03/17/2014 (press release: media1press)
His Majesty King Mohammed VI chaired on Friday, at the Royal Palace of Rabat, a Council of Ministers.Following this session , the Council of Ministers approved a major law which excludes civilians from the competence of military courts. The bill also excludes the military from the jurisdiction of the military court in the event of common crimes.
”Civilians, regardless of who they are or the nature of the offense they committed in times of peace, can in no circumstances be referred to military courts or tried by them,” states the draft law.
This project, which was developed in accordance with the royal high orientations, aims to standardize national legislation on military justice with the provisions of the Constitution and international principles this field, put into practice Morocco’s constitutional and international commitments in terms of promoting the rule of law and human rights, and provide the necessary conditions and guarantees of a fair trial in all the courts of the Kingdom.
This project also introduces major changes to the status of military justice from a Special Court to being one of the specialized judicial institutions that guarantee rights and freedoms, as regards to competence, organization, procedures, and the composition of the Court. In this context, the project provides for excluding civilians from the jurisdiction of the military court regardless of the crimes they might have committed.
This law which places Morocco among the most developed democratic countries in this field, drew widespread praise from human rights in morocco and abroad. British NGO “Freedom of All” lauded, Friday, the approval by the ministers’ council, chaired by King Mohammed VI the draft law on military justice. This draft law, which excludes civilians from the competence of military courts, is a new milestone to further the rule of law, President of the NGO Tanya Warburg said. This is for sure a noteworthy and important achievement on the path of reinforcing accomplishments by Morocco in the field of human rights, she added. The approval by the ministers’ council of this bill is a swift and positive reaction by the Moroccan government to proposals by the national council for human rights (CNDH), she concluded.
The adoption by the ministers’ council of a draft bill on the military justice is an important step for ensuring criteria of fair trials, said director of Amnesty International-Morocco Mohamed Sektaoui. Sektaoui told Medi 1 radio channel that this is a huge step, noting that it is high time to work doubly hard for strengthening criteria of fair trials in Morocco. This reform is an answer to the expectations of human rights defenders, he added.
Part of strengthening friendship and brotherhood relations with other countries, the Council of Ministers also approved five international agreements, backed by laws. They concern customs cooperation, public service, double taxation and tax evasion, and the removal of entry visas for ordinary passports from Morocco and Gabon.
His Majesty the King gave his instructions to the Foreign Minister to establish a joint commission joining the private sector and the government to monitor the successful implementation of signed agreements, and to carry out the economic and social development projects which were launched during HM the King’s African tour.
His Majesty also gave his instructions for this committee to contact all the stakeholders to identify and develop new economic development projects to strengthen the successful partnership between Morocco with African states, under the royal vision of South-South cooperation and active solidarity.