Strengthening Women’s Rights and the Access to Justice in the Moroccan Legal System
The Moroccan family law (the Moudawana) undertook a major reform in 2004. However, the law has to be implemented in practice, meaning that there is also a need of providing access to citizens about their newly gained rights. In this project, Danish and Moroccan partners work together at various levels to promote and support Morocco’s new family law.
Since 2007, Danish legislators have been working together with their Moroccan partners to support the introduction of Morocco’s new family law (the Moudawana). These multidisciplinary partnerships focus on three key areas:
- Conflict mediation in connection with divorce proceedings
- Access to legal rights information and free legal aid
- How women victims of violence are received by the courts
This project is part of the ‘Legal Change’ key focus area.
Reform in Morocco
The reform of the Moudawana was voted for unanimously in the Moroccan parliament in 2004 at a time when other areas of Moroccan society were also undergoing reform. Women’s organisations in Morocco had been fighting since the 1980s for a reform of family law, and now their main focus is supporting the legislation’s practical implementation.
The Danish-Moroccan joint partnership supports reform processes commenced by partners in the Middle East and North Africa and is based upon bilateral cooperation between professionals. Law court judges from both Denmark and Morocco work together to ensure that citizens have good access to their legal rights. Court officials from Morocco stay in Denmark and are trained in providing a high standard of citizens’ advice and legal information in order to increase and improve the level of information to the citizens. Lawyers from Denmark’s Department of Family Affairs together with Moroccan education officials responsible for the training of court judges have drawn up teaching material focusing on conflict mediation. They also educate the Moroccan judges in the practical application of mediation. The project is currently planned to run until 2012.
The Moudawana addresses women’s rights in relation to marriage, child custody, property and inheritance. The law provides women with the right to apply for divorce, limits polygamous marriage, and raises the minimum age for marriage. Read more at hrea.org. These changes bring with them a need for increased information aimed at citizens as well as a need for financing legal aid for those who can not afford a lawyer. To meet this last need, the project supports three NGOs who, together with the universities, are creating a non-state-run legal aid system similar to the Danish model.
For more info about this project
Tlf: 50 76 33 63