|19 November, 2019

Jordan's ‘Small Claims’ initiative seeks to cut short litigation period in monetary disputes

New procedures aiming to settle small financial disputes “quickly and easily”

AMMAN — The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched the Small Claims Initiative with the goal of substantially reducing the litigation period in small-value monetary disputes over civil or commercial matters.

The Small Claims Initiative has institutionalised new procedures aiming to settle small financial disputes “quickly and easily” by reducing the litigation period and subsequently easing the burden of accumulating cases in courts, as small financial disputes before the courts have reached 25 per cent of total cases, according to a UNDP statement.

The initiative will save the time and efforts of litigants, the statement said.

During a ceremony marking the opening of the initiative, Minister of Justice Bassam Talhouni said that the ministry, in cooperation with concerned authorities, adopted the national initiative for quick, simplified and concise procedures to solve small-claim lawsuits, while ensuring that they remain low-cost.

“The procedures target average citizens so that they can utilise their right to litigation procedures easily. Long and expensive procedures often made citizens hesitant to go to court with their legal disputes,” he said.

UNDP Resident Representative Sara Ferrer Olivella commended the Ministry of Justice for advancing the Small Claims Initiative. She told an audience of judges, lawyers and legal professionals: “The success of the Small Claims Initiative is a vital contribution to the economy of Jordan, easing the way for doing business and saving time and money in lengthy legal procedures. From a UNDP perspective, this is a must and something we all strive for,” according to the statement.

The Ministry, with the support of the UNDP, has engaged in exploring opportunities for further improving the performance of the justice system in handling small claims since February 2019. A “Small Claims Committee” was established in February 2019 with the mandate of developing a model capable of handling small claims in Jordan.

The Committee is composed of 12 members and chaired by Walid Kanakriyah, Judge in Amman’s Court of Appeals.

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