The system needs no less than 1,000 magistrates

No less than 1,000 magistrates are now essential to strengthen the courts of the Kingdom and support the constant progress shown by the general performance of our public prosecutor’s offices, assured the Presidency of the Public Ministry.

In its annual general report for the year 2021, the Presidency of the Public Ministry indicated that the increase in the number of its magistrates would make it possible to reduce the annual activity rate of its latter to acceptable rates (3,500 procedures per year), as well as to meet the needs of newly created courts within the framework of the judicial organization of the Kingdom.

According to the same report, the functioning of the prosecution service now requires the development of information systems linked to the work of the prosecutor’s office and of injunctive justice in general.

Thus, the prosecution insisted in its report on the need to strengthen the public prosecution process with intelligent search mechanisms and advanced dashboards that allow real-time monitoring of the status of trials and complaints, the management research and monitoring of the execution of custodial sentences.

Also, the report stressed the importance of providing the human and material resources necessary to solve the problems related to the transfer of detainees and the custody of prisoners who are placed in public hospitals for treatment.

But not only ! The report also insists on the provision of advanced information systems that make it possible to detect the limitation periods of offenses and penalties until their cancellation in order to avoid any infringement of the freedom of individuals.

Emphasis was also placed in the report on the importance of providing the structures and centers necessary for the smooth running of the preventive role of the prosecutor’s offices, such as drug addiction treatment centers for the application of Chapter 8 of the Dahir of May 21, 1974, placement centers for women victims of violence and the provision of sufficient beds to place all arrested persons sentenced to criminal non-responsibility in establishments for the treatment of mental illness.

With regard to the implementation of penal policy, the report underlined the need to speed up the publication of legal texts containing alternatives to pre-trial detention and alternative penalties for persons deprived of their liberty.

The same source also insisted on the publication of an appropriate legal framework allowing the use of modern technologies to conduct remote and other trials.

Approval of the organic PL on the status of magistrates

After the publication of this report by the Public Ministry, the Chamber of Representatives unanimously approved, during a plenary session held on Monday evening, draft organic law n° 14.22 amending and supplementing organic law n° 106.13 on status of magistrates.

In this regard, Abdellatif Ouahbi, Minister of Justice, indicated, on the occasion of the presentation of this bill, that this text introduces a series of provisions relating to the status of magistrates, taking into account the multiple dysfunctions noted since 2016. and which needed to be remedied.

Thus, its reforms will allow according to Ouahbi the revision of the ranks of magistrates, by adding a higher rank to the exceptional rank, with precisions concerning the criteria of seniority necessary to reach it in a period of 5 years.

It is also a question of allowing civil servants subject to the statute of civil servants of the Higher Council to access the cycle of magistracy, like their peers in law enforcement offices and public administrations, according to the same criteria.

Furthermore, the Council will have the possibility of determining the time limits necessary for ruling on the various types of cases, in the event that they are not specified in the legislative text, considering them as indicative time limits which have no effect on the case. .

These reforms will also allow the Council, still according to the Minister of Justice, to supervise training in the field of judicial administration for those responsible for the sector, in collaboration with the Ministry in charge of Justice and the Presidency of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. .

In this sense, a new criterion for the evaluation of magistrates has been added, namely the criterion of respect for professional ethics and legal measures in force, while giving the possibility to the magistrate to access the evaluation report carried out by the judicial officer and to make observations.

Thanks to these reforms, the Council will be able to have access to the detailed data of the evaluation of the magistrates and the observations of the judicial officer, specifying the time limit for deciding on the grievances brought before the Council concerning the evaluation of their performance.

Under these amendments, Ouahbi pointed out that the list of acts and behaviors considered serious misconduct has been extended to include “broadcasting a verdict before it is pronounced», Breaches of the duties of independence, impartiality, integrity, righteousness, professional responsibility and probity, as well as any act likely to undermine justice.

Thus, the legal minimum age for the retirement of magistrates will be 65, while the maximum age has been raised from 70 to 75, given the lack of magistrates and judicial skills.

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