Expert Insight

"Moroccan Woman Judge Is A Pioneering Arab Experience…And The Main Partner In Advocating For Their Benefits" Prof. Zohour El Rachidi, the Woman Judge at Casablanca Commercial Court, Kingdom of Morocco. And a member of the Central Bureau of Moroccan Associati . zohoor el rashaidi

"Moroccan Woman Judge Is A Pioneering Arab Experience…And The Main Partner In Advocating For Their Benefits"

Prof. Zohour El Rachidi, the Woman Judge at Casablanca Commercial Court, Kingdom of Morocco.

And a member of the Central Bureau of Moroccan Association of Women Judges (AMFJ)

Experience is the only judgment on the plausibility of any idea. Before addressing my professional experience as a woman judge, it is worthy to note that the Moroccan Woman is generally deemed a pioneer in all fields, under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. May God bless him, who was keen on empowering women to get all their rights and participate in the decision-making process, and offering prospects for the future for them to lead in various fields since his succession to the throne.

The presence of women in the Judiciary represents a natural consequence of the development and openness of peoples. Moroccan women have achieved a distinctive presence in the judiciary, and they are among the first Arab women judges who were admitted to this field early, since 1961, and they have enhanced their presence in the Moroccan judicial scene strongly, the number of women judges in Morocco is currently up to 1,068 women judges, 25 percent. They have also proven their ability to lead and effectively contribute to decision-making and assume many prestigious positions nationally and internationally. It is a positive indication of the Moroccan state's commitment to provide opportunities for women to participate actively in sustainable development.

My Professional Experience

After getting a degree in Law “Basic Studies Branch”, the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science in Settat, 2008, and during my second year of the Master term in Business Law, the Faculty of Legal, Economic and Social Science, Rabat, Mohammed V University in Agdal, I admitted to the Judicial Trainee Competition "Batch 36 ", 2009 and I passed it, so that I received training at the Higher Judicial Institute for two years for the period 2009-2011, then I graduated as a woman judge on October 25, 2011.

My Work Experience in the Public Prosecution

Upon the proposal of the High Council of the Judiciary for the February 2011 session, I was appointed for the first time as Deputy Prosecutor of the King at Casablanca Civil Court of First Instance.

I consider my experience as a Deputy Prosecutor of the King, despite its short time, is a unique experience, which affects positively my personality and career. My first appointment to the Public Prosecutor, under the supervision of a woman Prosecutor of the King, and the valuable support and guidance that I have received from her part at both professional and personal levels, gave me an idea that the Moroccan Women have the competency and professionalism that enable them to be leaders at all levels, and the criterion for distinguishing that must be relied upon represents incompetency, impartiality, integrity and performance level.

The Junior judge needs a lot of support to be able to overcome the difficulties he faces at the beginning of his career, especially if he comes from another city. From the first time I served to the Casablanca civil court of the first instance, I received a great support from my colleagues, but the way of communication and the ability to adapt and manage all situations the judge may exposed are the basic factors that facilitate his integration into the judicial facility in which he works.

My Work Experience in Commercial Court

Working in the commercial Court was an ambition for me since I entered the judicial profession, by virtue of my university degree in "business law". In addition, I spent a period of training at the Rabat Commercial Court, in conjunction with the commercial law courses that were programmed for the training period. Accordingly, I am convinced that the judge’s choice of the specialization in which he received an academic training will inevitably constitute an added value in his judicial career, by combining what is theoretical and practical when considering the files and legal cases brought before him.

After I spent more than two years in the Public Prosecution Service of the Civil Court of First Instance, during the year 2014, the transfer request to work at Casablanca Commercial Court was responded by the High Council of the Judiciary.

Before talking about the unique experience at this court, it is worthy to note that the establishment of the commercial courts fall within the set of legislative reforms undertaken by Morocco at the beginning of the last decade of the last century, in order to enhance the trade and business environment and develop investment in Morocco, Morocco went ahead in the field of Judicial system through the experience of the specialized jurisdiction. Consequently, the commercial courts were established under Law No. 53.95 on 12 February 1997, as a specialized and independent jurisdiction administratively and structurally, to which the duty of consideration some of the specific issues will be assigned.

Casablanca Commercial Court, in which I currently work, is deemed one of the most important commercial courts in Morocco, by virtue of its main location in the economic capital of the Kingdom, and its relevance to a large number of cases brought before it, as it achieves a record levels annually in the percentage and number of judgments rendered by it.

Working in this court is deemed an excellent challenge for me, given I was working as a deputy prosecutor in the public prosecution. However, my work alongside a group of women judges and judges, headed by the judicial officer in this court, and my benefit from their judicial experiences, and my desire to learn and develop, as well as my academic study in business law, and search for jurisprudence are all factors that contributed to integrate rapidly into this exceptional court. Through my family support and encouragement, I could balance between my work as a woman judge and my family duties as a wife and mother. This is the case for every Moroccan woman in every home, as she takes care of her family and her children, is a successful employee, and sometimes she studies at university or enrolls in higher education to obtain higher degrees.

It is worthy to note that I worked at this court as a trial women judge in various cases . A women judge member of the chamber to decide on a the contracting difficulties cases, as well as a deputy chairman in terms of amicable settlement and attachment confirmation procedures. Currently, I work at the same court as a chamber chairwoman.

Given the commercial courts have jurisdiction to decide on various economic cases, the judge made great efforts to settle the cases brought before him by using his legal training and jurisprudence at both levels of the Court of Cassation and the Commercial Courts of Appeal.

Judiciary is a profession primarily, in addition to the importance of the professional experience as a main element in rendering the commercial judgment, openness and keeping abreast is not only in legal issues, and the use of the law in a humane and flexible manner is an essential element that should, in my point of view, be taken into account when considering the files and rendering the judicial ruling, which has multiple functions and dimensions and effects on the litigant and society in general. Accordingly, this requires a proper working conditions for judges, and keeping abreast by the commercial judge by getting training on a regular basis, to keep abreast with the continuous and diversified development of the disputes brought before him, and respond effectively to the changing needs and expectations of society and the economy.

The woman judge in the commercial courts is deemed as a partner and a key actor along with her fellow judge in achieving the judicial efficiency, and consolidate a lot of principles and jurisprudence, which reflects her strong and massive presence in the commercial courts in Morocco. She also contributed to the decision-making process at the level of the commercial courts by assuming positions of judicial responsibility early, as Ms. Asiya Oualalou was appointed as the first president of the commercial court in Rabat in 1998, and Mrs. Laila Benjelloun as the first president of a commercial court of appeal, and the woman judge is currently assuming the position of the public prosecutor of the king in the commercial court of appeal in Fes, and president of a commercial court, and a king's prosecutor in Commercial courts in Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Meknes, Tangiers, and Oujda.

My Associative Work Experience

In addition to my professional experience as a woman judge, I am a member of the Moroccan Association of Women Judges (AMFJ). Fortunately, the president and founder of the Court of First Instance to which I was appointed for the first time, was King's prosecutor, Prof. Aisha Al-Nasiri, in 2011, after the possibility of judges membership or establishing professional associations became possible under Article 111 of the Kingdom’s constitution. This enabled me to open up greatly to the associative work, and to contribute, along with the rest of the Association’s women members, to the achievement of the goals contained in its Basic Law to ensure the rights and benefits of women judges and judges stipulated in the Constitution. This Association also constitutes the gateway through which the Moroccan woman judge is able to make her voice heard, advocate her rights, and have an effective impact in context of the reform. The Association's openness to the civil society nationally and internationally and its adoption of bold programs also contributed to empowering women judges to participate in reform and community development workshops.

In general, the experience of Moroccan women judges in the judiciary is rich and distinctive in all fields at the national and international levels, and it can be deemed as one of the pioneering experiences that empowering the Arab women from their right to access the judiciary and assume decision-making positions. In addition to their unique experience in the associative work since the enactment of the 2011 constitution, which has enhanced their position in advocating for the independence of the judiciary, they may be a role model for Arab women judges in advocating for their rights and benefits to achieve the desired parity in their countries, especially regarding these matters where women's competency and ability to assume the judiciary profession are still under discussion.

You May Like Also