Following is an official translation of His Majesty King Abdullah’s letter to the president and members of the Constitutional Court on Saturday:
In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Your Excellency Taher Hikmat, president of the Constitutional Court,
Members of the Court,
Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.
It is a pleasure to address you on this day of achievement, filled with pride in you, in our beloved country and in the progress we have made in the process of development, modernisation and reform. This process witnessed today an unprecedented national accomplishment as we establish the Constitutional Court, which we trust you to preside over, fully aware of the high sense of responsibility you have shown in carrying out your duties in various posts, along with your distinguished performance and loyalty to your country and people.
We are aware that the principle of monitoring the constitutionality of legislation has never been a missing element in our political life and our deep-rooted national institutions, thanks to the honourable Higher Council for the Interpretation of the Constitution, which handled this noble mission with distinction and competence over the past decades. However, the reformist approach we have committed ourselves to, in words and in deeds, and built on since we assumed our responsibilities, an approach that has been enhanced by the reform-oriented constitutional amendments, requires that we vest the task of monitoring the constitutionality of legislation and by-laws in a specialised court. Such a court is expected to carry out this mission at a time when its responsibilities are growing together with the requirements of the coming political phase and the reform process that we support as part of a home-grown endeavour to build a better future for our dear country, God willing.
As you assume the presidency of the Constitutional Court, whose members include the best Jordanian expertise, I am certain that this court will emerge as a significant guarantee and major reference when it comes to cementing respect for the Constitution and separation of power and balance between the branches of government. Having said that, this court will safeguard citizens’ rights and basic freedoms on the one hand, and enhance their confidence in the state, on the other.
The inauguration of this court, under your leadership and that of your colleagues, the guardians of justice, is a major step and milestone in the process of reform and democratic renewal we envisage. This process will see in one of its key junctions the election of a new Lower House by the new year. A parliamentary government will emerge from this Parliament, reflecting the people’s will as expressed in free and fair elections, overseen by the Independent Election Commission, whose establishment was the result of another reform-oriented constitutional amendment that we take pride in.
As we approach this result, we rely on the Constitutional Court to serve as a major point of reference for the coming phase. That is because it is a guarantee of further balance and separation between the branches of government and a monitor of the respect of the law and legitimacy through tuning laws and by-laws in effect with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. This will induce qualitative change, leading to improved performance by all branches of government.
Members of the Court,
As your court enters the arena of national responsibility, we boast a constitutional achievement that makes us proud; that is, unifying constitutional jurisprudence in one channel, as the Constitutional Court emerges as the only reference for the interpretation of constitutional provisions. Its rulings will be the beacon that leads the way for all state authorities, and all should respect these rulings and abide by them.
In this context, we should highlight a set of legal, judicial and moral principles that should always guide this court. The Constitutional Court should be a symbol of neutrality, independence and transparency. Its rulings should be issued without any influence from any party whatsoever and this court, and its honourable judges, will have the necessary support through a set of guarantees.
We are certain that the establishment of this court will provide citizens, through various channels, with a new constitutional tool that further protects rights and freedoms. Its performance and opinions will be based on national heritage and a wealth of accumulated judicial expertise and enlightened legal and constitutional jurisprudence, along with the values of justice and human heritage as we open up to the experiences of other nations, in line with the spirit of the age and requirements of modernisation.
Your Excellency President of the Constitutional Court,
Members of the Court,
As we take this historic step that will strengthen Jordan as a state of law and safe haven for freedoms, we wish you and your colleagues success and the ability to produce sound rulings. You will have all our support, guided by the Holy Koran’s verse: “I only desire your betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look.”
Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein
Dhul Qadah 20, 1433 Hijri
October 6, 2012 AD