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Government must reconsider Constitutional Court to cut expenses

Oct 07,2018 - Last updated at Oct 07,2018

Now that the judges sitting on the Constitutional Court have all, with exception of one, reached the end of their term, the government has a golden opportunity to think anew about this court and whether it is really necessary in view of the fact that the Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s national agenda includes cutting down on bureaucracies and their added expenses.

Jordan took the decision to create this high court in deference to the international consensus that nations need a very judicial authority to pronounce itself on constitutional issues, which are the backbone of the rule of law in any given country.

True many nations have created a special constitutional court for this purpose, but some have simply assigned this judicial task to any existing high court in order to avoid duplication or overlapping, and in any cases save on additional expenses.

What I suggest, having served on international human rights quasi-judicial organs for well more than thirty years, is adding or assigning the Constitutional Court’s function to either the Court of Cassation or the High Court of Justice. The high court can create a special chamber for constitutional disputes for this purpose and thus save the country literally millions of dinars.

No country, including the UN, would criticise Jordan for taking such a step since all that is required internationally is a high tribunal to adjudicate constitutional disputes. Any such existing court can be beefed up with a few additional judges sitting in a special chamber to pass judgments on constitutional mattes.

It would be recommendable, but not absolutely necessary, to have additional judges who are well versed in international law, especially international human rights laws since there are still conflicts between them and national legislations.

Besides, there are not too many constitutional issues facing the country, which makes the creation of an additional court for constitutional adjudications not cost effective. The government must at least reconsider this issue in the light of the efforts to cut down on bureaucracies and public expenses.

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