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Morocco: Bill to Amend Counterterrorism Law

(Feb. 13, 2015) On January 26, 2015, the House of Deputies in Morocco approved a draft law that amends the country’s anti-terrorism law, with 102 votes for, none against, and 47 abstentions. The legislation amends certain provisions of the Penal Code and of the Code of Criminal Procedure to criminalize the act of joining a terrorist organization, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and to expand the scope of the definition of terrorist acts. It also extends the jurisdiction of the national courts to prosecute terrorist crimes whether the crimes are committed within or outside Moroccan national territories. (Draft Law No. 86.14, House of Deputies website (Jan. 26, 2015) (in Arabic).) The draft law has since been referred to the House of Councillors for review. (Draft Amendment (Jan. 26, 2015), House of Councillors website (in Arabic, select amendment text from the drop down menu).)

Pursuant to article 60 of the Constitution, the legislative authority in Morocco is vested in a parliament formed of two houses, the House of Deputies and the House of Councillors. (The Constitution of 2011, Government of Morocco website (in Arabic).)

In order for the draft law to become effective and enter into force, it needs to be promulgated by a Royal Decree (Zahir) and published in the official gazette. (Id. art. 50.)