Vote “No” on the agreement for mutual judicial assistance between France and Morocco

23/06/2015
Press release
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A protocol for mutual judicial assistance between France and Morocco has just been submitted to the National Assembly for examination. It will be examined on 23 June.

According to the French government:

This additional protocol of 6 February 2015 favors a more lasting and effective cooperation between France and Morocco, with due respect for domestic law and the international commitments of the two Parties.”

But there are major questions about the legality of the text and its compatibility with the French Constitution and France’s international commitments.

Despite the manner in which it was presented, the agreement is not a harmless bilateral agreement. In fact, it:

  • prejudices the right to effective recourse for French and foreign victims of crimes and offences committed in Morocco;
  • contradicts the principle of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary;
  • prioritises the Moroccan judiciary over the French judiciary, even when the victim is a French national;
  • is contrary to France’s obligation to try alleged perpetrators of international crimes;
  • makes French victims unequal before the law, depending on whether the crime or the offence occurred in Morocco or elsewhere;
  • orders the French judge to decline jurisdiction in favor of a Moroccan judge if the complaint in France was filed by a Moroccan or a French citizen, without considering the fundamental principles of the right to a fair trial and without prior submission of a request for extradition.

FIDH, LDH, ACAT, Amnesty International-France and HRW urge the French Parliament to vote down this bill on the adoption of a protocol which seriously threatens access to justice for victims.

Please refer to our Q&A for more information (in French).

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