The 2011 Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary and establishes several mechanisms to ensure the separation of powers. The Constitution mandates that the Judicial branch be independent of both the Executive and Legislative branches, explicitly stating that a “judge may not receive injunction or instruction, nor be submitted to any pressure whatsoever.” To ensure that judicial independence is upheld, the Constitution authorizes judges to refer any infringements on their independence to the Superior Council of Judicial Power, which is responsible for judicial oversight.
The Constitution also establishes a Constitutional Court authorized to rule on the constitutionality of legislation. The Constitution requires that organic laws be submitted to the Constitutional Court by the Parliament prior to implementation and also authorizes cases to be brought directly to the Court when issues of unconstitutionality are raised in the course of judicial proceedings.
The Constitutional Court is made up of twelve members serving nine-year terms. Six members are designated by the King, three members are elected by the Chamber of Representatives, and three members are elected by the Chamber of Councilors. The President of the Constitutional Court is appointed by the King from among the sitting Court members. In October 2013, King Mohammed VI chaired a Ministers’ Council meeting that adopted a draft organizational law for the Court, which outlined its organization, composition, length of members’ mandate, and rules and procedures for its work and administrative organization.
Morocco also recently announced a Justice Reform Charter to consolidate the independence of the courts, raise ethical standards within the justice system, and strengthen protections for human rights and freedoms. Upon adoption by the Parliament, the Charter will serve as a roadmap with clear objectives and mechanisms for implementation of the judicial reforms outlined in the 2011 Constitutional.