Law Paper Environmental Law & Islam in Jordan and Morocco

Law Research Paper Environmental Law & Islam in Jordan and Morocco


  1. Brief history of Hashemite’s Islam

Hashemites Islam is a royal family of the Hejaz, Iraq, and Jordan (Al-Khalailah, Yacoub & Al-Majali, 102). This family belongs to one of the Dhawu Awn, a branch of the Hasanid Sharifs of Mecca, who ruled Mecca constantly since the 10th century to 1924 when they conquered. Sharif Huseein ibn Ali founded the present dynasty after his appointment as Sharif and Emir of Mecca in 1908[1]. After eight years, he was proclaimed King of the Arab Lands after initiating the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire. In 1921, his sons Abdullah and Faisal assumed the thrones of Jordan and Iraq respectively.

The Hashemites trace their ancestry back from Hashim ibn ‘Abd Manaf who was the great grandfather of Muhammad[2], the Islamic prophet (Bosworth, 22). Their early history is defined by struggles against the successor of Muhammad. Although the Umayyads were of a different clan from the Hashemites, they took over before Addasids became representatives of the Hashemites. After the 10th century, the Sharif who was a religion leader and Emir was chosen traditionally. Before the First World War, the Hussein bin Ali from the Hashemite Dhawu-‘Awn clan became the ruler of the Hejaz on behalf of the Ottoman sultan (King Hussein, 2). It became a practice thereafter that the Emir of Mecca was appointed from a selected group of candidates. During the 1916 Arab Revolt, Sharif Hussein bin Ali rebelled against the rule of the Ottomans. After the collapse of the Ottoman power, in 1924, Hussein bin Ali became an independent Hejaz, a King. This was with the support of the British Foreign Office. His supported were commonly referred to as the Sharifians. Hussein’s main rival in the Arabian Peninsula, King of the Highlands captured Hejaz in 1925 and established his son as governor. This was the region, which was later incorporated into Saud Arabia. The five sons of Hussein bin Ali[3] were Ali, who took over the Hejaz throne before it was lost to the Saud family in 1925, Abdullah, the Amir of Transjordan in 1921 and king of Jordan in 1946 (Stitt, 7). His descendants still rule the Kingdom referred to as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan[4]. There is Faisal who became a king of Arab Kingdom if Syria in 1920 and King of Iraq in 1921. There is also the Prince Zeid bin Hussein and Hassan who died at a young age (Lawrence, 48).

  1. Constitutional Right

The constitution of Jordan was adopted in 1952 and undergone numerous amendments[5]. It defines the hereditary monarchic rule that exercises a parliamentary representation system. The constitution specifies the disconnected powers of the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary, the citizen’s rights and duties, financial issues and constitutional regulations. An organic law was disseminated in 1928 for application under the British authority. A new constitution was formulated in May 1946 after Jordan gained full autonomy following the abolition of the British rule. This new constitution was liberalized by King Talal and ratified in 1952 (Al Zoghby, 34). This new constitution has nine chapters each bearing varied sections (US Central Intelligence Agency, 12). Article two of the constitution states that Islam is the state religion while Arabic is the national official language. Chapter two of the constitution bears the Rights and Duties of Jordanians Article Five states that “Jordanian nationality shall be defined by Law” while Article Six affirms that


Jordanians shall be equal before the Law. There shall be no discrimination between them as regards to their rights and duties, on grounds of race, language, or religion.


The Government shall ensure work and education within the limits of its possibilities, and shall ensure a state of tranquility and equal opportunities to all Jordanians.

Article 7

Personal freedom shall be guaranteed.

  1. Jordan’s law for Environmental Impact Assessment

UNEP met in Rio in 1992 and reaffirmed the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on Human environment and build upon it (UNEP, 1). Jordan has approved international charters on climatic changes and protection of the ozone layer. The Rio declaration for the environment and development comprises of 27 principles (Galizzi, 6). According to the first principle, human beings are within the interests of sustainable development and have the right to a healthy and productive life. The declaration or principles regarding forests and wildlife protection transfer of modern technology, and allotment of the financial resources in the preservation of the forests (Sanchez, & Croal, 3).


  1. Morocco’s Environmental Law

According to the Madani, Maghraoni & Zerhouni (4), Morocco is a sovereign Muslim state. Article three of the constitution affirms that ‘Islam is the religion of the state’, an element that guarantees all the free exercise of beliefs. Morocco has active environmental laws, which were enacted 50 years ago. Recently, international agreements have been incorporated into national law to enforce environmental laws. There are the Dahir 1 – 03-59 (law 11-02), 1 – 03-60 (law 12-03), and the Dahir 1 -03- 61 (law 13-03). These rules affirm universal principals of the national environmental policy, and rules, and procedures of the EIA to combat air pollution[6]. Current reenactments comprise of the law on the agricultural water, and the Environmental Protection Act. There is the law 28 – 00 waste management and disposal law that was enacted in December 2006 (Wolfrum, 64).

  1. Morocco’s Law on EIA as mandated by RIO principle 17

The law seeks to preserve the coastal biological and ecological stability, and natural tradition, prevent and reduce pollution and degradation along the coast, and improve planning through national plan of the coast and compatible regional spatial planning records[7]. The law further seeks to guarantee free and unpaid access to the seashore, advance research, and innovation promoting the coast and its resources and enable involvement of the organizations in decisions relating to coastal zone management.

From 2003, Morocco has been implementing foundations for enhanced environmental policy, which focused on water management crises (The United Nations International Mechanism to Combat Desertification, 3). After the approval of three major environmental laws, progress is being made on the environmental legal framework that remains underdeveloped and inconsistent. The government aims at managing solid waste and wastewater treatment as an approach of preventing pollution and restrings environmental conditions[8]. To improve on air quality, the authorities seek to improve by promotion of a voluntary approach to applying emission limit values (Kinney, 292). Morocco has limited water resources and hence faces substantial challenges in this sector (Bullard, 19). The available water volume that is technically and economically exploited is 80% if the present resources (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 1). This aspect highlights the present constraints on water issues (Toxic Struggles, 92). Even though Morocco has 68 main biodiversity regions as part of the broader Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, there is, still an underlying knowledge gap related to the specific species, genetic resources and sites.

  1. Morocco’s Protected Area Laws

Morocco created major protected areas in 1942-1991. These comprised of four national parks, which were the Toubkal, Tazekka, the Souss Massa and the Iriki national parks. A national plan was put in place to identify important natural areas, which was later followed by creation of four new national parks: the Al Hoceima, Talassemtane, Ifranen and the High Oriental Atlas. Khnifiss was later created to make it the first Saharan national park (George, 9). In total, Morocco has nine national parks covering a total area of 606,000 hectors. There are four sites protected as wetlands and two biosphere reserves set apart to promote sustainable solutions to put to rights protection of biodiversity and continued use. These reserves include the Southern Moroccan oasis, the Mediterranean intercontinental biosphere, and the Cedar biosphere.

  1. Evaluation

Muslim articles have been useful in giving information concerning developments[9], innovations, projects, and trends related to their environment (Takahashi, 57). Environmental projects like preservation of nature, water purification, and green business have been established in the Muslim world (Yehya, 19). From the numerous research conducted in Morocco and in Jordan, at least three quarters of the national constitutions globally comprise of explicit references to environmental roles (Press, 689). This global distribution of constitutional environmental provisions offers convincing rebuttal of the role of cultural imperialism highlighted by critics who affirm that environmental concepts is a western conception.

  1. Add EIA and how we can protect the environment

There is need for more realignment of the national regulatory requirements for large installations, and environmental liability regimes. This can be made possible by conducting a detailed evaluation of the remaining secondary legislation, which ought to be developed and closing on the identified gaps. There is need to align procedural requirements of environmental laws with the good international practice, adoption of better regulations principles like simplicity, enforceability and participatory development. Strong concentration ought to be placed on EIA and permitting the translation of the general legal requirements for specific projects and installations.

  1. Protected Areas

According to the Islamic teachings, God, including plants and the environment, created everything[10]. Through God’s ability, rivers and streams can flow within Moroccan lands. This is the basis for preservation of natural resources such as Toubkal, Tazekka, the Souss Massa and the Iriki national parks. According to Muslim scholars, the universe belongs to God who has entrusted us the creations to preserve and protect[11]. Therefore as vicegerents and trustees, trust ought be shown when using and consuming them[12]. The creation in reverse teaches humans that they are the creations of God and in the last judgment; everyone will be called to account how they protected and treated all that was entrusted to humans.

  1. a) How Courts can apply the fundamental Principals

Morocco laws are lacking substantial rulings on how they can protect their environment, a case that is resulting to longer implementation of the Islamic laws[13]. For instance, the court ought to activate laws on air and water. It is necessary to adopt suitable legislation for the introduction of the strategic environmental assessment. The government can apply Law 31- 06 on the development, protection, and preservation of the Moroccan Coastline. This law will fill up the gaps and enforce enable the court on the compliance assurance issues.

  1. b) Remedies to resolve environmental law violations

More research ought to be conducted to give the missing quantitative information regarding comprehension of the procedural and substantive result of present laws.

Review EIA for Jordan

According to Al-Khalailah, Yacoub & Al-Majali (2), there is a close relationship between the environment of a human being and the extent of his satisfaction of the human rights. There are therefore relationship between the rights of a human being and those of the environment. According to the first principle that was adopted, human beings have the right to freedom, equality, and suitable living conditions. For the sake of the present and future generations, there is a responsibility of protecting the environment (Law, 1187). This global provision has enlightened the world of the need to include air as a natural resource and hence has required critical attention from human beings. Human beings are called to take care of the environment and avoid misuse of natural resources and their territories to threaten other states (Sunstein, 29).

Review EIA for Morocco

It is essential for Morocco to adhere to the new trends in the field of human rights and protection of the environment (Al- Sharari, 8). The country is strongly invited to improve her constitution by addition the provision endorsed for healthy environment. It is necessary for these countries to adopt environmental law principles in the environmental legislations, improve the role of non-governmental organizations in the protection process. This improvement can be attained through establishment of formalities like financial support, and rising of the environmental awareness. The legislators can unify the judicial jurisdiction in environmental violations to deliver better environmental justice (Alabiedy, 89). Huge financial capacities can be utilized within the nations to support environment friendly projects.


Works Cited

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Law Magazine of year. 2011. 89.


Al-Banna Fatima. Islam and Environment Protection. Eco-mena.Org. 2016

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Alseoud, Rich. Humans & Environment- The Hope & Disaster (1st ed.). Amman, Jordan. 2000

Al-Khalailah Ayed, Yacoub Mohammad, & Al-Majali Muna. Kingdom of Jordan

Executive Summary of the Study of The extent of the Compatibility of the National Legislations with the International Charters. The National Centre for Human Rights. 2010

Al- Sharari Saleh. The Legal Framework for Environmental Protection in the Hashemite

Kingdom of Jordan: Analysis of the Environmental Protection Law. Journal of Politics

In addition, Law. 2014. 7(3)

Al Zoghby, Hussein. Environmental Police Administration – A Step on the Road. Al Hussein Bin

Talal University Journal, Ma’an, Jordan. 2000

Bosworth, Clifford Edmund. The New Islamic Dynasties. Edinburgh University: Edinburgh

University Press. 2006. Print

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Politics of Pollution. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 2002. Print

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Lost its Way on the Global Agenda? Fordham International Law Journal. 2004. 29(5).

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[1] Sharif Huseein ibn Ali was the third son of Ali. See (Al-Khalailah, Yacoub & Al-Majali, 109)

[2] The Hashemites pride themselves in being in the lineage of kingship and hence the true and valid descendants of the prophet. This is further emphasized by their numerous population. For more information, read Bosworth, Clifford Edmund. The New Islamic Dynasties. Edinburgh University: Edinburgh

University Press. 2006. Print


[3] Stitt George talks more about the sons of Husein bin Ali and their success in maintaining their hereditary rule in Stitt, George. A Prince of Arabia, the Amir Shereef Ali Haider. London: George Allen & Unwin.


  1. Print


[4] For more information regarding the descendants of King Hussein ibn Ali, kindly read Lawrence T Elvis.  Seven Pillars of Wisdom. NY: Penguin Classics. 2000. Print


[5] Al-Khalailah, Yacoub & Al-Majali categorically gives the background of the Hashemites with

reference to Prophet Mohamed in Ayed, Yacoub Mohammad, & Al-Majali Muna. Kingdom of Jordan

Executive Summary of the Study of The extent of the Compatibility of the National Legislations

with the International Charters. The National Centre for Human Rights. 2010


[6] Wolfrum has reviewed environmental constitutions and compares these constitutions continentally. Wolfrum Grote, eds. Constitutions of the Countries of the World. New York: Capricorn Books. 2010. Print


[7] Wolfrum goes further to reveal the differences between the Moroccan environmental laws and others within Africa. See Wolfrum Grote, eds. Constitutions of the Countries of the World. New York: Capricorn Books. 2010. Print


[8] Bullard states the nation upholds equally environmental laws and human rights laws. Although, this can minimally be experienced in the past, the government is presently working on the challenges to restore its glory and separate the upheld laws from politics. Bullard, R. Derrick. ed. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the

Politics of Pollution. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 2002. Print


[9] Muslim articles emphasize on environmental laws as a command from Mohammed. The articles additionally alert the readers on the developments in the religion Islamic environmental declarations.

[10] Bullard in Bullard, R. Derrick. ed. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the

Politics of Pollution. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 2002. Print states the laws in relationship with the Islamic religion. According to him, Islamic rules need to be practiced to improve the laws.


[11] Refer to Al-Banna for protection of environment. According to Al-Banna (1), Environment protection is an

important aspect of Islam. Being stewards of the Earth, it is the responsibility of Muslims to care for the environment in a proactive manner. There is a definite purpose behind the creation of different species, be it plants or animals.

[12] Refer to the Quranic laws in The Eco-Muslim, 1 for more of the Islamic laws on environment preservation

[13] Al-Banna further states that The Islamic perspective on environment protection reflects a positive image about Islam and how it embraces every single matter the humans face on earth. The Islamic attitude towards environment and natural resource conservation is not only based on prohibition of over-exploitation but also on sustainable development