By keeping aside the corporation of lawyers, just to pass his bill on the profession, the Minister of Justice, Abdellatif Ouahbi, faces a pretty audience of indignant people among the black togas. He is accused in the first place of passing a text without the consent of the corporation.
Purely unilateral, as estimated by the lawyers, the attitude of the supervising minister aroused, in the eyes of the protesters, strong reactions. They culminated in the famous demonstration on Friday, October 21 in front of the ministry’s headquarters in Rabat, marked by slogans demanding the departure of Abdellatif Ouahbi. The black dresses let him know that without any consultation with the professionals, the penalty that he intends to pass at all costs in the 2023 finance bill (PLF) did not pass for them.
The “supreme” rejection concerns, among the many contested articles of the draft law governing the profession, the tax reform. And she rages more than during a plea of despair. Indeed, Abdellatif Ouahbi counts in his inclinations, to compel the lawyers to pay an advance on the Income Tax (IR) or on the IS (company) for each file treated, of a sum ranging from 100 to 500 dirhams, the amount of the advance varying according to the jurisdiction and the nature of the case. This measure complements the current system, based on a simple annual declaration. We remember this famous sentence with which it all began: “ 95% of lawyers pay only 10,000 DH in tax per year “. Reactions to this announcement, unsurprisingly, were in the realm of rejection and it was seen by lawyers as an attack on their profession.
Since then, we no longer give each other gifts and the mandate of Abdellatif Ouahbi is singled out by this corporation. The rag is burning! And lawyers have strongly expressed their displeasure with the bill. The latter should normally have governed the profession in revision in particular, the conditions of access or the training with of course their consent. But nay! The Minister of Justice, having opted for “theexclusion from consultations of bodily institutions”.
As a result, professionals believe that the PLF provides, in its provisions, to prioritize a body of trades called upon to defend the principles of equality before the law. This ostracism or this approach it is according to, for the black dresses is a red line not to be crossed, because it affects first of all their freedom of action and the fairness of the profession. Also, the showdown is far from over between the lawyers and Abdellatif Ouahbi.
The latter knows things about it since since the beginning of his mandate, he has often been confronted with this corporation to which he nevertheless belongs, since he was a lawyer at the base long before being Minister of Justice. For the black togas, the sin reproached to Abdellatif Ouahbi is to have violated the principles of negotiation, dialogue and consultation as well as the ethics and deontology of relations with institutions, going beyond the Order Moroccan Lawyers and Presidents of the Bar, and above all, underestimated the role of the lawyer. Unforgivable!
For his part, the Minister of Justice remains straight in these boots considering that he remains faithful to the spirit of the vast legislative project of the revision of the texts on the exercise of the professions of lawyer, notary, bailiff justice, legal expert and sworn translator, as announced in Laayoune during the 3rd justice forum, last November on the theme: ” Justice in the new development model “. A process of reforms relating to the modernization of justice mechanisms. Except that Abdellatif Ouahbi, barely invested, omitted a part that had been promised, which pointed out that the process of in-depth reform of the judicial system would be carried out, as recommended by this report (NMD), in coordination with the various bodies and professions of justice, with a view to increasing its efficiency, improving the quality of its services and meeting the needs of citizens by guaranteeing their right to fair and transparent justice.