Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, where constitutional power is divided into three branches - Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.
The executive branch
King Abdullah, the reigning monarch, is the chief executive of the Kingdom. He appoints the Prime Minister and members of the Upper House of the Parliament.
The king approves the laws before they are executed, approves the constitutional amendments and also has rights to take actions related to the defence and security of the nation.
The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers overlook the administration of state affairs, and within one month of formation of the Cabinet, the Council of Ministers are required to present a political program to the parliament.
District and local government
Jordan is divided into twelve regional governates, each of which is headed by a governor. The district government is an extension of the central government and is the executive organ for carrying out cabinet decisions on the local level
The legislative branch
The legislative powers are vested with the King and the Parliament, which is comprised of two chambers – House of Notables or the Senate and the House of Deputies.
- Senate consists of 40 members, each elected for a four year term
- House of Deputies consists of 80 members, each of which has a four year term
Both houses of Parliament have several permanent committees including: Legal, Financial, Administrative and Foreign Affairs.
There are three categories of courts in the country - civil, religious and special courts.
- The civil courts decide over civil and criminal matters, and over the cases brought against the government
- The civil courts include - Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, High Administrative Courts and the Court of Cassation (Supreme Court)
- The religious courts include Shari’a (Islamic law) courts and tribunals of other religious communities
- Religious courts deal with matters involving personal law, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody
- The State Security Court is the special court that decide over the matters related to the external and internal security of the state
Business and economic freedom
Jordan scored 68.9 on the index of economic freedom, ranking it as the 38th freest economy in 2011.
Jordan is ranked 50th on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2010. CPI measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption across 180 countries and territories around the world.
Freedom of information
The country’s media is under the control of state. According to the Reporters without Borders 2010 country report, the country’s media is restricted in its commentary on the monarchy, religion, state institutions and the men who head them.
Ad Dustour, Al Ra'y, Al Ghadd, Al Arab al Yawm, Jordan Times, and The Star are key newspapers in the country.
The country ranks 120th on the world press freedom index 2010.
Source: (BBC News, rsf.org)