More than half of Morocco’s judges signed a petition on Monday that calls for prosecutors to be allowed to operate independently of the executive branch — a reform many say is necessary to prevent judicial corruption. (Source: persianrealm.com)
Judges, lawyers and court workers in morocco are campaigning to free the county’s judiciary from external influence. Over half of judges have signed a petition calling for judicial reform and campaigners wore red armbands over their court robes to highlight their cause. A year ago, such a protest would have landed judges in a great deal of trouble, but lawyers and justice ministers are backing the campaign. The Moroccan government and the Royal family are seen to have inordinate power over the judiciary through their control of salaries and promotions and it is believed that many verdicts follow the will of the executive branch. So far, however Morocco has not seen the kinds of violence that has rocked the region during the Arab Spring and last year a new constitution was promoted by the King in order to head-off large scale protests. The red armbands seem to show that these reforms did not go far enough and the may signify the determination of the Moroccan people for greater social and political freedom.
More than half of Morocco’s judges signed a petition on Monday that calls for prosecutors to be allowed to operate independently of the executive branch — a reform many say is necessary to prevent judicial corruption.
The Moroccan government and royal family are seen to have inordinate power over the judiciary through promotions and salaries, and it is believed that many verdicts follow the will of the executive branch.
Protesters involved in pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011 made the reform of the judiciary and increasing its independence a key demand. A new constitution promoted by the king to meet protesters’ demands includes elements of reform, but the judges claim they have yet to be implemented.
In Addition, Khadija Riadi, The president of the AMDH, Moroccan Human Rights Association told Rue20/english, that she ‘supports the Step of receiving the well known Attorneys : ’Abderrahim Ejjamai and Abdelaziz Enouidi’ proposed by the Ministry of Justice Mustapha Erramid to start a deep Reform in Justice issue’.
The 1,800 members of Morocco’s judges’ club, a banned but tolerated association, signed the petition calling for the pledges to be fulfilled.
“We are simply asking for the application of the articles in the new constitution,” Yassine Mkhelli, the president of the club, told The Associated Press. “This is our first action. We will go on strike if our demands are not met.”
The club was formed in August and has come to include more than half of the country’s 3,000 judges. The petition is its first action.