As an integral part of the fundamental right for freedom of expression, UNESCO has been promoting access to public information worldwide for more than 10 years, and more than 90 of its Member States have already adopted freedom of information laws.
In 2011 the principle of freedom of information was included in the Article 27 of the new Constitution in Morocco, and on 26 March 2013 the Government published the related draft law. A newly reviewed draft law N° 31-13 was published in August 2014.
A one-day workshop, which took place on 30 October in Rabat, focused on the reading of the draft law N° 31-13 on the right to access information. It gathered representatives from the Moroccan ministries, experts, academics, civil society organizations and journalists to study and comment on the new draft law and to ensure that it meets their requirements as well as the international standards.
The workshop was structured in two panels:
- the first one studied the 31-13 draft law, Moroccan constitution and international standards; and
- the second one focused on an in-depth analysis of the new draft law regarding human rights legislation, good governance and transparency.
Salah Eddine Jamal, Director in charge of the modernization of the public administration at the Ministry of public function and modernization of administration, expressed the willingness of the government to take into account civil society’s recommendations on the draft law.
Toby Mendel, Director of the Center of Law and Democracy, shared with the audience the recommendations highlighting the importance of reducing the exceptions in requests for information made by citizens, creating an independent commission for mediation and removing admissibility conditions in formulating information requests.
By promoting a better understanding of the international principles of the right to access public information in Morocco, UNESCO encourages the adoption of a law that helps the Moroccan citizens and Government to take further steps in the democratic transition of the country.
As a follow-up to this workshop, UNESCO will support a series of meetings with the members of the Moroccan parliament to present FOI key principles with recommendations on the draft law No 31-13 aligned with the international standards.
These activities have been made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Finland.