The Moroccan delegation at its visit to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV)
The Moroccan delegation at its visit to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV)

From 10 to 14 June 2019 the IRZ received a Moroccan delegation in Berlin within the framework of a study trip focusing on the topic of "avenues to successful cooperation between the judiciary and forensic medicine". The study trip was part of the project "Cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco in the Field of Forensic Medicine with Special Attention to the Needs of the Moroccan Judiciary", which IRZ has been staging over the period 2017 to 2019 with the support of the Federal Foreign Office (Transformation Partnerships with North Africa/Middle East). Objectives of the project include:

Fostering independent forensic medicine in Morocco through training and further education of forensic doctors,

Support for Moroccan partners in the development of a professional code of conduct,

Improving cooperation between the judiciary and forensic medicine through the further training of judges and public prosecutors in the field of forensic medicine.

The first expert discussion took place at the public prosecutor's office in Berlin, where the importance of forensic medicine and forensic scientists at the scene of the crime was explored. In addition, the participants discussed with their hosts difficulties they face evaluating forensic medical reports and questions relating to who is to pay the costs for DNA examinations. At the meeting with the Berlin State Office of Criminal Investigations, the main topics of discussion were cooperation between the Homicide Commission, the public prosecutor's office and forensic medicine, and the importance of prioritising traces of evidence at the scene of the crime. Communication between the public prosecutor's office, forensic medicine and the police is of tremendous importance to the success of an investigative procedure. 

During the visit to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), the focus was on the importance of legal medical expertises in proceedings. How to handle expert opinions continues to pose a challenge to judges, especially with regard to the technical language used. For this reason, hearing the forensic scientist acting in an expert capacity before a court is a relevant issue. He or she can also answer questions to help understand the expert opinion. 

The discussion at Charité commenced with a presentation on the possibilities offered by forensic medicine and its significance for the judiciary. Another point of discussion concerned the funding of forensic scientists. After this, the Moroccan guests were given a guided tour through the departments of the institute, including the autopsy room.

During this study trip, the ten Moroccan participants had the opportunity to benefit from German expertise. They were actively involved in all discussions and spoke very openly about current problems facing forensic medicine in Morocco.