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H.M. the King calls for comprehensive reform of judicial system

Tetuan - H.M. King Mohammed VI called Thursday on the Government to develop a well-defined plan that reflects the strategic depth of the reform of judiciary system.

    In a speech on the 56th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People, the sovereign said this reform should revolve around six pivotal axes. These include enhancing the safeguards for an independent judiciary system, modernizing the legal system, upgrading its structures and human resources, bolstering judicial efficiency, consolidating the moralisation process and ensuring optimal, effective implementation.

    "No matter how relevant the strategic, long-term objectives may be, we should still keep in mind that the citizens need to have a clear perception of the positive impact of the reform in the short run," said the monarch.

    "I therefore instruct the Government, especially the Ministry of Justice, to start the implementation process in six priority areas,” said the sovereign, affirming that this endeavour should consolidate guarantees of independence by granting the High Council for the Judiciary the status it deserves as a full-fledged constitutional body, and entrusting it with the powers it needs to manage judges’ careers.

    The king insisted on the need of reconsidering the mode of election of Council’s members, make sure they have the necessary competence and integrity, guarantee a representativity of women that tallies with their presence in the Judiciary, streamline its working methods.

    “Similarly, the regulations governing the judge’s status should be revised to ensure more professionalism, accountability and impartiality, and steps should be taken to boost the career promotion process. Likewise, by–laws should be enacted to address the status of court clerks, and there should be an overhaul of the legal framework governing the various judicial professions,” underlined the Monarch.

    This drive seeks to update the legal system, especially where business, the investment environment and the conditions for fair trial are concerned,” said the Sovereign, affirming that this requires developing a new penal policy, that involves reviewing and harmonizing criminal law along with the penal code, which should be brought in line with the current changes.

    To this end, a national crime observatory should be set up, while efforts should continue to upgrade reformatory and penitentiary institutions, he added.

    It is also necessary to develop alternative judicial approaches such as mediation, arbitration and conciliation, and to devise substitutes for sanctions meted out by the courts, noted the Sovereign.

    He also stressed the need to upgrade the judicial and administrative structure by applying, within the Ministry of Justice as well as in the courts, new governance rules based on the principle of administrative devolution.

    The aim is to grant judicial officers the necessary powers, including a mandate to carry out periodic and ad-hoc inspections, said the Sovereign, stressing the need to adopt a roadmap and to address the issue of judicial organisation, using a rational approach which is in line with the requirements of the proposed reform.

    The reform aims also at upgrading the human resources in terms of training, performance and evaluation, and working, at the same time, for the improvement of the material benefits granted to judges and judicial support staff, underscored the Sovereign.

    The social aspect should also be addressed, mainly by setting up the Mohammedia Foundation, H.M. the king announced. This move would reflect the monarch’s longstanding commitment to the well-being of the members of the legal profession.

    The sovereign also called for increasing judicial efficiency, in an effort to address the hardships endured by the citizens as a result of the shaky, slow and complex administration of justice, mainly through “streamlined, transparent procedures, sound judgements, easier access to court for citizens seeking justice, swifter treatment of court filings and enforcement of rulings.”

    In His nationwide address, H.M. King Mohammed VI also called for moralizing justice to shield it from corruption and abuse of authority, and enable it to contribute to the moralization of public life, via legal means.

    This must proceed as part of programmes with specific objectives and stages and with well-defined means for implementing, monitoring and evaluating them, said the Sovereign.

    At court level, the success of the reform is contingent upon the adoption of the devolution approach and on the availability of adequate staff, said the Monarch, calling on the High Council for the Judiciary to hold a special session and make recommendations for the appointment of judicial supervisors who are qualified for field work and able to carry out such a vital reform.

     This “long” and “arduous” task, the monarch said, requires the full mobilisation not only of members of the legal profession, but of all institutions and productive forces, and indeed of all citizens,” deeming the proposed substantive reform of justice as a prerequisite for instilling the values of democracy and citizenship in the hearts and minds of young people and emerging generations.