The sixth Royal discussion paper on the concept of the State of Law goes beyond theoretical or philosophical outlining of His Majesty’s views on the Jordanian state, its concepts, attributes, as well as His aspirations for it, to application and public policy for the next phase.
There is a workshop undergoing in the halls of decision as to how can the King’s propositions on the State of Law be realised in policies and decisions that communicate clear, definitive messages to society, that there is both intention and persistence at the top of the official Jordanian institution to enforce the Rule of Law upon all; from water to schools, to University admissions, with the tribal Makrama now assigned to undergo automated processing at the Ministry of Higher Education, as well as electricity, and even traffic tickets, which is also scheduled to install a new system that informs violators, particularly those who throw out garbage.
On the upper levels of the state, it is evident to those following up on the State’s conducts over the last two years, that a decision in regards to higher policy has been made to enforce the Rule of Law, after the decision makers felt there being a growing deterioration in the concepts, reflective in insurgency, and the spread of dangerous phenomena in society. The widely deliberated term at the time was “Status”, and is now being replaced by the State of Law, in order to outline the precise conveyance to the public.
The process to reinforce the Rule of Law began with the General Examinations, and extended to include putting an end to water theft, confronting outlaws, known convicts, and criminal hot pockets, which was a phenom only beginning to crystallise at the time, all through to addressing the spread of auto theft. One step at a time, the State began regaining control, in a rather noticeable way, going down the right path to restoring the citizenry’s trust in the Law and the system.
In this discourse, it is necessary that the State of Law be viewed in a more general light, sought on a grander scale, and on several levels; short and long term, including all the subsequent media messages and decisions that need to be made to disseminate and deepen a certain culture, reflective in the practices and demeanours of State institutions and authorities, as well as in curriculums of universities and schools; especially in regards to aspects of our daily lives and the relationship between individuals, security forces, and the State itself.
The rooting of the concepts of the State of Law in public perception is attained; first, outlining a scheduled programme to administrate the generalisation of governance, transparency and accountability, all throughout the structures of State, decision making processes, and all other aspects of official policy and procedures, ranging from employment, assignment, allowing access to information, and the reinforcement of the criteria of integrity and countering administrative and political corruption. The importance of this political message is comprised in countering the recently reinforced public conviction among a vast span of Jordanians, and distrust in the State institution and its integrity.
Recently, petty corruption has been spreading, and there is an undisclosed official agreement on that. This is a terribly frightening phenomenon, and it has to be stopped before it transforms from violation to given right; before it becomes a recognised accepted aspect of the public servant’s work. Notably as well, violators must be publically prosecuted.
Second, the erection of an effective tax programme to counter evasion; which is a major issue today. Punishment has to be strickened, and policies need to be more concise, and precise. Citizens need to be informed of Taxation Laws, and the institution itself needs to be developed, as well as its own mechanisms.
Favouritism and Wasta, as well, requires yet another major op; a civil, official, media coup against it, directed at the construction of a different culture.
The Rule of Law is the pillar of the Civil State, and the cornerstone of a stable democratic system, entailing thorough social stability and security.