By Alfons Lentze and Karin Rölke
The EC-funded Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Jordan program supported by GIZ and implemented by GFA as lead company since 2015 was completed during a closing ceremony on 26 Sept, 2018. The program, implemented since 2013, was an accompanying measure of a budget support program that helped achieve more than 98 percent of its key performance indicators.(Photo: Team Leader Alfons Lentze)
Jordanian Minister of Justice, Dr. Awad Abu Jarad Al Mashaqba, expressed his gratitude to the European Union, and EU Ambassador Andrea Mateo Fontana appreciated the efforts of all officials in the justice sector and other national and international partners, who worked towards an improved rule of law in Jordan. The EU Ambassador also announced a new Budget Support Program of 50 million Euro which to be implemented from 2018 to 2021.
The completed program supported the improvement of cooperation and coordination among justice sector partners through formalized and automated exchange of information and data collection (MIZAN). It also worked on reform through legislative developments such as a more independent functioning of the Judicial Council in relation with the executive branch, and legislative reforms that are beneficial for a better position of women in society. Steps were undertaken towards community or alternative sanctions that aim at reducing the number of detained persons and avoiding negative impacts of imprisonment. In addition, the reduction of pretrial detention was addressed trying to avoid unnecessary confinement before trial.
An improved mechanism was put in place that takes legal aid into consideration, but certain challenges remain. Jordanian society is more open now for legal aid systems and policies. A set of capacity building programs for officials at different levels safeguards their participation in policy development and policy implementation. Training in general receives more attention than before, which is seen as an incentive for justice sector staff and officials. The training of judges and prosecutors was modernized not only through e-learning or distance learning platforms but also through specialized trainings. This ensures a better functioning of the court system and a more timely processing of cases at a high level of legal scrutiny. (Photo: Minister of Justice, Dr. Awad Abu Jarad Al Mashaqba, Team Leader Alfons Lentze und EU Ambassador Andrea Mateo Fontana)
As the justice sector cannot thrive without the involvement of civil society and non-government organizations, and the media, better information on the services of the justice sector to the people in Jordan is an essential part of the overall reform. To this end, the program held various workshops and conferences involving all partners.