Comparative law and justice/Jordan

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Rsaid0312981 03:44, 4 December 2009 (UTC)Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project

Scale of justice 2 new.jpeg Subject classification: this is a comparative law and justice project resource .

Basic Information[edit]

Jordanian Flag

Estimated population(2009):

Total population Male and Female 6,342,948 100.0%
Male 00-14yrs 1,014,183 Female 00-14yrs 973,538 31.3%
Male 15-64 2,183,638 Female 15-64 1,904,420 69.5%
Male 65+ 128,759 Female 65+ 138,410 4.0%

[1]


The People in Jordan

People in Jordan have a Jordanian Nationality. Jordan is predominanitely arab(98%), there is a very small group of Circassian and Armenian which is about 2% total.[2]

In the main city lives a mix of people. City life is completely different than the rural areas. Amman is split into Eastern Amman and Western Amman. Eastern Amman is the more conservative part of Amman. Western Amman is the more liberal side of the country. [3]


Religion

The major religion is Islam, Jordan is about 92% Sunni Muslims, there are other religious groups.Christian make up 6% of Jordan, the majority are Greek Orthodox, but some are Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and Protestant. There is a very small group of Shia Muslims and Druze which are about 2% of the population. [4]


Language

Arabic is the first language used in Jordan. English is widely used and is the official second language. English is mostly spoken by upper and middle class people. French is also taught in some schools as a third language. [5]


Economic Development (2008)[edit]

Jordan has a GDP (purchase Power) of $31.61 Billion GDP per capita (PPP) $5,100. Jordan is popular for exporting clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining and pharmaceuticals.Jordan also works on petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing,and is a great tourist attraction.Jordan relies on Saudi Arabia for the majority of their imports (20.3%). Jordan also imports machinery, transportation equipment, iron and cereals from China, Germany and the U.S. (2008). Jordan's currency is the Jordanian Dinar, the exchange rate of the Jordanian Dinar (JOD) is approximately 0.709 U.S dollar. [6]


image:Petra Jordan BW 21.JPG|thumb|180px|right|Petra is a great tourist attraction in Jordan.]]

Health, and Education[edit]

The total infant mortality is 14.97 deaths/1,000 live births of this number 17.91 are males and 11.86 are females(2009). The life Expectancy in Jordan is 78.87 years old, males live to approximately 76 years old and females live up to 81 years old. Fertility rate in Jordan is 2.39 children born/woman (2009 est) ref>Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. [7]

Brief History and Geography[edit]

Map of Jordan

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in the Middle East. It is located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. [8] Jordan is bordered with Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Jordan was a colony of the UK after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire following WWI. in the 1920s Jordan was separated from Palestine, it gained it's independence in 1946 and became called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950. Jordan was governed by King Hussein (1953-1999).In 1967, the west bank was lost to Israel, (the west bank was part of Palestine). In 1988 King Hussein took back the West Bank. In 1989, he created parliamentary elections. Political parties were created in 1992. After a couple of years in 1994, King Hussein signed a peace treaty with Israel with the help of the United States (Clinton)to settle the Palestinian Israeli struggle. King Hussein died in 1999 and his son King Abdallah II,took over the monarchy. After the war on Iraq, Jordan took in thousands of Iraqis who had no place to go but Jordan.The parliament now has more women than ever (20% of parliament are reserved to women). King Abdallah is now focusing on the socioeconomics of the country, improving education and developing a better healthcare system.

[9] Rsaid0312981 04:00, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Jordan's Legal System[edit]

Jordan has a mixed legal system based on civil law, Sharia Law (Islamic Law)and Customary law. [10] On April 1928, the Constitution was created.In 1929, Jordan had its first election. In 1946, Jordan got her independence from Brittain, the king then adopted a new constitution in 1947. In 1952 the constitution was ratified by King Talal.[11]

Jordanian Constitution[12]

Administrative Divisions in Jordan consists of 12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba. [13]

Executive Branch[edit]

Head of the State: King Abdallah II The king must be sane, male Muslim, the son of Muslim parents, and born of a lawful wife.The king has the most powerful position in the government he:appoints the prime minister, the president and members of the senate, judges and other senior government and military functionaries. the king is also the commander and cheif of the army, the king approves and promulgates the laws, declares war, concludes peace, and signs treaties (which in theory must be approved by the National Assembly).The king also convenes, opens, adjourns, suspends, or dissolves the legislature; he also orders, and may postpone, the holding of elections.The king has veto power that can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote of each house.The head of government is the Prime Minister Nader al-DAHABI and the Cabinet is appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the king. [14]

Elections[edit]

The Monarch is not elected, he takes over the kingdom as a Royal succession by a male descent in the Hashimite Family. The oldest son gets to hold the throne after the death of his father. If the king dies without ever having a son his oldest brother has seniority. followed by the eldest son of the other brother according to their, again according to the oldest. "If their is no suitable direct heir, then the National Assembly select a successor from the descendants of the founder, King Hussein Bin Ali." [15] There are no elections held for the Prime Minister, he is appointed by the monarch. [16] In the late 1970's the Executive branch suspended parliament. The Executive took over the powers of the legislative branch. This lasted until 1984, this was called the ninth house of representatives. They ruled up until 1989. There were no party affiliations at this time. [17]

Legislative Branch[edit]

Jordan has a Bicameral Legislature called the National Assembly (Majlis Al-Umma), it is composed of the House of Representatives (Majlis Al-Nuwwab)and the Senate (Majlis Al-Ayan). The king appoints the senate members, consisting of fifty-five members for a four year term. The House of Representatives had 80 seats prior to 2001, now it consists of 110 members, 6 seats reserved for women, 9 for Christians, 3 for Circassions and 9 for Jordanian Bedouins. All candidates have to be 30 years of age or older. Elections are not mandatory and any Jordanian citizen 18 years or older can vote. Voters out come in the 2003 election was 58%, which is very interesting.

[18]

Courts[edit]

Jordan has three court systems, Civil courts, Military courts, and religious courts. Civil courts contain the magistrate's courts,courts of first instance, major felonies courts, courts of appeal and the court of Cassation (Supreme Court). The Magistrate's courts deal with criminal cases. They also deal with civil suits that are not exceeding JD750, they usually have one judge. In Amman, the Capital there are 14 magistrates in other cities 2-3 magistrates each. The courts of first instance hear cases that fall outside the Magistrate's courts jurisdiction. They also hear all criminal appeal cases that have a prison sentence of 2-3 weeks as well as any civil suits that are exceeding JD750. The major felonies court hears cases that have a prison sentence over than three years. This court hears cases that deal with murder, manslaughter, rape and sexual assaults, there is only one court and is located in the major city Amman. Three judges preside appeals are made to the Court of Cassation. Courts of Appeal hear all the cases brought by the magistrate's courts and the courts of first instance, three judges preside over these courts. the court of Cassation has fifteen judges but normally five judges hear the cases. They deal with jurisdiction issues, it also hears cases that deal with habeas corpus petitions. Military Courts deal with any crimes that affect the national security of the country. The cases that are heard include drugs or weapon smuggling, Espionage and military personnel. Religious courts have jurisdiction over all family matters, marriage, divorce, adoption and custody. Jordan does not allow civil marriages, therefore they are not performed in civil courts. There are religious courts for Muslims based on Sharia'a Law (Islamic Law) and there are courts based on Christianity. There are several other courts Juvenile courts, police court, land settlement courts, income tax court, customs court and tribal courts. Jordan does not have a system that uses Judicial review. Since Jordan is a civil Law country, it has an Inquisitorial system. Inquisitorial system is different from our system in the U.S. Jury is not present in Inquisitorial systems. The judges are trained civil servants.The trial is to seek the truth, no competition. In this type of system, lawyers play a very passive role.The judge plays a very important role in this system.As a Muslim country, Judges in Jordan have studied Sharia in depth before becoming judges. [19]

Punishment[edit]

Punishment in Jordan is used as a deterrence, to keep others from committing similar crimes. Severity of punishment will keep people from committing crimes. Jordan is one of many countries that use the death penalty for crimes such as murder or Espionage. Life prison sentences were imposed for felonies that are intended on negatively affecting the national security. Homicide that results from beating or hitting someone and serious forms of theft. Shorter imprisonment was prescribed for these same offenses if mitigating circumstances warranted. Terrorist activity and membership in terrorist organizations, counterfeiting, forgery of official documents, and abduction are also punishable by prison.very limited information [20] Jordan also holds some show trials especially when it is a crime of treason or espionage. A person who committed Espionage or treason will be hung in the middle of the down-town.[21]

Misdemeanors include,gambling in public places, bribery, perjury, simple forgery, slander, embezzlement, assault and battery, and disturbing the peace. There are some crimes that are made criminal because they violate Sharia, desertion of a child, abortion, marrying a girl under the age of sixteen, openly ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad (PBU), and breaking the fast of Ramadan. Most non-criminal acts are fined. A person who has committed a crime will have a record for six years then he/she is allowed to have his record expunged. [22]

Jordan has three prisons, two of which have been shut down, the main prison in Juwaidah holds about 5,448 prisoners as of 2002. (very limited information) [23]

Law Enforcement, Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit]

Police in Jordan is run by the army. The head of the police is the army general. Jordanian police is Proactive they are all over the streets looking for trouble. People are trained in AL-Zarqa Police Academy, no specific time is provided, but in neighboring countries it is 3 months. Jordan has a Centralized police structure, one national police force, enforces the laws. (i had a very hard time finding information on police in Jordan [24] Crime rates are very low in Jordan in comparison to other countries. In the table provided, there is a comparison between Jordan, U.S.A and Sweden. As seen in the table, Jordan has a substantially lower crime rate than both the U.S and Sweden. Some crimes maybe under reported, but this is a substantial difference.As a person that has lived in Jordan for many years assert that Jordan has a very low crime rate. The reason behind this is predominantly the people's religious views, also the culture which emphasizes social bonds; therefore the low crime rates.

Number of Crimes Per 100,000 Citizens
Category U.S.A Sweden Jordan
Total Offenses 537.4 12,620.3 897.5
Murder 8.9 9.5 6.9
Rape 39.2 20.6 0.9
Theft (all kinds) 489.1 7410 160.4
Violent Theft 237.71 60.5 1.1
Auto Theft 591.2 616.1 15.7
Drug Offenses No Data 358.48 6.7
Source: International Crime Statistics.

International Criminal Police Association (INTERPOL), Lyon, France, 1994.

[25]

The death penalty is highly supported in Jordan in Murder cases, treason and Espionage. Some people, especially people in the rural areas support honor killings. People in Jordan do not have a lot of faith in the police, there is a popular saying "the countries defenders are the countries thieves".

Family Law[edit]

Based on Sharia Law (Islamic Law)the right age for marriage is when the male and female hit puberty. since everyone reaches puberty at different age Jordan adopted a set age for marriage. The Legal marital age is fifteen for females, and sixteen for males, but must have parental consent. Anyone under the age of 18 must get parental permission for marriage. Polygamy is allowed in Jordan, but there are some restrictions. The man must provide separate houses for each wife. He must treat all the wives equally. No more than four wives and must declare his marital status.Judicial divorce is allowed from either side, man or woman. A woman gets child custody until puberty.[26] Inheritance laws are based on Sharia'a Law, Males get twice as much as the females. (males are the care takers therefore they get more). The male is the head of the household. Women have rights in Jordan just like any other man legally, but things are different in practice. Women have the right to vote. Jordan is the first country in the middle east to allow women in the police force and in the army. [27]

Human Rights and Social Inequality[edit]

Jordan is part of many human rights programs including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. [28] but Jordan does not follow any of them. Freedom of Speech, association and Expression is also limited in Jordan, especially political speech. People can suffer a lot if they make any kind of critic towards the monarchy or public political figures.

In practice Jordan has specific discrimination, Jordanians are treated differently than non-Jordanians. Jordanians get specific treatments, for example, Jordanian high school graduates go to public universities even if they score really bad on their final exams whereas others have to do real well to be able to go to public colleges. This may not be in the Laws but it is done in practice.[29] There are obvious class struggles in Jordan, poor, middle and upper class. There is a huge gap, the middle class is really small. the majority of the country is the lower class who live in really bad poverty. This is very clear from the way of life in Jordan.[30] when it comes to discrimination, there is a great deal of discrimination from the Jordanian descendants towards palestinian descendants, even though they all carry the Jordanian citizenship they are not all treated equally. [31]

Works Cited[edit]

  1. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Factbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  2. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  3. Personal observations
  4. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  5. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  6. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  7. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  8. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  9. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  10. The University of Ottowa. "Muslim Law Systems and mixed systems with a Muslim Law Tradition. Website accessed 12/02/2009.http://www.juriglobe.ca/eng/sys-juri/class-poli/droit-musulman.php
  11. The University of Ottowa. "Muslim Law Systems and mixed systems with a Muslim Law Tradition".Website accessed 12/02/2009.http://www.juriglobe.ca/eng/sys-juri/class-poli/droit-musulman.php
  12. "The Constitution of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan." A Living Tribute to the Legacy of King Hussein I. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/constitution_jo.html>.
  13. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. The World Fatbook, "Country Comparison: Population." Website accessed 09/24/2009, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html
  14. Metz, Helen, ed. Jordan: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress 1989. Jordan-The Government.Website accessed 10/16/2009.http://countrystudies.us/jordan/54.htm
  15. "Jordan - THE GOVERNMENT." Country Studies. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://countrystudies.us/jordan/54.htm>.
  16. "Jordan - THE GOVERNMENT." Country Studies. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://countrystudies.us/jordan/54.htm>.
  17. Jordan - THE GOVERNMENT." Country Studies. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://countrystudies.us/jordan/54.htm
  18. MENA Election Guide - Amman Jordan. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.mena-electionguide.org/>.
  19. "Jordanian Legal System - U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan." Embassy of the United States Amman, Jordan - Home. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://jordan.usembassy.gov/acs_jordanian_legal_system.html>.
  20. "Jordan Criminal Code - Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System." Photius Coutsoukis; Photius; Photios; Fotis Koutsoukis. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.photius.com/countries/jordan/national_security/jordan_national_security_criminal_code.html>
  21. personal observations
  22. "Jordan Criminal Code - Flags, Maps, Economy, History, Climate, Natural Resources, Current Issues, International Agreements, Population, Social Statistics, Political System." Photius Coutsoukis; Photius; Photios; Fotis Koutsoukis. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.photius.com/countries/jordan/national_security/jordan_national_security_criminal_code.html>
  23. "Prisons and prison systems: a global ... -." Google Books. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://books.google.com/books?id=RTH31DgbTzgC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=prison+rates+in+amman&source=bl&ots=1bsdDbUobj&sig=u3Mop5MzPGMdXV9KeCMF>.
  24. "Prisons and prison systems: a global ... -." Google Books. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://books.google.com/books?id=RTH31DgbTzgC&pg=PA149&lpg=PA149&dq=prison+rates+in+amman&source=bl&ots=1bsdDbUobj&sig=u3Mop5MzPGMdXV9KeCMF>.
  25. "Jordan - Government - The Judicial Branch." A Living Tribute to the Legacy of King Hussein I. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/government4.html>.
  26. Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of." Emory Law: More Than Practice: Home. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.law.emory.edu/ifl/legal/jordan.htm>.
  27. Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of." Emory Law: More Than Practice: Home. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://www.law.emory.edu/ifl/legal/jordan.htm>.
  28. "| Middle East - Jordan." Human Rights First. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. <http://web.archive.org/web/20070629145037/http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/middle_east/jordan/hrd_jordan.htm>.
  29. self observations
  30. self observations
  31. self observations