The Center in Jordan
The CCD started working in Jordan in April of 2017, Since then, the CCD has focused its advisory work on three partner organizations: The Independent Election Commission, The Constitutional Court, and the Women’s Center at the University of Jordan.
The Independent Election Commission
The CCD is the first non-Jordanian organization to sign a a Memorandum of Understanding with the Electoral Commission (IEC). There are three main areas of cooperation between the IEC and the CCD:
- cooperative research projects on electoral systems, such as a comparative report on global candidate age requirements, and a primer on electronic voting systems;
- creating the first searchable online database of electoral law in the WANA region, complete with the applicable legislation from each country;
- furnishing the IEC’s library with books on electoral law
The Constitutional Court
The CCD has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Constitutional Court of Jordan. This MoU lays out five years of future cooperation between the CCD and the Court, which will take the form of workshops at the Court, conferences at Indiana University with Judges from across the WANA region, and the facilitation of connections between the Jordanian Judges and the US Judiciary.
The Women’s Center at the University of Jordan
The CCD has also signed a Statement of Purpose with the Center for Women’s Studies at the University of Jordan, wherein the CCD acts as an advisor to the CWS on the creation of the first PhD in Women’s Studies in the Arabic-speaking countries of the WANA region. The two organizations will also conduct collaborative research projects and plan a joint conference on constitutional issues as they relate to gender equality.
Why Jordan, and why the CCD?
The CCD team always wants to make sure that they can bring something to the table that will promote peace and stability. Right now, Jordan seems to be in a place where constitutional design expertise could be useful. After the demonstrations which took place during the so-called “Arab Spring,” His Majesty King Abdullah II called for a national dialogue process, which resulted in amendments to one-third of the Jordanian constitution. Some of the notable changes were the formation of a Constitutional Court and an Independent Election Commission. Since then, there have been further rounds of constitutional amendments in 2014 and in 2016.
In the aftermath of these changes, Jordan’s leaders have been hard at work balancing the Kingdom’s national security with their economic issues, all while managing the shifts which came with the constitutional amendments.
The fairly newly established Court and Commission are blazing new trails in the Jordanian constitutional landscape, and the Women’s Center is doing the same in the field of Women’s studies in the WANA region. The CCD has expertise designing holistic constitutional systems, including systems of judicial review and electoral systems. They have also designed PhD programs, notably in Gender and Women’s Studies. Thus, there is a good fit between the CCD team and their partners in Jordan.