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Study day on Criminal Reform, Mr. El Yazami presents CNDH conception on criminal law and policy: Philosophy of the legislator and reality of implementation

As part of his participation in a study day on “criminal law and policy: Philosophy of the legislator and reality of implementation”, Mr. Driss El Yazami, CNDH President, highlighted the need to review, in a comprehensive way, the philosophy, structure and language of criminalization and sentence system. Reviewing this system should take into consideration the 2011 Constitution and the transformation of Moroccan society.

The National Human Rights Council (CNDH) also recommended the necessity of proportionality between crime and sentence, the abolishment of the death penalty and the improvement of alternative arrest and sentences.

This event was organized on Tuesday 8 May 2018 by the Justice and Development Party at the House of Representatives in Rabat, Morocco. Several institutional actors, academics, governmental officials, parliamentarians and jurists participated in this debate on the draft Criminal Code which is currently under examination at the House of Representatives.

Within this context, Mr. El Yazami shed light on the special attention given by the CNDH to criminal legislation. He also said that the Council’s work on the Criminal Code is based on the 2011 Constitution, the recommendations of the Moroccan Truth Commission, International Human Rights Law, the recommendations of the United Nations’ treaty bodies to Morocco, the international and foreign jurisprudence and best practices throughout the world. It is also founded on its missions to protect and promote human rights, and the position of criminal law within the legal system and its close connection to rights and freedoms.

This event was an opportunity to underline the priorities of the CNDH in discussing draft law 10.16 including:

-        Abolishing the death penalty;

-        Reviewing the definition of torture provided in chapter 231.1 of the Criminal Code and conforming it to the first article of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This review aims to include, in the Criminal Code, the attempt, the participation and the concept of “any person acting in an official capacity”.

-        Including penalties for public incitement to racism, hatred and discrimination.

-        Adding a new requirement in the draft law: exceptional circumstances, instructions or orders issued by any civil, military or public authority are irrelevant to justify the crime of torture, etc.

This study day discussed mainly: “Criminal Code in Morocco: framed principles and governing concepts”, “implementation of the criminal policy: Acquisitions and accomplishments”, “Draft Criminal Code: Problematic issues”, “Criminal legislation and respecting fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The CNDH issued an opinion on draft law # 10.16 based on the request of the President of the House of Representatives on 11 July 2016. This opinion recommends reforming and completing the Criminal Code and was based on national and international references.

Download the statement of the President of the CNDH (available only in Arabic)