The status of temporary laws in Morocco
The aim of this paper is to shed light on the relationship the application of the criminal law holds to the time of act, andspecifically on the temporary laws such as the law of state of emergency that intends to face the pandemic “corona virus”; a dangerous phenomenonthat threatens the security of people. Accordingly, this study will focus ontwo main points in an attempttorespond tothe question of how to deal with the temporary law during and after the state of emergency.
- During the period of state of emergency.
Anyone whocommits a violation of a temporary law as the law relatedtothe state of emergency can be convicted. For example,if a person does not put on the protective mask in order to protect himself from the pandemic “corona virus», he or she is considered to be a perpetratorof a misdemeanor and can be subjectto a penaltythat can reach up three years of imprisonment ,on consideration of the adage that states that “no one may invoke ignorance of the criminal law as an excuse ,stipulated in the article two of criminal law of Morocco.
Thus, no one is permitted to transgress the content of the law during the period of state of emergency, but what about the criminal acts beyond that period?
- Afterthe period of state of emergency.
The disposition of the article 11 of the universal declaration of human rights stipulatesthat “no one shall be held guilty of any act or omission which at the time it was committed, did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law”.Yet, this disposition is not applicable to temporary laws. This type of laws, even after they have ceased to be in force, they continue to govern offences committed during the period of their application. For example, if someone committed an act against the state of emergency datedApril 18th and the prosecuting is made after two years,the suspect, in this case,wouldsuffer the effects of his behavioras if the prescription of infraction (4 years) is not terminated.
Before concluding and in relation with this study, we can present the example ofthe French law which relates the punishment to the time of offence committing. The article 112-1 of the criminal law of France stipulates that “only acts constituting an offence at the time they were committed are punishable, and the only penalties that may be imposed are those legally applicable on the same date”.
To sum up, from the short review above we findthat the principal fact to punish someone is the time of the act, however the criminal law of Morocco stipulates an importantdisposition like the temporary law.