Morocco has managed to set up a modern, structuring legal arsenal to develop the world of finance and business and encourage investment, stressed Mohamed Abdennabaoui, First President of the Court of Cassation and President-Delegate of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power, in Abidjan on Thursday. He was speaking at the opening of the 2nd edition of the African Arbitration and Mediation Days, held under the theme “Settlement of commercial and investment disputes through arbitration and mediation within the framework of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) and ZLECAF”. Abdennabaoui, guest of honor at this year’s event, noted in his speech that today’s world is undergoing major and rapid change in the field of trade, which is multiplying more and more, noting in this sense that the port of Tangier MED and soon that of Dakhla, for example, will be increasingly solicited within the framework of ZLECAF. He also pointed out that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and in particular arbitration, are at the forefront of this process. In this context, he continued, a series of measures and procedures have been adopted in the Kingdom of Morocco, affirming that Morocco has been able to establish a modern and structuring legal arsenal to develop the world of finance and business and encourage investment. Law 95-17 on arbitration and conventional mediation, long awaited by all professionals, finally saw the light of day on June 13, 2022, the date of its publication in the Bulletin Officiel (B.O.). Abdennabaoui pointed out that this parchment was mainly the result of the farsightedness of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, whose messages and directives in his speeches bear witness to the particular importance attached to this subject. In particular, he highlighted the latest royal directives to make “effective” the implementation of alternative dispute resolution methods, which should enable Morocco to occupy its rightful place as a regional platform for international arbitration, notably on the African continent and in the Arab world. The First President of the Court of Cassation also emphasized that the judiciary is called upon to accompany arbitration, while respecting its autonomy and taking into account the new approaches specific to this particular field. But beyond the legal texts and mediation and arbitration bodies, he said, efforts must be made to raise awareness, and a great deal of work remains to be done to change the mentality of law users in order to bring about this change. In his view, we need to pay close attention to the major difficulties encountered by Alternative Dispute Resolution; on the recognition and exequatur of foreign arbitral awards. “We are faced with a national responsibility and international challenges, and we are all aware that arbitration, mediation and conciliation are struggling to establish themselves as a reflex in an increasingly litigious society”, he insisted. In Abdennabaoui’s view, the Abidjan meeting, which is of an exceptional nature, will constitute a ring of legal and judicial cooperation and promote the exchange of experience to broaden the scope of knowledge. It is also a good opportunity to discuss best practices, propose innovative and realistic solutions, and develop an elaborate approach that will help enrich the world of business and investment, with the ultimate aim of developing an integrated African market, he concluded. The opening ceremony of this 2nd edition (July 27-28) was attended by the Ivorian Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Jean Sansan Kambilé, HM the King’s Ambassador to Abidjan, Abdelmalek Ketani, and officials from the OHADA Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA/OHADA), the OHADA Regional Superior School of Magistrates (ERSUMA), the Association for the Promotion of Arbitration in Africa (APAA) and the African Continental Free Trade Zone (ZLECAF).
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