Workshop with Judges in Balqa Governorate in Jordan on Judicial Interpretation and Reasoning

The focus was on Comparative Methods of Interpretation and Reasoning in the Application of Fundamental Rights

Under the Component to build the capacity of Judges in the Governorates of Balqa and Zarqa in Jordan, the Max Planck Foundation conducted an intensive one-day workshop for 16 judges of the Civil Courts in Balqa Governorate on 21 November 2020 via video-conference.

The workshop was formally inaugurated by HE Judge Nawal al-Jawhari, the Director of the Judicial Institute in Jordan, and HE Judge Nehad al-Husban, President of the Courts of First Instance of Balqa, who welcomed the cooperation between the Planck Foundation and the Courts in the two Governorates of Balqa and Zarqa. Judge al-Jawhari confirmed the support and facilitation of the Judicial Institute of Jordan, which is mandated with supporting the development, training and continued professional development of judges in Jordan. Judge al-Jawhari and Judge Nehad al-Husban both stressed the importance of the topic, emphasising that many judicial decisions will depend on the interpretation of terms and provisions in legal texts and therefore consistency and flexibility are both essential in judicial interpretation.

Foundation Experts delivered technical presentations on methods of judicial interpretation from a comparative perspective, judicial policy and interpretation and models of judicial reasoning and judicial decision making. A practical exercise with judges illustrated how judges can deal with conflicting judicial interpretations and the importance of judicial reasoning in navigating such conflicting interpretations. The workshop concluded with a presentation and discussion by several judges on judicial interpretations from their own benches or from decisions delivered by colleagues that assisted them in their practice as positive examples of dynamic and positive judicial interpretation and reasoning.

The workshop was the first in a series of activities with the Courts of Balqa under the Max Planck Foundation project, “Strengthening Legislative Compliance and Constitutional Interpretation in Jordan”, generously supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.