Morocco will host a forum with Moroccan lawyers to discuss challenges that Moroccans residing abroad face with family laws in their host countries.
Rabat – As part of its strategy to protect the rights of Moroccans residing abroad (MRE), the Delegate Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad (MCMREAM) will organize the 3rd Forum of Moroccan Lawyers Residing Abroad.
Morocco seeks through this forum to involve the Moroccan community abroad in a debate on Morocco’s Family Code law, the ministry said in a framing note.
The conference will be held February 8-9 in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, the Superior Council of the Judiciary, the Presidency of the Prosecutor General’s Office, and the Association of the Lawyers’ Bar of Morocco.
The Family Code, known as Moudawana, regulates marriage, polygamy, divorce, inheritance, and child custody.
Morocco first codified the Moudawana after it gained independence in 1956. The government most recently revised Moudawana in 2004, a significant revision that primarily addressed women’s rights and gender equality within an Islamic legal framework. The reform included over 100 amendments, and Parliament passed it in January 2004.
Many human rights activists and international organizations supported the reform.
The MCMREAM’s note, shared with Morocco World News, emphasized that “the provisions of the Family Code, in force for more than 14 years, require not only a reflection to delimit the acquired knowledge and evaluate the [Moudawana] experience, but also an interpretation invoking the effects and impact of its application in the countries of MREs.”
Under the theme “The Family Code in the Light of Comparative Law and International Conventions,” the conference will discuss two major topics: “The effects of judgments rendered and contracts concluded abroad, in the field of family law, in the light of international conventions” and “The protection of the child in the light of international conventions.”
The discussion will take, as starting a point, the message that King Mohammed VI to the Fifth Islamic Conference of Ministers in Charge of Childhood, held on February 21 last year in Rabat.
“I have also sought to strengthen family cohesion through the adoption of an advanced Family Code that takes into account the best interests of the child and protects his or her rights in all circumstances,” the King said in the letter.
The 3rd Forum of Moroccan Lawyers Residing Abroad will “analyze the position of the Moroccan judiciary on the effects of judgments and decisions made by the authorities and jurisdictions of host countries, while emphasizing the role of bilateral and multilateral conventions,” reads the framing note.
The discussion also seeks to identify possible solutions that can help overcome difficulties that the Moroccan community faces abroad regarding family law issues.
“Disparities in family law are often the result of differences between Muslim legal systems and secular legal systems. Indeed, the former generally adopt solutions based on religious foundations while the others are strongly egalitarian and advocate individual freedom. In such conditions, the Moroccan family living abroad strays between the desire to preserve their attachment to their identity and their culture of origin and the integration policies adopted by the host countries,” the notes explained.
The forum will also examine challenges pertaining to child protection, such as child custody.
The ministry in charge of MREs cited some child custody issues, including “the diversity of the rules regulating it, parents’ nationality, the law applicable to mixed marriages and its exclusion in case of breach of international public order, and the supreme interest of the child.”
The forum will bring together Moroccan magistrates, Moroccan lawyers and Moroccan lawyers abroad, professors, and representatives of several ministerial departments and institutions.