Royal Decree appoints president, members of Constitutional Court

06 October 2012

A Royal Decree was issued on Saturday appointing the president and members of the Constitutional Court.

In a letter addressed to the newly appointed Court members, headed by former Minister and Senator Taher Hikmat, His Majesty King Abdullah described the establishment of the Court as a “pioneering, national achievement.”
The decree appointed Marwan Dudin, Fahed Nsour, Ahmad Tbeishat, Kamel Saeed, Fuad Sweidan, Yousef Hmoud, Abdulqader Tawarah and Mohammad Ghazwi as members of the Court.

The new Court’s members were sworn in before King Abdullah in a ceremony at Raghadan Palace attended by Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, Senate President Taher Masri, Judicial Council President Hisham Tal, Royal Court Chief Riyad Abu Karaki, Director of His Majesty’s Office Imad Fakhoury and Justice Minister Khalifah Suleiman.

In his letter, the King said monitoring the constitutionality of laws has always been an element of the Kingdom’s political life, citing the role of the Higher Council for the Interpretation of the Constitution, but he stressed that the country’s reform path now requires a specialised court to assume this role. “The reformist approach we have committed ourselves to, in words and in deeds… requires that we vest the task of monitoring the constitutionality of legislation and bylaws in a specialised court.”

“This Court is expected to carry out its mission at a time when its responsibilities are growing together with the requirements of the coming political phase and the reform process that we support as part of a home-grown endeavour to build a better future for our dear country, God willing,” the King said.

The formation of Jordan’s first Constitutional Court “is a major step and milestone in the process of reform and democratic renewal we envisage”, His Majesty said.

His Majesty added that “[this] process will see in one of its key junctions the election of a new Lower House by the new year. A parliamentary government will emerge from this Parliament, reflecting the people’s will”.

The King voiced confidence that the court “will emerge as a significant guarantee and major reference when it comes to cementing respect for the Constitution and separation of power and balance between the branches of government”.

“This Court will safeguard citizens’ rights and basic freedoms on the one hand, and enhance their confidence in the state, on the other.”

Highlighting the Court’s guiding principle, His Majesty said: “The Constitutional Court should be a symbol of neutrality, independence and transparency. Its rulings should be issued without any influence from any party whatsoever and this Court, and its honourable judges, will have the necessary support through a set of guarantees.”

A Royal Decree was also issued on Saturday accepting Hikmat’s resignation as chairman of the board of trustees of the National Centre for Human Rights.

Two other decrees were issued accepting Dudin’s resignation from the Senate and Saeed’s resignation from his post as Minister of State for Prime Ministry Affairs and Legislation.