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.

Morocco - annual report 2014

Länderbericht Marokko 2014

The President of the Moroccan Court of Cassation, Mustapha Farés, reading the welcoming address at the conference. Also on the podium: Abdelilah Lahkim Bennani, Moroccan Vice Minister of Justice (2nd from left) and Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference (right)

Strategic framework

Legal policy starting point

The IRZ was also able to operate in Morocco for the first time in 2014. Morocco has achieved considerable constitutional reforms in recent years. Amongst other things, the independence of the judiciary has been entrenched in the Constitution. At the same time, however, the King retained his dominant role, which is reflected in considerable powers in the fields of security, domestic and foreign policy. Within this framework, a complex discussion is ongoing as to the future shape of constitutionally-guaranteed rights. Amongst other things, the judiciary has a self-confident professional organisation, and civil society has joined together in political associations in many ways. In general terms, the IRZ has been able to observe that there is considerable interest among the judiciary and at the Ministry of Justice in cooperating with Germany and the IRZ, and that there is a corresponding willingness to reform.

Overall concept

The IRZ organised two events in 2014 together with the Moroccan Superior Court, the “Cour de Cassation“, and the Moroccan Ministry of Justice. The first conference addressed the ratification of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. Morocco acceded to the Statute in 2000, but has yet to ratify it due to several reservations. The second event was the continuation of a multilateral conference organised in Tunisia in 2013 with the participation of eight Arab states. This event was organised together with the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference, and its topical focus was on international civil law cooperation within the Hague Conventions.

Foci of activity in 2014

Civil and commercial law

  • Multilateral conference on international civil law cooperation within the Hague Conventions in cooperation with the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference in Rabat

Criminal law and criminal procedure law

  • Conference in Rabat on the ratification of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute

Outlook

Cooperation with Morocco is to be continued in agreement with the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. The prime partners will be the Cour de Cassation and possibly also the Ministry of Justice. The outcomes of the projects will decide on any expansion of cooperation.