Consultative Seminar on Practical Application of Constitutional Review and Oversight

The Foundation convened a Seminar with the Constitutional Court of Jordan to discuss Direct Institutional Access to the Court for the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Council of Ministers and the expansion and creation of rights

On 15 July 2021, Max Planck Foundation research fellows convened in Amman with Members of the Constitutional Court of Jordan at the Court in Amman to discuss crucial functions of Constitutional Courts and Judges regarding the practical application of Constitutional Review and Oversight. Research fellows prepared a discussion paper in Arabic covering the relevant topics and distributed it in advance to facilitate informed discussions during the Consultative Seminar. The paper presented key concepts to provide a common point of reference in terms of language, conceptual norms, jurisprudence and comparative practice of Constitutional Courts.

The Consultative Seminar was formally opened by Judge Fayez al-Hamarneh from the Constitutional Court and Siraj Khan, Head of Projects at the Foundation. The Consultative Seminar was attended by seven Judges from the Court and dealt with three interrelated topics. The first concept addressed direct access to the Constitutional Court of Jordan for a limited number of institutions, namely the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Council of Ministers, to directly challenge the constitutionality of applicable laws and regulations at the Constitutional Court and to directly request an interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution. The Seminar also focused on the role of Judges of the Court in expanding and creating rights, through an expansive reading of constitutional provisions in the light of societal developments and changing understandings of fundamental rights. Judge Taghreed Hekmat, the first female judge at the Constitutional Court of Jordan, presented a paper on the ‘Utility of Comparative Constitutional Court Jurisprudence and Decisions of International Courts to Enhance the Decisions of the Constitutional Court of Jordan’. The Seminar benefitted from the contribution of research fellows from the Foundation presenting in person as well as via live video-link from Heidelberg.

The workshop is part of a series of capacity-building activities for Judges of the Constitutional Court of Jordan within the component of the Project “Strengthening Legislative Compliance and Constitutionalism in Jordan”, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.