Morocco’s Islamist-led government has unveiled a charter outlining a raft of long-awaited judicial reforms including a strengthening of the judiciary’s independence that have been a priority of the ruling party. The charter was presented late Thursday by the justice ministry, some two years after the kingdom adopted a new constitution in the face of sweeping Arab Spring protests with key provisions for judicial reforms.
The government has come under growing pressure to implement those provisions, by modifying the penal code and improving judicial procedures. As well as strengthening the independence of judges, the charter aims to strengthen the protection of human rights, enhance effectiveness of the judiciary and expand its institutional capacities. Other planned measures include reviewing the salaries of judges and the process of recruiting officials within the judiciary.
PRI welcomes the efforts of the Moroccan Charter Committee, of which many of our partners are members, and supports the content of the charter, in particular clauses 61 to 69, in line with PRI’s work with the Moroccan Ministry of justice, the prison and rehabilitation directorate, and the Mohamed VI Foundation for rehabilitation on:
- Strengthening legal protection for women victims of violence, vulnerable groups, children and people with special needs.
- Strengthening the legal protection of children in conflict with the law, respecting the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- The expansion of legal protection for juveniles in difficult situations.
- De-criminalisation of certain acts and the search for solutions outside the judiciary system.
- The adoption of alternatives to custodial penalties.
- Developing mechanisms to reconsider the criminality of some minor offences, and the principle of proportionality
- Develop a system of automatic reduction of the penalty depending on the improvement of the behaviour of the prisoner and his commitment to reintegration programs
- Rationalisation and reduction of pre-trial detention
- Free legal aid system
- The review of legal provisions on gender approach in line with international standards
- Improving detention conditions in a manner that preserves the human dignity and contributes to reintegration