Modernisation of the Supreme Court
Title: Open government – modernisation of the Supreme Court in Morocco
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Lead executing agency: Cour de Cassation (CdC)
Overall term: 2016 to 2017
Designed to make the government and administrative authorities more transparent and accessible to the public, the open government approach has already been mainstreamed in many Moroccan Government programmes. Morocco aims to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Open Government Partnership. However, the OECD concluded in 2015 that the Moroccan judiciary had barely made any progress with regard to putting open government into practice.
Measures to promote transparency and participation are also enshrined in the country’s new (2011) constitution. This resulted in increasing hopes at national and international level that this would improve the legal situation of the country’s population, but this has yet to happen.
The Court of Cassation, Morocco’s supreme judicial body, serves as a model for the country’s judicial sector in terms of both content and processes. The Court is pursuing a modernisation and transparency initiative as part of its 2013 to 2017 strategy in order to increase efficiency and provide more guidance and advisory support for a range of target groups, primarily citizens, engaged in legal disputes. It intends to achieve this by introducing a modern information management system.
The Court of Cassation has a functioning information management system, which is used by citizens, legal experts and the staff of the Court. By making itself more accessible and increasing the reliability and service focus of its work, the Court boosts confidence in the judicial system.
The project began by advising the Court of Cassation on ways to clarify and prioritise its strategic and technical requirements. Having drafted a strategic concept, the Court now has a clear sense of direction for its future work. The Court’s staff visited the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, a Dutch court of appeal, the International Criminal Court and other relevant institutions in order to learn from their experience. The goal of this research trip was to become acquainted with a range of systems in order to devise the best technical and institutional solution for Morocco’s planned modernisation process.
Building on this preliminary work, GIZ is assisting the Court of Cassation to introduce an IT-based information management system in the following three areas: processes, IT, and change management and communication. The system will be made up of several areas with different degrees of openness depending on the target group.
The Court’s website will be designed for ease of use by the public, providing it with access to judicial information and explanatory material about the legal system. A secure external area is being created for administrative purposes to facilitate correspondence between defendants, plaintiffs and their lawyers on the one hand and Court staff responsible for dealing with the case in question on the other. Verdicts and publications will be managed within an internal communications area.
Modernising the information management system will improve the efficiency of the Court of Cassation. By working more swiftly and transparently, Morocco’s highest court will positively impact the way the legal system is perceived in the country, thereby boosting overall public confidence in the judicial system.