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General Description
On November 27, 2005, Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit announced the formation of a 23-member Cabinet, including nine ministers who served in the former Cabinet of Adnan Badran, four public figures who previously held ministerial posts and 10 newcomers representing public and private sector as well as the civil service.
Constitutional Framework
The Constitution of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
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.
Power Limitation
Article 124 In the event of an emergency necessitating the defence of the Kingdom, a law, which shall be known as the Defence Law, shall be enacted giving power to the person specified therein to take such actions and measures as may be necessary, including the suspension of the operation of the ordinary laws of the State, with a view to ensuring the defence of the Kingdom. The Defence Law shall come into force upon its proclamation by a Royal Decree to be issued on the basis of a decision of the Council of Ministers.
Article 125 (i) In the event of an emergency of such a serious nature that action under the preceding Article of the present Constitution will be considered insufficient for the defence of the Kingdom, the King may by a Royal Decree, based on a decision of the Council of Ministers, declare martial law in the whole or any part of the Kingdom.
(ii) When martial law is declared, the King may by a decree issue such orders as may be necessary for the defence of the Kingdom, notwithstanding the provisions of any law in force. Persons charged with the implementation of such orders shall continue to be subject to legal liability for all acts committed by them under the provisions of any such laws until they are relieved of such responsibility by a special law to enacted for the purpose.
(last updated: 23-April-2006)
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