During the First World War, the British and French promised independence to the Arab subjects of the Ottomans if they supported the Allies, and in an Arab kingdom was proclaimed in Damascus, headed by Hashemite family. Transjordan was granted autonomy in and full independence in In , West Bank was occupied by Israel. Jordan renounced its claim to the West Bank in In Jordan recognized Israel and signed a peace treaty. The Jordan Constitution was promulgated in and has been amended in , , and Under the Constitution, the monarchy is the most important political institution in the country.
The country is divided into 12 governorates Mohafaza , which are subdivided into districts, subdistricts, municipalities, towns and villages. The Constitution divides the powers and functions of the government into executive, legislative and judicial categories.
The Constitution assigns the legislative power to both the bicameral National Assembly and the King, who is also vested with executive power. The King exercises his executive authority with the aid of his Council of Ministers. The sources of the legal system are the Constitution, the law, Islamic law Sharia and custom. Sharia Courts have jurisdiction over personal status matters relating to Muslims, as well as cases involving blood money where parties are Muslim or where one party is Muslim and the other agrees to the jurisdiction of the Shari'a Court.
Jordanian legislation and the legal system are also influenced by French legal systems Commercial law and civil and criminal procedures as well as by Egyptian and Syrian developments and reforms, particularly in personal status matters. It consists of the House of Representatives currently seats elected by popular vote on basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms by secret ballot in a general direct election.
Candidates must be Jordanian citizens more than thirty years of age. The Senate 40 seats appointed by the King from designated categories of public figures. Members serve four-year terms. Qualifications for a senator include a minimum age of forty years and prior government or military service in relatively senior positions.
The King grants both executive and legislative powers. The Senate is regarded as the more elite, but it has had little real influence in the legislative process.
Although the House of Representatives was vested with more legislative power than the Senate, both chambers have been overshadowed by the executive side of government. Jordanians voted in June in parliamentary elections, the first since Voters must be at least nineteen years of age. Suffrage has been universal since , when women were enfranchised. All Palestinian refugees who have adopted Jordanian citizenship enjoy equal voting privileges with Transjordanians.
The procedure of adoption of laws is as follows: the Prime Minister refers to the Chamber of Deputies any draft law, and the Chamber shall be entitled to accept, amend, or reject the draft law, but in all cases the Chamber shall refer the draft law to the Senate. No law may be promulgated unless passed by both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies and ratified by the King. Should either House twice reject any draft law and the other accept it, whether or not amended, both the Senate and the Chamber shall hold a joint meeting under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the Senate to discuss the matters in dispute.
Acceptance of the draft law shall be conditional upon the passing of a resolution by a two-thirds majority of the members of both Houses present. If the draft law is rejected as described above, it shall not be placed again before the House during the same session. Every draft law passed by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies shall be submitted to the King for ratification.
A law shall come into force after its promulgation by the King and the lapse of thirty days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette unless it is specifically provided in that law that it shall come into force on any other date. If the King does not see fit to ratify a law, He may, within six months from the date on which the law was submitted to him, refer it back to the House coupled with a statement showing the reasons for withholding his ratification.
If any draft law other than the Constitution is referred back within the period specified in the preceding paragraph and is passed for the second time by two-thirds of the members of each of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, it shall be promulgated. If the law is not returned with the Royal ratification within the period prescribed in preceding paragraph, it shall be considered as promulgated and effective.
If any draft law fails to obtain the two-thirds majority of votes, it cannot be reconsidered during the same session, provided that the National Assembly may reconsider the draft during its next ordinary session. In cases where the National Assembly is not sitting or is dissolved, the Council of Ministers has, with the approval of the King, the power to issue provisional laws covering matters which require necessary measures which admit of no delay or which necessitate expenditures incapable of postponement.
Such provisional laws, which shall not be contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, shall have the force of law, provided that they are placed before the Assembly at the beginning of its next session, and the Assembly may approve or amend such laws.
In the event of the rejection of such provisional laws, the Council of Ministers shall, with the approval of the King, immediately declare their nullity, and from the date of such declaration these provisional laws shall cease to have force provided that such nullity shall not affect any contracts or acquired rights.
Finally, any ten or more Senators or Deputies may propose any law. Such proposal shall be referred to the committee concerned in the House for its views. If the House is of the opinion that the proposal be accepted it shall refer it to the Government for drafting it in the form of draft law, and to submit it to the House either during the same session or at the following session. Should either House twice reject any law proposed by Senators or Deputies, shall not be presented for a second time during the same session. The executive power is vested in the government Council of Ministers chaired by a prime Minister, which is appointed by the King.
Ali Abul Ragheb is at the head of government since 19 June The Cabinet is appointed by the prime Minister in consultation with the King.
The Judicial Power draws from the Ottoman heritage in the communal jurisdiction of the religious courts of different communities over matters of personal status. In its civil courts system, it follows the French model. The Judicial power is independent. It is vested in three kinds of courts: civil courts, religious courts and special courts. Tribal law abolished in The seven courts of first instance exercise general jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal. A panel of three judges sits for all felony trials; two judges of the court sit in full panel when important cases are being argued.
For most appeal, however, only five judges hear and rule on the cases. There is three-judge panel Court of Appeal that sits in Amman. Its appellate review extends to judgments of the courts of first instance, the magistrates' courts, and the religious courts.
The highest court is the Court of Cassation in Amman; its president, who is appointed by the king, serves as the country's chief justice. All seven judges of the court sit in full panel when important cases are being argued. For most appeals, however, only five judges hear and rule on the cases. These courts are responsible for disputes over personal status marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance and communal endowment among their respective communities. One judge, called a qadi, sits in each sharia court and decides cases on the basis of Islamic law.
Three judges, usually members of the clergy, sit in each ecclesiastical court and render judgments based on various aspects of canon law as interpreted by the Greek Orthodox, Melchite, Roman Catholic, and Anglican traditions. Appeals from the judgments of the religious courts are referred to the Court of Appeal sitting in Amman.
If any dispute involves members of different religious communities, the civil courts have jurisdiction unless the parties mutually agree to submit to the jurisdiction of one of the religious courts. In case of jurisdictional conflicts between any two religious courts or between a religious court and a civil court, the president of the Court of Cassation appoints a three-judge special tribunal to decide jurisdiction or to hear the case.
Special courts include the High Tribunal or High Council or Supreme Council , which interprets the Constitution at the request of the prime minister or of either chamber of the National Assembly; the Special Council, which may be called on by the prime minister to interpret any law that has not been interpreted by the courts of law; and the High Court of Justice, which is to be constituted when necessary by the Court of Cassation. The High Court of Justice hears habeas corpus and mandamus petitions and may issue injunctions involving public servants charged with irregularities; it is also empowered to try cabinet ministers charged with offenses.
There is also a special court known as the Land Settlement Court. After when tribal law was abolished, tribal matters came under the formal jurisdiction of the regular courts, but adjudication apparently was still handled informally in traditional ways by local intermediaries or tribal authorities. The legal framework is mainly comprised of the Jordanian Labour Law of the year and its amendments. This Code repeals the Labour Code of , and all amendments made thereto.
It governs labour affairs in Jordan. The provisions of the law apply to all employees and employers as defined by Article 2 of the Law.
This law was completed by regulations, instructions and decisions issued in accordance with the above labour law. Based on ratified Conventions, amendments to the labour law were adopted on 28 August These amendments concern some important matters mainly:. Chapter IV of the Labour Code deals with contract of employment. It should be drawn in Arabic and in two copies at least. If no such contract is made, the worker may establish his rights by all legal means of evidence.
The duration of the employment contract is set by agreement of the parties. If the worker is employed for an indefinite duration, he shall be considered in service until his employment is terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Code. If he is employed for a specified period, he shall be considered is service throughout that period. In this case, the contract is automatically terminated at the end of that period. If both parties to the contract continue implementing it after that period has expired, the contract shall be considered to have been renewed as a contract for an indefinite duration, and shall be deemed as such from its commencement.
When a worker who is regularly employed for piece-work in the workplace, or performs a series of tasks by piece-work, he shall be considered as a worker employed for an indefinite duration. When labour relation at stake is subcontracting, workers employed by a contractor for the execution of a project may take direct legal action against the project owner, to claim the entitlements due to them from the contractor. Such claims shall not exceed the amount of payments due to the contractor from the owner at the time when action is taken. Workers employed by a subcontractor may take direct legal action against the principal contractor and the project owner.
The amounts claimed in such action may not exceed payments that are due, at the time when action is taken, to the principal contractor from the owner and to the subcontractor from the principal contractor. A contract of employment remains in force notwithstanding a change of employer, whether such a change is due to the sale of the undertaking or its transfer by inheritance, the merger of the establishment or any other reason. The original employer and the new employer shall, for a period of six months, be jointly liable in the discharge of any obligations arising out of the contract of employment and maturing before the date of change.
After the expiry of that period the new employer has sole liability.