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Court and government services in Jordan

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    Judicial recess in Jordan usually takes place annually during the months of July and August however due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Jordanian Judicial Council (“JJC”) and the Jordanian Bar Association (“JBA”) announced the commencement of this year’s judicial recess from 16 March until 19 April 2020.

    The Council of Ministers then issued a decision on 17 March 2020 announcing a public holiday for both the public and private sectors. Subsequent to the announcement of such holiday, on 30 March 2020, the Prime Minister declared Defence Order No. 5 which confirmed that from 18 March 2020, all legal periods are suspended, including periods relating to proceedings before the public prosecutor, arbitral tribunals and execution departments, except for those periods and due dates applicable to payments due to public authorities and institutions. It is worth noting that the Public Prospector Department has continued working throughout this public holiday.

    In light of the JJC and JBA’s decisions, cases that were scheduled to be heard in mid-March were instead rescheduled to a specific date after 20 April 2020. However, on 12 April 2020 the Council of Ministers announced a further two week extension of the current public holiday. Unless a further extension is announced in the upcoming two weeks, this holiday will end on 30 April 2020.

    In light of the extension to the public holiday, it is unclear whether the JJC will further reschedule court hearings, rely on the general under the Jordanian Civil Procedures Law which states that if the hearing falls on a public holiday it shall be postponed to the corresponding day in the subsequent week. We anticipate that the JJC will issue a decision this week in this regard. We also anticipate that the services of the Notary Public will resume when the courts reopen.

    We would also like to highlight that electronic judicial services remain accessible. To the extent such services are applicable, individuals may opt to use these. These services can be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice and include the following:

    • checking the status of a case
    • checking the status of a request
    • checking the status of transactions at the Notary Public
    • requesting the opinion of an expert
    • filing a civil case
    • executing a court decision
    • following up with court procedures online, without the need to visit such court
    • participating in an “electronic auction system” that was launched to enable users to access all details of current court auctions electronically

    Further, Jordanian courts can now directly transfer any amounts due by a defendant, directly to a claimants account, electronically.

    Various government services are also available online and include requesting a no criminal convictions certificate and checking whether an individual has been duly notified by way of an announcement in a daily newspaper.

    Additionally, it is worth noting that in a limited number of cases relating to major felonies, the criminal courts have conducted hearings using modem technology, in accordance with the Jordanian Criminal Procedures Law. A number of first online court hearings have already been conducted this year.

    Announcements and updates on the operational status of courts in Jordan can be found on the JJC website and the JBA website.

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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