Consensus on PL on alternative penalties, no financial fines

Consensus on PL on alternative penalties, no financial fines

After the controversy surrounding the first version of the alternative sentencing bill proposed by the Minister of Justice, Abdelatif Ouahbi, and which was then frozen by the government and submitted to a ministerial technical commission for examination, the Council of the Government examines this Thursday the new version of the said project, following a consensus on its provisions.

It is important to note that the new alternative sentencing bill does not include the controversial issue raised by Abdellatif Ouahbi’s first draft concerning the payment of financial fines for each day in prison, the value of which was set between 100 and 2000 dirhams. This decision was contested by the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch, and the interior minister, Abdelouafi Laftit.

The Alternative Sentences Bill provides for sentences which may be imposed in lieu of custodial sentences for offenses for which the sentence does not exceed five years in prison. It allows the convict to perform certain obligations in exchange for his freedom, in accordance with the conditions set by the court.

Several alternative sentences have been adopted after examining many comparative experiences and taking into account the specificities of Moroccan society, so that they are effective, enforceable and achieve the desired objectives. Crimes for which alternative sentences are not pronounced because of their seriousness have been excluded, taking into account cases of recidivism where the desired deterrence is not achieved.

The new draft is limited to providing for community service as an alternative sentence that can be imposed by the court, replacing the custodial sentence, if the convicted person has reached the age of 15 on the date of the judgment.

With regard to minors, community service does not apply to persons under the age of fifteen. However, if the court decides on a prison sentence under article 482 of the criminal procedure code, the minor can replace it with the sentence of community service.

The draft stipulates that community service is ” unpaid and is carried out for a period ranging from 40 to 1000 hours for the benefit of the public interest, local authorities, institutions for the protection of rights and freedoms, good governance, public institutions, charities, places worship or other non-governmental organizations working for the general interest“.

To determine the number of hours of community service, the court takes into account two hours of work per day of the duration of the prison sentence, respecting the minimum and maximum limits set.

The plan also takes into account the compatibility of community service with the convict’s profession or trade, and makes it possible, if necessary, to supplement their usual professional activity. Thus, the convict undertakes to carry out the community service sentence within a period not exceeding one year from the date of publication of the executive decision mentioned in article 647-2 of the law relating to the criminal procedure.

Work in the general interest is subject to the legislative and regulatory provisions relating to the protection of the safety and health of workers. The state is responsible for repairing the damage caused by the convict in the execution of the sentence of community service and has the right to recover from the convict the amounts due.

In addition, the court may decide to impose electronic monitoring as an alternative to deprivation of liberty. This type of monitoring involves electronically monitoring the movements of the convict using approved devices.

The location and duration of electronic monitoring is determined by the court, taking into account the seriousness of the offense, the personal and professional circumstances of the convicted person, as well as the safety of the victims. The project’s preliminary note considered electronic surveillance to be one of the innovative means of penal policy, resulting from technological advances, which have had an impact on the penal policy of most contemporary penal systems that have adopted it.

The draft emphasizes that the application of the electronic monitoring system strikes an important balance between individual rights and freedoms and the public interest represented by the state’s efforts to deter perpetrators of crimes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here