personnel. There should also be a focus on building the capacity of judges through specialised rehabilitation and training programmes, and on establishing an environment conducive to their professional development, by ensuring job security and financial stability. The principle of specialisation should be adopted in all judicial fields so that judges are enabled to rule on cases they are specialised in. Judges should also keep up with ever-developing scientific and technological advancements, and the latest in legislation, jurisprudence and all aspects of the judiciary so that they can work out radical solutions to all procedural and substantive problems. The litigation process should be expedited and courts empowered to efficiently process lawsuits. Court rulings should be implemented without any hurdles and people’s rights and freedoms protected against arbitrary measures. Justice should be achieved for all in an atmosphere of trust and satisfaction.

In light of the increasing talk of corruption, which we deem our enemy and the enemy of all Jordanians, we emphasise that the judiciary should play its rightful role and have the final say on all corruption cases, based on solid evidence and in line with the provisions of the law, away from rumours and groundless accusations. When a judge rules on a case, he/she bases the judgement on what is deemed just and beyond reasonable doubt, and after thorough examination of all evidence. Judges should apply the law in full independence, free from any pressures.

As we are in the process of completing political reform legislation and are facing tremendous economic challenges, we believe that an independent and just judiciary that makes individuals and groups feel secure is a pillar of stability and progress, a safeguard of reform achievements and a guarantee of rights and freedom within the framework of the rule of law and the Constitution. The well-established Jordanian judiciary is the last line of defence for rights and freedoms. It is the protector of society and its values, individuals, civilisation, legacy and economy. It is a tool of reform and correction for those who commit wrong. We want it to be a sword to fight corruption and the corrupt and the foremost institution constituting a system of integrity and anti-corruption. The judiciary is where we find the truth and a healthy judiciary is a sign of a healthy society.

May God grant you success and help you and your colleagues, protectors of justice, to aptly shoulder such a responsibility.

Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein