Written by: Giselle Lopez.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, governments across the Middle East and North Africa have been forced to respond to public demands for change while facing challenges to develop and reform state institutions. In Morocco, the ruling monarchy avoided the fate of leaders in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen by passing constitutional reforms and holding parliamentary elections soon after the eruption of mass protests in February 2011. Three years after the constitution was passed, however, Morocco has yet to implement these reforms through substantial legal, structural, and political changes. The development of a well-functioning, independent judiciary is considered a critical aspect of the rule of law and has been a particular focus for reforms in Morocco. The judiciary in Morocco suffers from major structural issues including corruption, inefficiency, and a lack of independence. Although the government has long recognized the need to reform the judiciary, thus far, Morocco has failed to implement changes that are necessary to fundamentally address these issues. This essay describes the context in which Morocco responded to the uprisings of 2011, provides an overview of major issues in the judiciary, illuminates challenges to the implementation of reforms, and assesses the potential for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to support the judicial reform process. In light of complex challenges facing judicial reforms in Morocco, I recommend that the government embrace an integrative approach to reform by increasing the inclusiveness of the reform process, empowering organizations to enforce judicial ethics, and supporting the development of ADR mechanisms to enhance access to justice. These steps build upon existing efforts in Morocco and are essential for the government to provide recourse to justice and rebuild public trust in state institutions.
Read Here: Justice in Morocco - Achieving an Integrative Approach to Reform
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