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On 10 December 2019, the IRZ, in partnership with the Moroccan Public Prosecutor’s Office, organised a closing conference for the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco in the field of legal and forensic medicine, with particular consideration paid to the concerns of the Moroccan justice system” project. The IRZ coordinated this project between 2017 and the end of this year as part of the project financed by the German Foreign Office (Transformation Partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East).
The celebratory ceremony was opened with a speech by the German Ambassador, Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme.
Speaking as experts at the conference on behalf of the IRZ were Christof Lehmkühler, Detective Chief Inspector at the State Office of Criminal Investigations in Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Hansjürgen Bratzke, a former Director of the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the University Hospital of Frankfurt am Main. Around 35 Moroccan representatives from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Gendarmerie Royale, the Sûreté Nationale and legal and forensic medicine took part in the event.
Following on from the welcome speeches, there was an exchange of experiences on various subjects, which had been covered during this project. These included the cooperation between the judiciary, legal and forensic medicine and the police as well as the draft legislation for a professional code for forensic scientists. This draft legislation, which has been put to Parliament for approval, was discussed in in great detail, since the IRZ has provided valuable support in drawing up this legislation with several expert talks throughout the project.
The project has achieved the following objectives:
support for independent legal and forensic medicine in Morocco by providing continued legal training and education for forensic scientists
further training for judges and public prosecutors on the potential of legal and forensic medicine in law enforcement
support for the development of a professional code for forensic scientists. The draft legislation for this is due to be approved this year.
The third and fourth seminars on “Governance – communications and planning strategies” were held together during a three-day event from 26 to 28 November 2019 in Rabat. The seminars were part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office and coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2020. The IRZ once again cooperated with the Moroccan General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) for both seminars.
Over the three-day event, the seminar focussed on subjects concerning the organisation of prison management. To begin with, speakers from both countries presented the main aspects of their own prison management systems, including the legal foundations and the main objectives of law enforcement. In both countries, these include public safety and the reintegration of prisoners. The cooperation between the regulatory authorities and prisons is about maintaining a balance between independence and supervision. In Germany, there is a control procedure with agreed targets to structure the organisation and management of work within prisons. The regional authorities of the DGAPR in Morocco, on the other hand, reflect the structure of the central administration in Rabat.
On the second day of the seminar, the participants discussed the interaction between various factors when it comes to ensuring internal and external security in a prison. One of the problems encountered both in Germany and in Morocco is the lack of staff to look after the prisoners.
The third day of the seminar focussed on the planning and implementation of basic and further training for prison staff and prisoners. The prison system in both countries offers extensive opportunities for professional training and leisure activities to support the reintegration of prisoners into society. Prison officers and their supervisory authorities receive further training on a wide range of subjects covering legal matters, safety and social and educational subjects.
The civil servants from the central and regional administration authorities and from the administration departments of prisons also discussed the classification of particularly dangerous prisoners and established the basic similarities between prison structures in Morocco and Germany. Seminars planned for 2020 will deal with these subjects in more detail and work on specific recommendations for a handbook.
In cooperation with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR), the IRZ organised a seminar on the “Humane treatment of prisoners” on 23 and 24 October 2019 in Tétouan, Morocco. The seminar is part of the “Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on Prison Management” project, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office and coordinated by the IRZ between 2017 and 2020.
The IRZ experts at this event were Stefan Tydecks, a psychologist in the admissions department at the Moabit penal institution (Berlin), and Michael Weise, Head of General Law Enforcement at the Tegel penal institution (Berlin).
The seminar focussed on four fundamental standards with regards to safeguarding human rights standards in prisons:
A humane treatment in prisons allows the reintegration of prisoners with basic and further training and leisure activities.
Prison staff are trained to respond appropriately also in stressful situations and to maintain security in prisons.
To comply with international and national human rights standards, prisoners must be informed about their rights, obligations and social competences in prison. This takes place during an admissions interview as well as with the issue of specially printed booklets.
In order to encourage their independence and cooperation, prisoners should be involved in their own treatment measures.
The participants in the seminar showed a great deal of interest in the structure of open prisons in Germany and in the fact that all categories of prisoner could take part in reintegration measures. These topics will be included and discussed further in seminars planned for 2020.
The results of this seminar will be included in the handbook on the rights and duties of prisoners in a humane prison environment, which is being produced as part of the above-mentioned project.