CHAPTER TWO

State Governed by Law and Political Pluralism

 
First: The State of Law and Political Pluralism
1. The State of Law is a democratic state committed to the principle of the supremacy of the law and derives its legitimacy, authority and effectiveness from the free will of the people, and all authorities within it are committed to providing legal, judicial and administrative guarantees to protect the rights, integrity and basic freedoms of the individual, which rules were laid down by Islam and confirmed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other international covenants and treaties promulgated by the United Nations in this regard.
2. The Jordanian State is a State of Law in the modern sense of a democratic state. It is a state for all citizens regardless of any differences of opinion or any pluralism of approach. It derives its strength from an actual and declared application of the principles of equality, justice and equal opportunities and from the provision of practical means enabling the Jordanian people to participate in the decisions affecting their lives and their affairs in such a manner as to achieve peace of mind, security, faith in the future, genuine concern for the institutions of the state and pride in belonging therein.
 
Second: Basic Pillars of a State of Law
1. Adherence to the letter and spirit of the Constitution by the legislative, executive and judiciary authorities in all their actions, within a framework of priority of the right.
2. Adherence to the principle of the supremacy of the law, within a framework of comprehensive review by an independent judiciary.
3. Adherence, in the exercise of democracy, to the principles and requisites of social justice.
4. Ensuring that laws in general, and laws pertaining to political parties, elections and publications in particular, are dedicated to safeguarding the citizens’ basic rights and public freedoms.
5. Adoption of the democratic dialogue as the basis of expressing the views, free from any form of coercion or intellectual terrorism, at all official and public levels.
6. Adherence by all government institutions, in the exercise of their duties and services to the public and entities to the principle of complete equality. Said institutions, whether civil or military, should not be exploited by any group, party or faction for political or party purposes, without prejudice to the rights of citizens to organise themselves politically, provided that all of the above is considered as a basic condition for the success of the democratic system.
In order to strengthen the above pillars and to bolster the democratic structure of the Jordanian state and society, it is imperative to work on ensuring the following:
1. Establishing, through a special law, an autonomous body to be called the Complaints Bureau to exercise administrative inspection and review the performance of the administration and the actions of individuals therein. The Bureau shall report to Parliament and the Council of Ministers in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Constitution, laws and decrees without prejudice to the independence or jurisdiction of the judiciary.
2. Establishing, through a special law, an autonomous body to update and develop legislation based on studies and research conducted for that purpose. This body shall report to Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
3. Establishing a Constitutional Court with the following jurisdiction:
  1. Interpreting the provisions of the Jordanian Constitution in matters referred to it by the Council of Ministers.
  2. Deciding on matters referred to it by the courts with regard to constitutional issues arising from cases entertained before these courts.
  3. Deciding on disputes and challenges pertaining to the constitutionality of laws and decrees which are brought before it by interested parties.
In all of the aforementioned instances, the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court shall be limited to deciding on the constitutional aspect. Decisions by the Court shall be final and binding on all state bodies and individuals.
4. Amalgamating legislation pertaining to state of emergency and state of extreme emergency sanctioned by the Constitution into one law, which would make decisions by the Council of Ministers declaring either state of emergency or specifying its duration subject to approval by Parliament, and would in all cases place all administrative decisions taken by virtue of this legislation subject to review by the High Court of Justice.
5. Restoring to Parliament the legislative powers of the Council of Ministers stipulated in Articles 114 and 120 of the Constitution, in connection with decrees of public works, public purchases and civil service.
6. Subjecting the budgets of public corporations to parliamentary approval. The budget of mixed companies where public equity amounts to fifty percent or more shall be subject to subsequent parliamentary review.
7. Taking steps to introduce constitutional amendments deemed necessary to meet development needs and to repeal provisions in the Constitution which have lost their raison d’Ítre.
 

Third: Guarantees of the Democratic Approach

The most important guarantees of the democratic approach and achievement of political pluralism are the adherence to the following principles:

1 Respecting the fundamentals of democratic action by organised political groups and parties in their general conduct since it constitutes a guarantee to justice and stability.
2 Strengthening the traits of tolerance and objectivity, respect for the beliefs of others and groups in the exercise of political and party affairs, avoiding narrow personal conflicts and the slander of individuals and entities.
3 Guaranteeing the basic freedoms of all citizens in such a manner as to protect the structure of a democratic society, preserve the rights of individuals and ensure full freedom of expression and its declaration with complete liberty within the limits of the Constitution.
4 Attaining equality, justice and equal opportunities for all citizens, male and female, without discrimination.
5 Preserving the civilian and democratic character of the state, and regarding any attempt to abolish or undermine this character as invalid as it would constitute a violation of the Constitution and the pluralist principle and its perception.
 
Fourth: Principles and Limitations Governing the Establishment of Parties
1. Jordanians enjoy the right to establish and belong to political parties and groupings, provided that their objectives are legitimate, their methods are peaceful and their statutes do not violate the provisions of the Constitution. Laws regulating the operation of parties should not include any provisions which overtly or implicitly call for abrogating the constitutional right to establish political parties.
2. Political and party work in Jordan is based on the principle of pluralism of thought, opinion and organisation and on securing the requisites of democratic competition and its legitimate means.
3. A party must announce and declare its statutes and internal regulations which specify its aims, financial resources and political, economic, social and cultural platforms.
4. The judiciary is solely empowered to decide on any infringement pertaining to the application of the Parties Law.
5. Political parties shall, in their internal workings as well as in their programmes, approaches, actions and public and party activities, adhere to the following principles:
  1. Parties must employ democratic methods in their internal workings, choice of leadership and in the exercise of their activities within a framework of democratic dialogue and free competition among the political parties. The same shall apply to relations and dealings by any party with other political parties and groupings as well as with popular and constitutional institutions in a spirit of mutual respect for opposing views.
  2. There shall be no structural or financial affiliation by the leadership or members of any party with any non-Jordanian. Also, no activities by any party or grouping shall be conducted upon instructions or directions from any foreign state or body. Taking into consideration what is stated in this paragraph and all principles and limitations governing the organisation of parties, any provisions in the statute, internal regulations or programmes of any licensed Jordanian party serving Palestine, Arab unity or Islamic solidarity shall be regarded as a national Jordanian undertaking.
  3. Any party in government or participating therein shall adhere to the principles of equality and equal opportunities for all citizens and must regard ability and qualifications as basic criteria for any appointment to public office.
  4. In the matter of financial revenues, all parties shall rely on local, recognised, declared and specified Jordanian resources. These shall be subject to financial audit and legal review in the manner prescribed by law.
  5. In matters of organisation, activities and orientation, all parties shall refrain from organising or recruiting for party purposes within the ranks of the Jordanian Armed Forces and security departments or establishing military or paramilitary (militia) groups of any description whatsoever.
  6. All parties, whatever their form of organisation, shall maintain premises with known and declared addresses. Parties shall not use state, public, charitable or religious institutions or bodies for the benefit of any party or grouping. Nor shall they involve any such institutions in any political or factional conflicts.