Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jordan--Law on Societies Amended

Amendments to Jordan’s Law on Societies (No. 51 of 2008) came into effect after Jordan’s King Abdullah II signed the Law Amending the Law on Societies (No. 22 of 2009) and the amendments were published in Official Gazette No. 4983. According to a report by ICNL, although the amendments streamline and liberalize the 2008 Law on Societies, they have nevertheless been criticized by domestic and international NGOs for not going far enough.  Interestingly, the final bill approved by the parliament was more restrictive than the draft legislation put forward by the Jordanian government. The lower house of parliament or Chamber of Deputies made several changes to the government’s draft before approving the amendments on July 12, 2009. Among other changes, the lower house rejected the government’s proposed liberalization of the foreign funding regime. Under Article 9(c) of the 2008 Law on Societies, Jordanian associations must apply for approval from the full Council of Ministers (cabinet) before accepting funding from abroad. The government had proposed that this process be simplified to require only the approval of the Minister of Social Development, but this proposal was rejected in a 76 to 42 vote in the Chamber of Deputies. As Speaker of the Parliament, Abdulhadi Al-Majali stated, “the parliament requires the approval of the Council of Ministers on foreign funding.





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