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Start of a project for cooperation in the field of legal and forensic medicine in Rabat

Published: July 25, 2017

The experts participating in the seminar: Prof. Hansjürgen Bratzke, Hafid Bahaddouh, Senior Public Prosecutor Ralph Knispel, Dr. Arnd Wöhler (IRZ) (from right to left)

The experts participating in the seminar: Prof. Hansjürgen Bratzke, Hafid Bahaddouh, Senior Public Prosecutor Ralph Knispel, Dr. Arnd Wöhler (IRZ) (from right to left)

On 17 and 18 July 2017, the IRZ organised a seminar in Rabat on the “Possibilities of legal and forensic medicine for judges and public prosecutors”, in cooperation with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice. This was the first event held as part of 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, which the IRZ will coordinate between 2017 and 2019 as part of the project financed by the German Foreign Office (Transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East).

The objective of the two-day seminar was to point out to the attending Moroccan judges and public prosecutors the potential offered by legal and forensic medicine and the close cooperation between legal and forensic medicine and the justice system, using German experience as an example. The main focus was on elements of guaranteeing the independence of legal and forensic medicine and, in particular, on the significance of forensic reports when it comes to decision-making by public prosecutors and lawyers.

The following experts were appointed by the IRZ to take part:

The experts led an intense exchange of information and experience on the status of legal and forensic medicine in both countries with their Moroccan colleagues. The Moroccan justice system has recognised the importance of legal and forensic medicine in law enforcement and sentencing criminals and would like to expand the cooperation in this field significantly.

Only 13 registered forensic scientists are currently active in the whole of Morocco. There is no comprehensive system in place for the continued training of judges and public prosecutors in legal and forensic medicine. This currently takes place within the framework of accompanying courses at the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the University of Casablanca.

There is also an apparent lack of binding rules of procedure in Morocco, e.g. for the use of forensic reports by the justice system, which is managed differently by individual public prosecutor’s offices and courts.

And so there continues to be a great requirement for advice in Morocco, which should be the initial basis of the work of this project.

The seminar received a very positive response from all participants and the expert discussions were correspondingly intense.

The project activities are set to continue in the autumn with a study visit by a Moroccan delegation to Berlin.