The Death Penalty in International and National Legislation and Islamic Law

Second Scientific Conference of the Faculty of Law Ajloun National University

The Death Penalty in International and National Legislation and Islamic Law

16-18 April, 2013.

Final Statement and Recommendations

At the invitation of the National University of Ajloun, under the patronage of the Minister of Culture, and in cooperation with the Arab Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the second scientific conference of the Faculty of Law was held in the university with the title (The Death Penalty between the National and International Legislation and Islamic Law) during the period 16-18 / 4 / 2013, (6-8 / Jumada II 1434(.

A number of researchers and figures interested in the subject have participated in this conference, including university professors, judges, lawyers, scholars and Islamic law men from several Arab countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine, Egypt, UAE, Syria, Kuwait, France, the Arab Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and the General Union of Arab Lawyers Association.

The participants in the conference expressed their gratitude and sincere thanks to the National University of Ajloun and Faculty of Law represented by Prof. Dr. Imad Rabee, for the warm reception and hospitality, and expressed their admiration for the accurately setup and organization of the Conference.

The conference lasted over three consecutive days, during which six meetings were held, the first was the opening, and a closing one, and the other four sessions witnessed the presenting of more than 26 searches, covering the main themes of the conference, which are:

It was noted that the work of the Conference during the scheduled meetings characterized by purposeful and constructive dialogue, substantive debate, embodying the reality of both support and opposition for the death penalty, and every party presented all multi-faceted justifications at all levels, the religious, human rights, social, philosophical, ….

In this context, the participants in the conference emphasized the following recommendation:

1. Sanctity of the right of everyone to life,

2. The need for explicit stipulation in legislation to protect the human right to life,

3. Narrowing the scope of the text on the death penalty in the Arab legislation and restrict it to the most serious crimes (crimes agreed between the four jurists and fixed legal text).

4. Restriction of the death penalty through certain guarantees:

– To provide a fair and equitable trial by a competent and independent tribunal.

– Explanation of the provisions adequately and convincingly de jure and de facto.

5. Emphasis on the dissemination of granting of the victim or his family clemency right;

6. Universal requirement of unanimity among judges on the death penalty;

7. Give more attention and study to the wisdom of legislation in general to complete conviction of the contents of the Quranic text (And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisâs (the Law of Equality in punishment) Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 179).

8. The participants in the conference emphasized the importance of the role of the Mufti in a statement the point of view of Islamic law on the death penalty, and not only his formal role, as is happening in the Arab legislations.

9. More extrapolation of the results of the applicable penal applications in force in this era and what was achieved by the applications that depended Islamic provisions of the legislation and those depending on positive law.

10. Take a moderate approach so that it keeps a unanimously fixed penalty and limits the punishment which is a bone of contention and conflict, that such punishment is applied in its precise legitimacy.

11. The adoption and implementation of more humane and less painful means to execute the death penalty.

12. The participants emphasized on postponing the implementation of the death penalty on pregnant women at least two years in consideration for the rights of the child care, and on mental patient until they are cured, which is provided by the provisions of the Islamic Sharia (law).

13. Take multiple academic steps, for example, social and legal study on judicial errors, lack of respect for the right of defense, guarantees of the accused, and the exhaustion of all means of judicial review, …

14. Attention to an educational approach in Islamic countries, which is built on instilling values that incite rejecting crime, and upholding the value of the human being as stated in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of The Prophet (peace be upon him).

15. Increase interest in comparative studies between Islamic Sharia law and positive law, and hold seminars and conferences that discuss common themes, so as the result would be clearing of Islamic law in the areas of criminality and punishment, and the methodology of Islam in facing crime that is mainly built on preventive policy not punitive.

16. Look into the criminal’s economic, social, and family conditions, and search for the causes of crimes.

In conclusion, conferees renew sincere gratitude and appreciation to the host University, president, deanship and educational and administrative body in particular, and wish it continued progress and success, and for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan continuous prosperity and development

Speech of Judge Patrick Lopez – Terres Attache Regonal de cooperation Justice French Embassy in Jordan In the opening ceremony of Death Penalty conference

Ajloun University, 16/4/2013

Allow me to speak French because I do not master your beautiful language

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning

Allow me to express the happiness of the French Embassy that I represent here today to participate in this regional seminar on the death penalty in national legislation, international law, and from a religious perspective in the region and the Arab world.

The embassy is happy with this participation for two reasons:

First: because, to our knowledge, this is the first demonstration held this year in Jordan by a Jordanian non-governmental organization on the issue of the death penalty and its abolition, since the World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October 2012. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Amman Center for Human Rights and the Arab Coalition for the abolition of the death penalty to take the initiative with this event.

Second: because such events are very important in the field of the abolition of the death penalty. The report released a few days ago by Amnesty International in 2012 showed the achievement of some encouraging results without questioning the general orientation in favor of the movement to abolish the death penalty and that the global fight against the death penalty has not yet been resolved.

Unfortunately, some states reactivated the death penalty, which they stopped several years ago. The number of executions has increased slightly from those carried out in 201, through the implementation of the 682 officially registered executions in 21 countries.

Our battle against the death penalty must continue all year round.

As the French minister said recently on International Women’s Day, “March 8th should continue throughout the year,” I say on the death penalty, “October 10 should continue throughout the year.”

It is not enough to move one day in favor of abolishing the death penalty and then go back to practicing our routine activities.

Our participation and support for this symposium held in beautiful Ajloun and its university falls within this approach, which is one the various activities carried out by the French Embassy in Jordan over the past few years in order to stimulate discussion about the death penalty and cancel all its forms and in every opportunity and forum.

When the embassy was invited several weeks ago to participate in this regional seminar by Dr. Nizam Assaf and Judge Mohammed Altarawneh, whom I salute in this occasion, the response was positive to proceed quickly.

Through the embassy’s response to this call, we see that France has moved because it is one of its diplomatic priorities.

In addition to meetings organized by France each year in its embassies on the occasion of the International Day for the Abolition of the death penalty, it provides regular support to the International Commission against the Death Penalty and encourages the French organization “Together against the Death Penalty,” whose representative I salute for being with us today, Mr. Nicholas Bray.

France is also involved in the preparation for the adoption of United Nations resolutions on the abolition of the death penalty and of course supports the convening of the World Conference to be held in Madrid in June next year.

Before I let you start this conference, I would like to convey to you the greetings of Mrs. Caroline Dumas, French Ambassador to Jordan, who gives great importance to your discussions.

Thank you for your efforts and for your commitment.

We are certain that exchanges to take place during the coming days will allow us to make some progress toward our common goal, namely the global abolition of the death penalty.

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