The following is a basic outline of Jordan’s legal and judiciary system but should not, by any means, be regarded as a complete or authoritative explanation. The Embassy strongly recommends that persons with legal questions or difficulties consult a Jordanian attorney. (The Embassy has compiled a list of some attorneys in Jordan whom you may wish to contact).


The Jordanian constitution establishes the judiciary as one of three separate and independent branches of government. Jordan’s present legal system is based on the Constitution, the Court Establishment Law of 1951, a civil and criminal code plus Islamic and ecclesiastical laws in certain cases. Its legal system has been influenced by many sources. The system developed from codes of law instituted by the Ottoman Empire (based on French law). These were supplemented by British laws during the mandate period. Islamic law has also been influential, modifying in many ways the European models.

Two points need to be kept in mind by American citizens. First, the American and Jordanian legal systems, while similar in some respects, are not identical. This is not to suggest the system here is unjust, but rather that the two systems are based on differing societies and traditions. Second, American laws and judicial orders have no legal basis in Jordan (though a Jordanian court might decide to consider them). The same holds true with regard to the effect of Jordanian laws and decisions in the United States.

Source: US embassy Amman

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