Practice Relating to Rule 101. The Principle of Legality
Morocco’s Penal Code (1962) provides:
No one can be convicted for an act which is not expressly provided for as an offence by the law, nor punished by penalties the law has not laid down.
No one can be convicted for an act which, according to the law in force at the time it was committed, did not constitute an offence.
No one can be convicted for an act which, by effect of a law subsequent to its commission, no longer constitutes an offence; if a conviction has been pronounced, the execution of main as well as ancillary penalties is ended.
If several laws have been in force since the moment the offence was committed and the final judgement, the law whose provisions are the least severe must be applied.
Morocco’s Constitution (1996) provides: “The law shall be the supreme expression of the will of the Nation. All shall abide by it. The law shall have no retroactive effect.”
In 2004, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Morocco stated:
196. Article 10 of the Constitution establishes the principle of the legality of offences and penalties: “No person may be arrested, detained or punished except under the conditions and in the manner prescribed by law.”
197. The principle of the legality of offences and penalties is reiterated in the Criminal Code, which establishes the principle of non-retroactivity of the law.
In 2005, in response to the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Morocco stated:
Article 4 of the Criminal Code stipulates as follows: “No one shall be held guilty of an offence on account of an act that did not constitute a criminal offence under the law in force at the time it was committed”. The Moroccan Constitution recognizes the same principle; article 4 provides: “The law shall be the supreme expression of the will of the nation. Everyone shall comply with the law, which shall not have retroactive effect”.