Morocco - annual report 2017

Opening of the conference with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice on the Independence of the Judiciary in Rabat: Mohamed Aoujar, Minister of Justice (at the microphone); Abdelillah Bennani, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, (on the right), Mustafa Fares, President of the High Judicial Council, (4 th from left)
Opening of the conference with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice on the Independence of the Judiciary in Rabat: Mohamed Aoujar, Minister of Justice (at the microphone); Abdelillah Bennani, Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, (on the right), Mustafa Fares, President of the High Judicial Council, (4 th from left)

Legal Policy Situation

Shortly after his enthronement, King Mohamed VI announced political reforms in Morocco, which he advanced more vigorously under the pressure of the “Arab Spring” in early 2011 and with the start of the protest movements. He was thus able to prevent Morocco from experiencing a protest movement and political upheaval comparable to that of other Arab countries, despite the existing massive socio-economic problems.

As a direct result of the protests, the constitution was revised and adopted by referendum in July 2011. The reformed constitution is intended to strengthen the power of the Prime Minister and the Parliament and to advance the independence of the judiciary and the protection of human rights.

The long-term objective of all reform efforts is to strengthen the rule of law. Here, the aim is to help citizens develop trust in the security agencies and the judiciary. In addition to security policy reforms, reforms in the judiciary, criminal prosecution, the reintegration of delinquent juveniles and the protection of citizens from unequal treatment are being promoted at the same time. State institutions shall base all their actions upon the norms of the rule of law.

Overall Concept

Following an initial successful cooperation in 2014, the IRZ, in coordination with the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the German Federal Foreign Office, decided to intensify and expand relations with Morocco in the field of the rule of law. Within this framework, the IRZ agreed on a cooperation project with the Moroccan partners, the Ministry of Justice and the Cour de Cassation for the period from 2015 to 2017. In addition, two further projects on the topics of forensic medicine and the penitentiary system commenced in 2017. The project on forensic medicine is being carried out in collaboration with the Charité Berlin; the project on the penitentiary system focusses on the training of prison guard officers and the resocialisation of prisoners in particular. Both cooperation projects span several years and are intended to run until 2019.

Foci of Activity 2017

Administration of Justice

  • Visit to Germany by the Minister of Justice on the topic of “Independence of the Judiciary”
  • Trip by a Moroccan delegation to Germany and conference on the topic of “Independence of the Judiciary” in Rabat

Forensic Medicine

  • Two trips by Moroccan delegations on the topic of the “Potential of forensic medicine for law professionals”
  • Two seminars on the topic of the “Potential of forensic medicine for members of the judiciary and the Public Prosecutor’s Office” in Rabat

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Multilateral conference on the topic of “Fighting organised crime” in Rabat
  • Trip by a Moroccan delegation to Germany on the topic of “Fighting organised crime”
  • Trip by a Moroccan delegation to Germany on the topic of the “Penitentiary system and resocialisation”
  • Conference on the topic of the “Penitentiary system and resocialisation” in Rabat

Outlook

In 2018, the IRZ plans to continue its commitment in the fields specified above and intensify the collaboration with its Moroccan partners. Thus, the cooperation that has started in the fields of the penitentiary system and forensic medicine will grow deeper and the reform process that is under way will be supported.

Morocco - annual report 2016

Deputy Minister of Justice Abdelilah Lahkim Bennani (2nd from right) for discussions in Berlin

Deputy Minister of Justice Abdelilah Lahkim Bennani (2nd from right) for discussions in Berlin

Strategic Framework

Legal Policy Starting Point

Following the local and regional elections held in 2015 for the first time since the constitutional amendments of 2011, elections for a new national Parliament were held in 2016. These elections represent important steps towards the further and fundamental democratisation of Morocco. As it was already the case in the preceding local elections, the predominantly Islamic party “Parti de la justice et du développement” (PJD) won the national elections.

In contrast to many countries in crisis in the Arab world, Morocco is stable. The monarchy is authoritarian and important decisions are taken by King Mohammed VI. himself. He is President of the Justice and Security Council. At the same time, he is also Chairman of the Cabinet to which the Prime Minister submits draft legislation for consultation.

With regard to the component of the rule of law, a “national dialogue for judicial reform”, which was initiated by the Government, already stated the most important concerns for reform as early as 2013, including the fight against corruption, the independence of the judiciary, steps towards greater transparency, remedying shortcomings in legal training and modern management. In the years to come, the Moroccan state is called upon to gradually address the publicly acknowledged shortcomings in the fields mentioned, and to initiate fundamental reforms.

Overall Concept

Following two successful kick-off conferences in 2014, the IRZ – in coordination with the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the German Federal Foreign Office – decided to intensify and expand relations with Morocco in the field of the rule of law. Within this framework, the IRZ agreed on a cooperation programme with the Moroccan partners, the Cour de Cassation and the Ministry of Justice, which is initially set to last for a period of three years. This encompasses both events in Morocco and visits to Germany by Moroccan delegations, and initially applies to the period from 2015 to 2017.

Foci of Activity 2016

Constitutional Law / Human Rights and their Enforceability

  • Conference in Rabat on the topic “Child and youth protection

Administration of Justice

  • Study visit to Germany by a Moroccan delegation on the topic “The independence of the judiciary”
  • Conference in Rabat on the topic of “The independence of the judiciary”
  • Public Law Study visit to Germany by the Moroccan Deputy Minister of Justice on the topic “Legislative technique”

Criminal Law and Penitentiary Law

  • Multilateral conference in Rabat on the topic “The fight against organised crime”
  • Study visit to Germany by a Moroccan delegation on the topic “The fight against organised crime”
  • Study visit to Germany by a high-ranking Moroccan delegation of the Moroccan correctional authority

Outlook

In addition to intensifying the topics specified above, the IRZ plans extensive cooperation over several years in the fields of the correctional service and forensic medicine. The partners on the Moroccan side will be the Cour de Cassation, the Ministry of Justice and the Correctional Authority.

Download the entire IRZ annual report in PDF format here: annual report 2016.

Morocco - annual report 2015

Länderbericht Marokko 2015Conference in Rabat on the topic of "The fight against organised crime" on 27 and 28 October

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

2015 was an important year for Morocco, as elections were held for the first time since the constitutional amendments which took place in 2011. The predominantly Islamic "Parti de la justice et du développement" (PJD) achieved considerable growth at regional level in the local and regional elections which were held on 4 September, and came in first. The PJD benefited amongst other things from a modern electoral campaign, as well as from its reputation of being free of corruption. At local authority level, the "Parti Authenticité et Modernité" (PAM), which is close to the royal family, was able to obtain the largest number of seats. These two sets of elections, and the parliamentary elections which are to be held in 2016, constitute important steps towards a further, fundamental democratisation of Morocco. With regard to the rule-of-law component, a "National dialogue for judicial reform", which had been initiated by the Government, already stated the most important concerns for reform as early as 2013. These include, apart from guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and combating the lack of transparency, as well as remedying shortcomings in legal training and establishing modern management. In the years to come, the Moroccan State is called upon to gradually address the publicly-acknowledged shortcomings and to initiate fundamental reforms.

Overall concept

After two successful kick-off conferences which took place in 2014, the IRZ, in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Federal Foreign Office, decided to intensify and expand rule-of-law relations with Morocco. In this framework, the IRZ agreed on a cooperation programme with the Moroccan partners the Cour de Cassation and the Ministry of Justice, which is set to last for an initial period of three years. This encompasses both events in Morocco and visits to Germany by Moroccan delegations.

Foci of activity in 2015

Penitentiary Law

  • Multilateral conference in Rabat on the topic of "The fight against organised crime"
  • Conference in Rabat on the topic of "The treatment of minors in criminal proceedings"
  • Study visit by a delegation of Moroccan judges to Germany on the topic of "The fight against organised crime"

Administration of justice

  • Study visit to Germany by a delegation of Moroccan judges and public prosecutors on the topic of "The independence of the judiciary"

Outlook

Cooperation in the core areas of criminal law and prison law, which has been described above, as well as on the administration of justice, is to be continued and for instance supplemented by the topic of legislative impact assessment. The partners on the Moroccan side will be the Cour de Cassation and the Ministry of Justice.