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Constitution of Jordan – 4: The Executive Power

CHAPTER FOUR

THE EXECUTIVE POWER

Part I

The King and his Prerogatives

Article 28

The Throne of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is hereditary to the dynasty of King Abdullah Ibn Al-Hussein in a direct line through his male heirs as provided hereinafter:

(a) * The Royal title shall pass from the holder of the Throne to his eldest son, and to the eldest son of that son and in linear succession by a similar process thereafter. Should the eldest son die before the Throne devolves upon him, his eldest son shall inherit the Throne, despite the existence of brothers to the deceased son. The King may, however, select one of his brothers as heir apparent. In this event, title to the Throne shall pass to him from the holder of the Throne.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1831 of 1/4/1965

 

(b) Should the person entitled to the Throne die without a male heir, the Throne shall pass to his eldest brother. In the event that the holder of the Throne has no brothers, the Throne shall pass to the eldest son of his eldest brother. Should his eldest brother have no son, the Throne shall pass to the eldest son of his other brothers according to their seniority in age.

 

(c) In the absence of any brothers or nephews, the Throne shall pass to the uncles and their descendants, according to the order prescribed in paragraph (b) above.

 

(d) Should the last King die without any heir in the manner prescribed above, the Throne shall devolve upon the person whom the National Assembly shall select from amongst the descendants of the founder of the Arab Revolt, the late King Hussein Ibn Ali.

 

(e) No person shall ascend the Throne unless he is a Moslem, mentally sound and born by a legitimate wife and of Moslem parents.

 

(f) No person shall ascend the Throne who has been excluded from succession by a Royal Decree on the ground of unsuitability. Such exclusion shall not of itself include the descendants of such person. The Royal Decree of exclusion shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and by four Ministers, at least two of whom shall be the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice.

 

(g) The King attains his majority upon the completion of his eighteenth year according to the lunar calendar. If the Throne devolves upon a person who is below this age, the powers of the King shall be exercised by a Regent or Council of Regency, who shall have been appointed by a Royal Decree by the reigning King. If the King dies without making such nomination, the Council of Ministers shall appoint the Regent or Council of Regency.

 

(h) Should the King become unable to exercise his powers on account of illness, his powers shall be exercised by a Representative or Council of Representatives. The Representative or Council of Representatives shall be appointed by Royal Decree. Should the King be unable to make such appointment, such shall be made by the Council of Ministers.

 

(i) Should the King wish to leave the country, he shall, before his departure and by a Royal Decree, appoint a Representative or a Council of Representatives to exercise his powers during his absence. The Representative or Council of Representatives shall observe any conditions which may be prescribed in the Royal Decree. If the absence of the King is extended to more than four months and the National Assembly is not in session, the Assembly shall be summoned immediately to consider the matter.

 

(j) Before the Regent or Representative or any member of the Council of Regency or of the Council of Representatives assumes his office he shall take an oath, as prescribed in Article 29 hereof, before the Council of Ministers.

 

(k)In the event of the death of the Regent or Representative or member of the Council of Regency or of the Council of Representatives, or should he become incapable of performing his duties, the Council of Ministers shall appoint a suitable person to replace him.

 

(l) A Regent or Representative or member of the Council of Regency or of the Council of Representatives shall not be less than thirty years according to the lunar calendar. However, any male relative of the King who has completed his eighteenth year of age according to the lunar calendar may be appointed to any such office.

 

(m) In the event of the King being incapacitated by any mental illness, the Council of Ministers, on confirmation of his illness, shall immediately convene the National Assembly. Should the illness be definitely confirmed, the National Assembly shall by resolution depose the King, whereupon title to the Throne shall devolve upon the person entitled thereto after him according to the provisions of this Constitution. If the Chamber of Representative stands dissolved at the time or if its term had expired and no new Chamber had been elected, the former Chamber of Representatives shall be convened for the purpose.

Article 29

The King shall upon his succession to the Throne take an oath before the National Assembly, which shall be convened under the chairmanship of the Speaker of the Senate, to respect and observe the Constitution and be loyal to the Nation.

Article 30

The King is the Head of the State and is immune from any liability and responsibility.

Article 31

The King ratifies the laws and promulgates them. He shall direct the enactment of such regulations as may be necessary for their implementation, provided that such regulations are not inconsistent with the provisions thereof.

Article 32

The King is the Supreme Commander of the Land, Naval and Air Forces.

Article 33

(i) ** The King declares war, concludes peace and ratifies treaties and agreements.

 

(ii) Treaties and agreements which involve financial commitments to the Treasury or affect the public or private rights of Jordanians shall not be valid unless approved by the National Assembly. In no circumstances shall any secret terms contained in any treaty or agreement be contrary to their overt terms.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1380 dated 4/5/1958.

 

** As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1396 dated 1/9/1958.

Article 34

 

(i) The King issues orders for the holding of elections to the Chamber of Deputies in accordance with the provisions of the law.

 

(ii) The King convenes the National Assembly, inaugurates, adjourns, and prorogues it in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

 

(iii) The King may dissolve the Chamber of Deputies.

 

(iv) * The King may dissolve the Senate or relieve any Senator of his membership.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 2523 dated 10/11/1974.

Article 35

The King appoints the Prime Minister and may dismiss him or accept his resignation. He appoints the Ministers; he also dismisses them or accepts their resignation, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Article 36

The King appoints members of the Senate and appoints the Speaker from amongst them and accepts their resignation.

Article 37

(i) The King creates, confers and withdraws civil and military ranks, medals and honorific titles. He may delegate this authority to any other person by special law.

 

(ii) Currency shall be minted in the name of the King in pursuance of the law.

Article 38

The King has the right to grant a special pardon or remit any sentence, but any general pardon shall be determined by special law.

Article 39

No death sentence shall be executed except after confirmation by the King. Every such sentence shall be placed before the King by the Council of Ministers accompanied by their opinion thereon.

Article 40

The King shall exercise the powers vested in him by Royal Decree. Every such Decree shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and the Minister or Ministers concerned. The King expresses his concurrence by placing his signature above the said signatures.

Part II

Ministers

Article 41

The Council of Ministers shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be the President, and of such number of Ministers as may be needed and as public interest may require.

 

Article 42

No person shall be appointed a Minister unless he is a Jordanian.

 

Article 43

The Prime Minister and Ministers shall, before assuming their duties, take the following oath before the King:

 

I swear by Almighty God to be loyal to the King, uphold the Constitution, serve the Nation and conscientiously perform the duties entrusted to me.”

 

Article 44

No Minister may purchase or lease any Government property even if the sale or lease thereof has been offered in public auction. He shall not, while holding his Ministerial office, become a member of the board of directors of any company or take part in any commercial or financial transaction or receive a salary from any company.

 

Article 45

(i) * The Council of Ministers shall be entrusted with the responsibility of administering all affairs of the State, internal and external, with the exception of such matters as are or may be entrusted by the present Constitution (**) or by any other legislation to any other person or body.

 

(ii) The duties of the Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Council of Ministers shall be defined by regulations made by the Council of Ministers and ratified by the King.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1380 of 4/5/1958.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1396 of 1/9/1958.

 

Article 46

Any Minister may be entrusted with the responsibility of one or more Ministries, as may be stated in the Decree of appointment.

 

Article 47

(i) Every Minister shall be responsible for the conduct of all matters pertaining to his Ministry. He shall refer to the Prime Minister any matter not falling within his competence.

 

(ii) The Prime Minister shall dispose of all matters within his powers and competence and shall refer other matters to the Council of Ministers for such decision as may be necessary.

 

Article 48

The Prime Minister and Ministers shall sign the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers, which shall be submitted to the King for ratification in all cases required under the present Constitution or any law or regulations enacted thereunder. Such decisions shall be implemented by the Prime Minister and Ministers, each within the limits of his competence.

 

Article 49

Verbal or written orders of the King shall not release the Ministers from their responsibilities

 

Article 50

In the event of the resignation or dismissal of the Prime Minister from his office, all Ministers shall be considered as having automatically resigned or been dismissed from their offices.

 

Article 51

The Prime Minister and Ministers shall be collectively responsible before the Chamber of Deputies in respect of the public policy of the State. In addition, each Minister shall be responsible before the Chamber of Deputies in respect of the affairs of his Ministry.

 

Article 52

The Prime Minister, or the Minister who is a member of either the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate, shall be entitled to vote in the House to which he belongs and to speak in both Houses. However, Ministers who are not members of either House may speak in both Houses without the right to vote.

 

Article 53

(i) * A motion of no confidence in the Council of Ministers or in any Minister may be raised by the Chamber of Deputies.

 

(ii) If the Chamber of Deputies casts a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers by an absolute majority of all its members, the Council of Ministers shall resign.

 

(iii) If the vote of no confidence concerns an individual Minister, he shall resign his office.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1179 17/4/1954.

 

Article 54

(i) A session to consider a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers or in any individual Minister shall be held either at the request of the Prime Minister or at a request signed by not less than ten Deputies.

 

(ii) * A vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers or in any individual Minister may be postponed only for one period, which shall not exceed ten days, either upon the request of the Minister concerned or of the Council of Ministers. The Chamber shall not be dissolved during this period.

 

(iii) ** Every newly formed Council of Ministers shall within one month of its formation, in cases where the Chamber of Deputies is in session, place before the Chamber of Deputies a statement of its policy and request a vote confidence on the basis of the said statement. If the Chamber of Deputies is not in session at the time, or stands dissolved, the Speech from the Throne shall be considered to be a statement of its policy for the purposes of this Article.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1179 of 17/4/1954 and No. 1380 of 4/5/1958.

 

** As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1380 of 4/5/1958.

 

Article 55

Ministers shall be tried by a High Tribunal for offences which may be attributed to them in the course of the performance of their duties.

 

Article 56

The Chamber of Deputies is entitled to impeach Ministers, but a bill of impeachment shall not be passed except by a majority of two-thirds of the members of the Chamber. The Chamber of Deputies shall appoint, from among its members, deputies who shall present the impeachment to, and proceed before, the High Tribunal.

 

Article 57

The High Tribunal shall consist of the Speaker of the Senate as President and eight members, three of whom shall be selected by ballot by the Senate from amongst its members and five members to be selected from amongst the judges of the highest Civil Court in order of seniority. In case of necessity, the number shall be completed from the presidents of the lower courts, also in order of seniority.

 

Article 58

The High Tribunal shall apply the provisions of the Penal Code in force in respect of offences specified therein. A special law shall specify the offences for which Ministers shall be responsible in cases where such offences are not covered by the Penal Code.

 

Article 59

* Judgements shall be given by the High Tribunal by a majority of six votes.

 

* As amended in the Official Gazette No. 1380 of 4/5/1958.

 

Article 60

The High Tribunal shall make its own Rules of Procedure for the trial of Ministers, pending the enactment of a special law for this purpose.

 

Article 61

A Minister who is impeached by the Chamber of Deputies shall be suspended from office until his case is determined by the High Tribunal. His resignation shall not prevent the institution of criminal proceedings against him, or the continuance of his trial.

Next: Chapter 5 – The Legislative Power

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