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Parliament extraordinary session prorogued

By JT - Aug 13,2017 - Last updated at Aug 13,2017

AMMAN — A Royal Decree was issued on Saturday, proroguing the extraordinary session of the Parliament as of Sunday, August 13.

The Parliament convened for an extraordinary session meeting on July 4 to discuss laws aimed to reform the judicial system. 

The pieces of legislation in question were 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 in October last year. 

The key law on the Parliament's agenda was the Penal Code, including the controversial Article 308, which was removed after a heated debate.

The article stipulated that if a valid marriage contract was held between the rapist and his victim and the marriage lasted for three years at least, the charges would be dropped and if a verdict had already been issued, the punishment would be suspended.

The new version of the Penal Code, as endorsed by the two Chambers of Parliament, has also seen the introduction of community service and allowing the use of electronic tracking bracelets for first-time offenders.

During the extraordinary session, lawmakers approved the amended Corporate Law, which “encourages entrepreneurship and small businesses”.

The amended law allows the establishment of new venture capital companies in the Kingdom, to be regulated by a by-law to be issued to organise capital, business, management and profit distribution.

MPs also approved the amended State Cases Law, which identifies the functions and responsibilities of the civil attorney general and of his assistants, who will be working independently as part of “a specialised administration” established by the Ministry of Justice, under the name “Administration of State Cases”.

As the extraordinary session started, deputies okayed in their first meeting four laws that incuded 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. 

Under the Constitution, lawmakers can only debate bills that are listed in the Royal Decree during extraordinary sessions.

The bills for the extraordinary session, as listed in the Royal Decree, mainly focussed on judicial reform.

 

Under Article 78 of the Constitution, the King summons Parliament to an ordinary session on the first day of October, but the Monarch, by Royal Decree, has the authority to postpone the start “for a period not exceeding two months”.

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