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Monday, November 27, 2023
Speech by CSPJ President Delegate during the Handover Ceremony for the Higher Institute of Magistrates.

Rabat, November 27, 2023

In the name of Allah, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, and Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon His Messenger, his family, and his noble Companions

Today, we are witnessing a new historical achievement in our commitment to bolstering our country’s judicial independence, namely the direct oversight by direct judicial power of the Higher Institute of Magistrates, an indisputable cornerstone in the structure of an autonomous judiciary. This action is carried out under the royal directive of HM King Mohammed VI, with the collaboration of the government and parliament, showcasing the distinctive Moroccan approach where all branches of power collaborate to strengthen the nation's standing. Citizens align united behind their monarch, exemplifying unity, solidarity, and coherence to the world, both in times of ease and distress.

The handover of power between the Minister of Justice and the President Delegate of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power is not merely a formality; it reflects a significant political choice. The latter shall enable the Kingdom of Morocco to fortify the underpinnings of judicial independence and equip the evolving judicial system with the necessary resources to achieve an extensive reform of the judiciary, directed by HM the King, who serves as the President of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power and the Head of State, demonstrating wisdom, steadfastness, and foresight.

The role played by the government and parliament in achieving this groundbreaking step prompts me to extend my appreciation and thanks. I express my gratitude to the government, particularly the Minister of Justice, who presented the bill and meticulously monitored its advancement through each phase, until its publication in the Official Gazette. He honors us with his presence with us, today and we count on his continued support in the future.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Secretary General of the Government and the Minister Delegate in charge of the Budget, whose significant contributions played a crucial role in the legislative proceedings of Law No. 37.22 relating to the Institute of Magistrates.

It is also my great pleasure to express my thanks and gratitude to the Presidents of the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, along with the deputies and Councillors. Special thanks go to the Chairpersons of the Justice Committee and the Legislative Committee of both houses, as well as all deputies and Councillors who played a role in the swift approval of the law by Parliament. Their contributions, including numerous amendments, have transformed it, at least at this stage, into a legal document capable of advancing judges’ training, enhancing their skills, and qualifying them to resolve disputes. This reflects a profound vision that aligns with the spirit of legal texts, extracting from them the essence of justice and fairness.

The choice to assign the responsibility of overseeing judges’ training to the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power is not a coincidence or an arbitrary decision. Instead, it is the outcome of a deliberate and careful dialogue and consideration. This decision aligns with the recommendations put forth during the National Dialogue for the Reform of the Judiciary in 2012 and 2013. It serves as a manifestation of the judiciary's independence, representing a crucial element in strengthening judicial officials.

This approach was backed by Organic Law No. 13.22, enacted on March 16, 2023, amending and supplementing Organic Law No. 100.1 on the CSPJ. Article 108 bis in this law stipulates that the Council bears the responsibility for training judges and building their capacity, whether at the Higher Institute for Magistrates or at the level of jurisdictions. This duty has been entrusted to the CSPJ, given its optimal position to identify the training needs of judges. This corresponds to the provisions of Article 108 bis, which tasks the CSPJ with responsibilities related to the complete oversight of judicial affairs, monitoring judges’ performance in courts, and implementing measures to improve and supervise this performance to enhance judicial efficiency.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

We are looking forward to the role the Higher Institute of Magistrates will play now and in the future. We are positive it will have an achievable impact, given the judiciary's capabilities and the Institute's competent management, which is qualified to transform the Institute into an effective tool for training future judicial talents, nurturing emerging skills, and supporting the expertise of prominent professionals. It is equally crucial not to overshadow the accomplishments of the Institute over its sixty-one years of existence. These achievements are a source of pride for the Moroccan judicial system, establishing it as a legal and judicial institution recognized for its seriousness and excellence at both national and Arab levels. Since its inception in 1962, the Higher Institute of Magistrates, inaugurated by HM the late King Hassan II, has been a cornerstone in training numerous classes of magistrates who played a pivotal role in the Moroccan judiciary during the independence era. The Institute undertook essential efforts to uphold state sovereignty through the Moroccanization, Arabization, and unification of justice in 1965.

In 1969, Decree No. 2-69-587 established the National Institute of Judicial Studies, which underwent various relocations over the years—from the Ministry of Justice to Place Mamounia in the Ocean district of Rabat, and eventually to its current premises, where we are today. In 2002, it was called the Higher Institute of the Judiciary and became a public institution. Throughout its different names, the Institute has consistently been a part of the Ministry of Justice's structure or under its supervision until the enactment of Law No. 37.22, published in the Official Gazette on September 7, 2023. This law transferred the supervision of the Higher Institute of Magistrates to the judicial Power established in 2017.

In addition to the initial cohort of judges trained at the Judges’ Training Institute from 1962 to 1969, comprising approximately 612 individuals, the National Institute of Judicial Studies and the Higher Institute of the Judiciary have provided training for 45 classes of trainee judges since 1975. This includes earlier classes that graduated before the commencement of formal class numbering, spanning the period between 1969 and 1974.

This brought the tally of judges graduating from the institute to exceed 7,000, all of whom have undergone foundational training. Additionally, more than 467 judges have received specialized training, and several thousand more have participated in ongoing training programs covering a range of skills, techniques for rendering judgments, and dispute resolution strategies.

The Institute has also played a pivotal role in training military judges from the Royal Armed Forces officials, as well as 272 foreign judges hailing from 12 sister countries. Notably, some of these foreign graduates have risen to prominence in their respective countries, holding esteemed positions. Similarly, Moroccan graduates of the Higher Institute of the Judiciary assumed governmental, diplomatic, or international roles. Additionally, many of them have actively contributed to the administration of national judicial affairs at the highest echelons of the judiciary.

At present, the Institute is providing training for the 46th and 47th classes of trainee judges, comprising a total of 550 future judges.

Furthermore, the Institute has played a role in the preliminary training of 6,899 justice officials, the specialized training of 346 officials, and the training of 788 trainers. Additionally, 4,730 employees have participated in ongoing training programs.

The Institute has also contributed to providing fundamental training for 1,087 judicial commissioners and 1,304 Adouls.

These numbers alone suffice to laud the performance of the Higher Institute of Magistrates and immortalize its commendable achievements, which have significantly enhanced the efficiency of justice and legal professions in our nation. It is incumbent upon us to express our gratitude and respect for the national talents that have led the Institute and contributed to the administration of its organizational and educational affairs. This includes the Ministers of Justice and Directors General who have successively helmed the Institute, as well as the administrative managers and teaching staff. We remember and honor those who have passed away and extend our best wishes to those still with us, including the distinguished individuals among us today. They have illuminated the path for our judges in the past and continue to do so through their active participation in academic events and valuable contributions through opinions and advice. They serve as a living memory upon which we rely to narrate the oral history of the judiciary, and we anticipate their collaboration in documenting the history of the Higher Institute of Magistrates to preserve its legacy for future generations. We express our gratitude to our predecessors for their contributions, we seek their support in the ongoing effort to document the work.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The CSPJ has resolved to transform the Higher Institute of Magistrates into a hub for fostering quality and excellence, committing to exert every possible effort in this endeavor. The CSPJ is confident that the judicial expertise within the country will play a pivotal role in revitalizing the national judicial system. This transformation aims to meet the challenges of the reforms spearheaded by HM the King and keep abreast with the legal and judicial advancements in our nation, under the global perspective on the role and objectives of justice. The Moroccan Constitution succinctly encapsulates these objectives in two key ideas: the equitable application of the law (Article 110) and the safeguarding of rights and freedoms (Article 117). These elements have far-reaching impacts on the broader responsibilities and tasks assigned to the judicial system, either in relation to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, or facilitation of investments and attraction of capital for economic growth and employment, or the assurance of judicial security in a comprehensive societal sense.

Undoubtedly, the Institute’s Board of Directors, reconstituted under Law 37.22, will attach great importance to the development of training and academic programs. This aims to ensure the alignment of the national judicial system with the global economic and legal framework while safeguarding the fundamental values of the Kingdom, the rights and freedoms of individuals and groups, and the protection of their property.

Additionally, the roles designated by the legislator to the current Higher Institute of Magistrates, encompassing fundamental, specialized, and ongoing training for judges, various legal professionals, and judiciary staff, as well as training in judicial administration, and the undertaking of studies, research, and publications across diverse legal and judicial domains, are roles that meet the needs of judicial training, capacity building, and professional skills. In this sense, the Board of Directors and management of the Institute shall be equipped to launch pioneering initiatives in training and oversight. This includes formulating curricula and training programs, organizing their implementation, selecting supervisors, refining methods, and diversifying resources. Moreover, it creates opportunities for the Institute to engage with judges from friendly African countries and brotherly Arab nations, following the South-South cooperation approach envisioned by HM the King in the various Moroccan public policies. All of this stems from the judiciary's belief in the significance of training for enhancing judicial performance, a conviction highlighted by HM the King, may God Assist Him. In His royal message to the First Justice Conference in Marrakech in 2018, HM underscored that “the achievement of objectives at all of the above levels hinges on enhancing the qualifications of the men and women working in the judiciary”. HM reiterated this sentiment in His royal message to participants in the Second Justice Conference in 2019, emphasizing the need for giving particular attention to specialized training for the benefit of the various bodies involved in the justice system so as to increase the capacity of courts to issue fair and appropriate rulings within a reasonable timeframe.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

There is an additional endeavor ahead of us to formalize the establishment of the Institute, and the Board of Directors, in collaboration with the Executive Branch, will strive to accomplish this promptly. This endeavor involves crafting legal texts relating to Law no. 37.22, as well as making decisions regarding the structural organization of the Institute, its committees, and the training framework. Additionally, attention will be directed towards the welfare of trainee judges and professors, bolstering the ethics system, and maintaining the Institute's infrastructure. These are the responsibilities that both the Institute's Board of Directors and the pertinent judiciary authorities will undertake in the upcoming period.

Finally, I extend my gratitude to all of you for participating in this profoundly meaningful symbolic gathering, marking a crucial historical milestone in the development of the Higher Institute of Magistrates. My appreciation further extends to the Director General of the Institute, the administrative leaders, the faculty, and all individuals who have played a role and continue to contribute to the oversight and training of judges and trainee judges. Special thanks are also reserved for the national and international institutions collaborating with the Institute. Lastly, I extend my best wishes for success to our aspiring trainee judges currently undergoing training.

Wa assalamou alaykoum wa rahmatou Allah.


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