Morocco/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

Since the beginning of this century, Morocco has undergone profound legislative and cultural changes.

Various workshops to update laws have been organised in line with international and, particularly, European Union (EU) standards, given the strong ties between Morocco and the EU.

Moroccan laws, particularly those related to culture, are generally derived from French legislation given the historic relations between the two countries.

Most legal provisions related to the regulation of culture are mentioned in Chapters 2, 6 and 7, and are included in Table 5.1.

The Ministry of Culture
In the framework of government guidelines meant to update public administration and increase public visibility, the MoC was restructured in 2006 at the national and regional levels by virtue of a legislative decree [11] based on two key elements:

Redefine the MoC’s duties from operation and implementation to stimulation, steering, and activation.

Revise the allocation of responsibilities between national, regional and local levels of organisation at the Ministry by allocating more responsibilities to the decentralised divisions in all matters related to project management and implementation.

Reforming the audio-visual (A-V) sector was high on the priority list of the interim government of 1998. This resulted in the issuance of a law [20] de-monopolising public control over the A-V sector. It restricted the government’s role to improving and promoting the communication industries through basic oversight, organisation and strategy setting, taking into consideration public freedoms, individual rights and the country's cultural values and political life.

Local Communities
Pursuant to dahir 1959 (complemented and amended in 2009) [2], Morocco is divided into 16 regions, 21 provinces, 62 prefectures, 82 urban communes and 1421 rural communes.

The region consists of a number of provinces and prefectures, which are administrative units bearing little organisational difference. Provinces, however, are always created in major urban areas.

Chapter 100 of the 1996 constitution considers local communes part of the country's regions, provinces and prefectures. They may be urban or rural communes. The Collective Covenant [32] of 2002 defines the local commune as an administrative unit under public law, with its own legal entity and financial independence. The local commune elects its council, with its own jurisdiction and the jurisdiction conferred upon it by the state.

Regions play a key role in national politics. Three-fifths of the Advisors Council (the second chamber of parliament) consists of regional members voted in by an electorate consisting of representatives from local communes.

The local (urban or rural) commune council is elected by direct voting, but the councils of regions, provinces and prefectures are elected indirectly. Representatives to the central administration implement the decisions of the province and prefecture councils and supervise the work of the local communes according to specific conditions stipulated by the law.

Local communes have their own taxation system and determine some of their own tax rates and collection mechanisms. Local communes benefit from the transfer of at least 30% of VAT revenues, in addition to the revenues of three more taxes collected by government authorities and allocated to these communes: patente, taxe d’édilité and taxe urbaine.

Local communes also benefit from forest revenues and from local funds subsidised by the state (Rural Development Fund, loans granted for local communes and the Local Communes Development Fund).

Despite the jurisdiction afforded to local communes, the central government remains largely in control, particularly concerning financial management.

Commune cultural legislation has developed substantially since 1960, when the first post-independence collective system very reservedly tackled the local cultural issue.

Chapter 25 of this system stipulates that, in matters of culture and religion, local commune councils may only express wishes rather than pass legislation. This superseded Chapter 2 [58] of the 1917 decree (during the French protectorate), which stipulated that local councils could establish places intended for acting, dancing, entertainment and music.

Law 1976 in Chapter 30 stipulates that local councils shall decide on all matters related to communes. They shall take all necessary measures to guarantee the economic, social and cultural development of them, and that they may put forward their proposals and wishes to the national representatives serving their communes. 

Article 41 of collective covenant [32] of 2002 stipulates that, “Social and cultural equipment and works shall be the responsibility of the local council, which shall take part in the maintenance and management of social, cultural and sports equipment.”

Chapter published: 05-05-2016