At the request of the ICHR, Supreme Constitutional Court rules that governor-ordered detention is unconstitutional
At the request of the ICHR,
Supreme Constitutional Court rules that governor-ordered detention is unconstitutional
Ramallah – Today, 2 February 2023, the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled that the provisions of Articles 5 and 8 of the Jordanian Crime Prevention Law No. 7 of 1954 were unconstitutional. The SCC also held that Articles 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the same Law were null. These articles vest (administrative) governors with the power to carry out so-called administrative detentions or detentions on orders of governors. The said provisions are in breach of the Amended Basic Law, particularly Articles 10, 11, 14, and 15 which safeguard liberty of person, right to free trial, principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and principle of legality in criminal proceedings. According to the SCC judgement, governor-ordered detentions involve an unconstitutional action and impinge on human rights. It follows that this procedure should no longer be effective.
Through its lawyer, Advocate Ahmed Nassrah, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) brought a case before the SCC, requesting a ruling on the unconstitutionality of the provisions of the Jordanian Crime Prevention Law, which permit administrative detentions. The Ramallah Court of First Instance had allowed a time limit for the SCC to review the Law, which is invoked to carry out administrative detentions (arrest without charge or trial). The ICHR instituted proceedings before the Ramallah Court of First Instance to claim compensation for a citizen, who had been a victim of prolonged detention on the order of a governor.
Dr. Ammar Dwaik, ICHR Director General, commended the SCC decision, which would put an end to one form of violation of liberty of person and encroachment on judicial powers. The decision is ultimately in consistence with the obligations of the State of Palestine under international human rights conventions. According to Dwaik, this case is placed in the context of strategic litigation, which the ICHR applies as a tool to seek redress for citizens and change public policies that infringe on human rights. In addition to respecting the Judicial Authority and mandate of law enforcement agencies, Dwaik demanded that all persons held on orders of governors be released form all places of detention.
22 February 2023