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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


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NewsMorocco.. Ratification of the "alternative sentences" law

Morocco.. Ratification of the “alternative sentences” law

On Thursday, the Government Council approved draft law n° 43.22 relating to alternative sentences in its new form, and it was presented by the Minister of Justice Abdel Latif Wehbe.

The official government spokesman, Mustafa Paytas, told a press conference after the council meeting that the bill “comes to keep pace with the developments taking place in the world in the area of ​​freedoms and public rights by finding alternatives to short-term custodial sentences and limiting their negative effects, and opening the way for those who benefit from them to reintegrate and integrate into society, with the aim to contribute to reducing the problem of overcrowding within penitentiary establishments and to rationalize costs.

The government official pointed out that this bill distinguishes 3 types of alternative punishments, which are “work in the public interest, electronic surveillance, restriction of certain rights and imposition of measures of control, reparation or rehabilitation. “.

Weak points

In his reading of this project, the researcher in public law and political science, Abd al-Hay al-Gharba, considered that “alternative sentences are one of the main approaches to deal with Moroccan prison overcrowding, and they do not are not the only and most effective solution.”

In an interview with “Sky News Arabia”, he pointed out, “The need to develop a set of procedures and measures alongside alternative sentences, in addition to finding the flaws in certain criminal procedures, and highlighting the causes recidivism cases.

Regarding the withdrawal of compensation for prison sentences through the payment of financial fines, Al-Gharba pointed out that “it is difficult to recognize that financial sanctions will be a solution to the overcrowding crisis, because this problem has multiple dimensions”.

He said the overcrowding crisis “is linked to criminal policy and its success, to criminal legislation and to the questioning of the parliamentary elite. As for talking about financial fines as an alternative punishment that would reduce overcrowding, that is out of the question because it would make prison the monopoly of the poor.”

It should be noted that the first version of the draft alternative sentences proposed by Wehbe was accompanied by great controversy, before the government froze it and its president, Aziz Akhannush, appointed a ministerial technical committee for the examine, which resulted in the withdrawal of the financial fines. as an alternative to prison sentences.

Calls for renewal

In the midst of a debate on prison overcrowding in the kingdom, a report published by the National Human Rights Council indicates that “Morocco is considered one of the countries that suffers from prison overcrowding, and one of its consequences is the high cost of detention.”

The same source attributes this crisis to a combination of reasons, including “the massive use of preventive detention (around 40% of the total number of detainees), the slowness of trials, the almost non-existent application of the legal requirements linked to conditional release, the limited implementation of conciliation procedures and the non-application of a measure relating to persons. » the mentally ill.

Among the Council’s recommendations is “the need to formulate a comprehensive and coherent strategy to include alternative sentences and to take public policy measures to expand the supply of care centers and rehabilitate the most vulnerable groups who can subject to alternative penalties”. In this context, it recommended “developing a support plan for the capacities of justice professionals in the field of the definition and implementation of alternative sentences.

According to the new draft law approved by the government, alternative sentences will only be applied to crimes whose sentence does not exceed 5 years, which means that cases related to terrorism, drug and human trafficking, rape, state security, embezzlement, treason, corruption, abuse of influence, waste of public funds, money laundering and sexual exploitation For minors or people with disabilities, they cannot be subject to penalties alternatives.

The new provisions, according to connoisseurs of the law, are also an opportunity to allow the judge, within the framework of his discretion, to activate sanctions such as public interest, electronic surveillance, to restrict certain rights and to impose control, treatment or rehabilitation measures. , which will go a long way in alleviating the pressure on penitentiary establishments.

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Arab Desk
Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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