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Wednesday, May 11, 2022
The Secretary General of the Council, Mr. Mustapha Libzar, read-out a speech on behalf of the President Delegate of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power, Mr. M’hammed Abdenabaoui on the occasion of the regional conference entitled “Toward the Establishment of the Mediterranean Network of Justice Inspection Services” organized by the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) in collaboration with the European Network of Justice Inspection Services (RESIJ) and the General Inspectorate of Judicial Affairs of Morocco.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

With immense feelings of pride and joy, I am honored to participate in this special meeting discussing a crucial and intricate topic that conveys a certain symbolism and significance, making us feel both the weight of the responsibilities the judge shoulders and the strain of the judicial inspection task, according to different and integrated approaches in which intersect the judicial, moral, legal, and social aspects.

Allow me at the outset to congratulate you for choosing this topic. I would also like to seize this opportunity to extend my thanks and deepest gratitude to Ms. Carmen Morte Gómez, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Morocco, Mr. Christophe Straudo, Head of the European Network of Justice Inspection Services, honorable general inspectors, and to all members of the judicial inspection services in our brotherly countries participating with us today, either in person or remotely, for their support for this distinguished initiative and for choosing the Kingdom of Morocco as a host country for the establishment of the South Mediterranean Network of Justice Inspection Services. This network shall inevitably contribute to building the collective edifice of justice, adding a new value to international cooperation programs, and opening up to the judicial world and its new developments.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Our Kingdom’s judges commemorated on the fifth of last April the anniversary of the inauguration of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power, the birth of a third authority in the country, and the beginning of a new era in managing the independence of the judicial authority. The latter has now its leading institutions, which are responsible for managing the professional status of judges, protecting their independence, and supervising and monitoring their work, according to what is stipulated in the Constitution and set in legal texts on the judicial reform taking place in our country, especially the Organizational Law No. 100.13 on the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power and the Organizational Law No. 106.13 on the Statute for Judges.

Indeed, the Kingdom’s Constitution only obliges judges to apply the law fairly, and taking a close examination of this constitutional provision provided for in Chapter 110 of the Kingdom’s Constitution draws the conclusion that the legal text should be harnessed to achieve justice and equity. Judgments should answer all defenses, reply to all requests, and discuss all means. Their rationale must provide answers to the questions of critics and scholars, as well as to the defenses of the concerned parties. They should also be based on legal texts and stable jurisprudence, and reflect the logic of equity and the principle of justice. Moreover, they must be issued within a reasonable time and implemented at an appropriate time frame. Our role, each from their position, is to disseminate, defend, and consolidate these rules through sensitization and encouragement, and if necessary, through adequate legal means.

Although the independence of judges in their judicial duties has been facilitated in accordance with the Constitution, thanks to His Majesty's presidency of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power, and the respect of both the executive and legislative powers for the principle of separation of powers, this independence is not deemed a privilege which entitles judges to do what they please, immune from any accountability and censorship. In fact, the principle of the independence of the judiciary is rather a democratic rule whose basis is the responsible conscience, its purpose is to ensure the proper administration of justice, and its foundation is the protection of litigants’ rights by virtue of an impartial and independent judiciary, subject to the supervision of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power, assisted by the General Inspectorate of Judicial Affairs, according to the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Chapter 116 of the Constitution. This pivotal organ tracks and evaluates the judicial performance of courts based on indicators as to the efficacy, efficiency, and quality; assesses the extent of the implementation of work programs related to the improvement of judicial administration; detects obstacles and difficulties hindering the improvement of the judicial efficiency; and proposes solutions and means to redress the observed imbalance, according to the provisions of Law No.38.21 on the General Inspectorate of Judicial Affairs.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The supervision intended in this context does not aim to detect gaps and imbalances with the intention of discipline, restraint, intimidation, and putting restrictions on judges or jeopardizing their independence. Its primary aim, however, is to evaluate, train, support, and accompany. Allow me in this regard to recall with you an extract from the speech of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God assist Him, on the occasion of the opening of the new session of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary in Rabat on March 1, 2012, where His Majesty said: … In this regard, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary must consolidate the gains, and engage firmly and clearly in this major reform project, discharging all its constitutional functions, namely, ensuring judicial ethics and regulations using resolute and rigorous disciplinary punishment against those who have proven unfit to bear the responsibilities they were tasked with, due to their negligence and transgressions, or those who have tarnished the reputation of the judiciary with their behavior and undermined with their outrageous deviations the accomplishments that have been achieved throughout years of hard work and diligence.

The Council should also work with the same firmness and determination toward promoting its fundamental role in strengthening the guarantees provided for in the Constitution to judges, adopting equality and impartiality in managing their professional status according to the objective criteria contained in its internal regulation, which has received my lofty patronage, and making sure to reward the virtues of integrity, probity, selflessness, seriousness, diligence, courage….” End of quote.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Moroccan Kingdom’s new development model considers justice one of its major focuses and has underlined a range of hurdles that impede access to the justice model our Kingdom aspires to achieve. The recommendations about it revolved essentially around promoting rights and liberties, improving coordination mechanisms, and working harmoniously and transparently among all actors in the justice sector. I would also like to underline the importance of enhancing performance, reducing the delays in the administration of justice and expediting its pace, and increasing its capacity to execute its judgments, in addition to moralizing the justice system at all levels.

In this regard, the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power strives to contribute through its strategic plan of 2021/2026 to various projects to complete the institutional building of the judicial power and support its institutions and structures with the legal, financial, and human means needed for its proper functioning, to allow the achievement of a justice that protects rights, liberties, and property, and that is everyone’s source of trust and security. On top of this structure is the General Inspectorate of Judicial Affairs as an essential component in advancing the justice sector. The latter's primary purpose is to guide, evaluate, support, and accompany, as mentioned before, through control and monitoring mechanisms, application of the law, combating all forms of corruption, and strengthening the role of the judicial inspector, for he is regarded the professional and moral framework for judicial work.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

We are all the custodians of justice principles and judicial ethics values. It is therefore incumbent upon us to safeguard, protect, and defend them with legitimate means. In fact, the themes you have chosen for this conference reflect the public awareness that drives us all to improve the performance of justice through fruitful international cooperation and constructive dialogue between judicial power institutions and the rest of the justice actors in all countries of the world. Allow me to commend you all and thank you again for these ongoing initiatives and the continued support we constantly receive. I should also like to reaffirm that we shall remain true to cooperation and dialogue, and seek creative solutions consistent with the principles of the Constitution as well as with the spirit and content of the new development model worthy of our Morocco and our King’s ambition toward achieving the slogan “Justice at the Service of Citizens”.

Lastly, I am certain that your gathering today, based on scientific dialogue, strong attachment to the constitutional guarantees, and the respect for others’ opinions, shall offer an important occasion to share feedback, ideas, and conclusions, in light of the exuberant scientific and professional acquisition you have accumulated by virtue of your assiduous work and unflinching determination.

Therefore, I ask God to bless your endeavor to establish and launch the South Mediterranean Network of Justice Inspection Services, and that He grants your initiative great success.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh

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