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Further reforms urged to serve cause of justice

King receives 2017 report as he visits Judicial Council

By JT - May 17,2018 - Last updated at May 17,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with the president and members of the Judicial Council in Amman on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday paid a visit to the Court of Cassation and the Judicial Council, where he was presented the 2017 annual report on the judiciary action from the council’s president, Mohammad Ghazo.

The report outlined the major achievements of the judicial branch and the challenges it faces, according to a Royal Court statement. 

King Abdullah, during a meeting with Ghazo and council members, expressed his pride in the council, praising its efforts towards developing judicial work and achievements it made in this pursuit.

He highlighted the importance of providing judges and court staff with all the necessary resources that enable them to perform their duties.

The King stressed that the council has great responsibilities, especially since the judiciary is a key player in efforts to realise justice and enhance citizens’ confidence in their country.

He also highlighted the significance of cooperation among all stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the Royal Committee for Developing the Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law, further empower the judicial inspection department to carry out its mandate and train judges to improve their performance.

His Majesty called for speeding up litigation without compromising the quality of the process and its outcomes, underlining the importance of having in place specialised courtrooms that would build expertise and ensure the consistency of the rulings, citing the courtroom specialised in economic cases as vital to enhancing the investment environment.  

Ghazo gave a presentation on the council’s strategy to improve performance and build on the judiciary’s achievements, while revisiting legal procedures and identifying measures that should be taken to overcome challenges. 

He said that a circular was issued to all judges urging them to apply legal provisions that guarantee speeding up the process of solving disputes, noting that courts in the last four months of 2017 have managed to lower the number of pending cases by 23 per cent, from 145,000 cases to 113,000.

As for the achievements regarding the recommendations of the Royal committee on judiciary, he said that 43 projects and procedures recommended by the panel have been completed, including legislative amendments and administrative and institutional measures related to developing a modern judicial environment. 

These procedures included establishing a general assembly at the council and restructuring the highest judicial body to guarantee sound representation and immunity for the council members, while activating the judicial inspection process, Ghazo added. 

The president noted that the council has, meanwhile, completed 11 projects related to its mandate, which mainly aims at guaranteeing fair trials in the initial stages of legal action, adding that seven laws were amended as recommended by the Royal committee. 

President of the Public Prosecution Department Mohammad Shraideh gave a briefing on his agency, which included reducing the number of pending cases from 7,500 at the beginning of the year to 2,026 at present. 

President of the Amman Court of First Instance Saad Lozi said that the court is considered among the biggest courts in terms of the number and nature of cases and the number of serving judges there, noting that the court looks into some 25 per cent of the entire cases filed in the kingdom’s courts.

President of the Irbid Court of First Instance Nawal Johari spoke about women’s presence in the judicial apparatus, noting that the appointment of the first female judge was in 1996, and it stands at 215 currently.

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