The Foundation provides training for Judges of the Balqa and Zarqa Courts in Jordan on Judicial Referral of Constitutional Challenges

Max Planck Foundation experts delivered two workshops to build the capacity of judges of the Courts in Balqa and Zarqa, Jordan, in cooperation with the the Judicial Council of Jordan, The Judicial Institute of Jordan and the Courts of Balqa and Zarqa.

The two workshops took place from 1-2 November and 3-4 November 2021 at the Judicial Institute in Amman and were formally inaugurated by the Judge Nawal al-Jawhari, Director of the Judicial Institute of Jordan and the Head of Project at the Max Planck Foundation.

The workshop focused on training judges of the first instance and appeals courts in Balqa and Zarqa to enhance their understanding of their roles in protecting fundamental and constitutional rights in the particular context of the referral of constitutional challenges to the Court of Cassation and the High Administrative Courts, respectively. Specific topics included differentiating between the roles of judges at each respective level and the level of scrutiny applied by each when assessing whether the challenge meets the requirements for a successful referral. The workshops entertained detailed discussions on the procedural and substantive requirements that ordinary judges must review before deciding on the referral of a constitutional challenge, in the context of Jordanian and comparative constitutional jurisprudence. A particular emphasis was placed on the requirements of interest of the applicant and the seriousness of the challenge and how these are adjudged in both domestic and comparative constitutional jurisprudence. Participants acknowledged the importance of the referral mechanism in the constitutional system and the need to adopt a common and objective standard of assessment of the relevant criteria, whilst allowing for a certain level of judicial discretion, in order to ensure that subjective assessments of challenges are avoided.

Participants engaged in practical exercises designed to gauge and enhance their comprehension of the topics presented and were invited to share their experiences related to the judicial referral process as well as their assessment of interest for constitutional challenges.

The workshop is a part of the project component to build the capacity of ordinary court judges of the Courts in Balqa and Zarqa Governorates in Jordan, under the Foundation project Strengthening Legislative Compliance and Constitutional Interpretation in Jordan: for Judges of the Ordinary Courts, the Constitutional Court and the Bureau of Legislation and Opinion, supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.