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Lawmakers endorse four laws as extraordinary session begins

Legal Committee has met during recession and prepared recommendations on judicial reform-related legislation

By Jassar Al Tahat - Jul 04,2017 - Last updated at Jul 04,2017

Lawmakers gather for the first meeting in the parliamentary extraordinary session, dedicated to judicial-reform oriented laws, on Tuesday (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — MPs on Tuesday passed four bills related to judicial reform on the agenda of the extraordinary session, which started yesterday, while they referred the land registration fees bill to the House Legal Committee. 

The endorsement came as the majority of deputies voted for the recommendations of the legal committee, which used almost a two-month recess to study the laws to accelerate the process.

The four laws are an amended version of the Grand Criminal Court Law, a draft law governing mediation for the settlement of civil disputes, the amended Law of the Evidence, and a magistrates courts bill. 

The four pieces of legislation are part of a 16-bill package to improve the performance of the judicial system based on recommendations by the Royal Committee for Developing the Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law, set up by His Majesty King Abdullah. 

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh highlighted in his opening remarks the “vital task vested in the Parliament to achieve comprehensive reform, following the lead of His Majesty, which requires us to be persistent as we perform our responsibilities”.

Some legislators have been concerned that there is not enough time to accomplish the mission at hand.

MP Saleh Armouti (Amman, 3rd District) described the extraordinary session in a recent interview with The Jordan Times as a “legislative massacre” due to lack of time to thoroughly debate 16 laws.

However, member of the Legal Committee Deputy Mustafa Yaghi criticised “attempts by some to distract citizens and accuse the Lower House of hasty endorsement of bills”.

“The Legal Committee held meetings during the recess and everyone was welcome to attend the discussions we held,” Yaghi said.

The referral of the land registration fees bill had its share of deliberations Tuesday.

Deputy Abdul Munim Oudat (Irbid, 1st District) backed the amendments to the law, arguing during the debate that it prevents discrepancies in real estate price appraisal, yet he questionedif the proposed changes can be implemented on the ground.

Minister of Finance Omar Malhas replied that the government has the capacity to implement the amended law, this way anyone who wants to buy or sell land can learn how much fees he/she will pay through his mobile phone or computer.

 

Tarawneh adjourned the session till Sunday morning. 

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