Legal Environment

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In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution

 

Business Contract

General Observation
In the event of litigation, the obligations are not always executed and the penalty clause rarely used. Thus it is advisable to give special attention in the choice of one's partner.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Book IV of Moroccan Commercial law of 1995
Advisable Incoterms
FOB or CIF
Language of Domestic Contract
French in general, Arabic.
Rarely English.
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
The contracting parties can choose to be governed by the law of any country.

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
L'OMPIC (Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property) handles the registration of industrial patents, drawings and models and brands in Morocco. Consult also the Copyright Office of Morocco.
Regional Organisations
Nil
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
Law no. 17/97 relating to the protection of industrial property
20 years
Trademark
 
Law no. 17/97 relating to the protection of industrial property
10 years as from the date of registration, renewable indefinitely for identical periods. Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Law no. 17/97 relating to the protection of industrial property
5 years as from the date of registration, renewable indefinitely for two new consecutive periods of 5 years.  
Copyright
 
Law no. 2/00 relating to copyrights and performing rights
During the author's lifetime and 50 years after his death WIPO Copyright Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Law no. 17/97 relating to the protection of industrial property
5 years as from the date of registration, renewable indefinitely for two new consecutive periods of 5 years.  

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

The Language of Justice
Arabic is the legal language, but French is often used in businesses as well as in government milieus.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Possible
Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1972 (revised in 1992 and 1996). The legal system is based on the Islamic law as well as on the French and Spanish civil law systems.
 

The Different Legal Codes

 
Commercial law (in French) Law no.15-95
Family law Law no.70-03
Penal code (in French) Dahir no.1-59-413
Employment regulations Law no.65-99
 
Checking National Laws Online
Guide to Law Online: Morocco
Business Law in Morocco
Bassamat & associate
Other Useful Resources
Guide to Morocco Legal System
Wordpress, Blog on Moroccan law.
Country Guides
WorldLii, World Legal Information Institute
Moroccan Embassy in the UK, Investor's guide to Morocco.

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The Jurisdictions

 
 Trial Court Civil and commercial cases, on first hearing or appeal
Commercial Court Cases between traders, between partners on first hearing
Communal and District Courts Land and property cases of value less than 1000 MAD
Court of Appeal Criminal and appeal cases judged on first hearing
Supreme Court Cassation, cancelling decisions of the Prime Minister, dismissal of judges
Administrative Court Cancellation of administrative decisions, damages, administrative contracts
High Court Cases involving members of government during their tenure
Royal Armed Forces Court Cases of illegal carrying of fire weapons and those involving soldiers
Audit Court Supervision of budget implementation
 
 

Court Officials

Judge
Judge appointed by the Department of Justice, but irrevocable and supposedly independent; he renders judgments.
Public Prosecutor
Judge of the Department of Justice, responsible for indictment in a criminal lawsuit.
Lawyer
Lawyer member of the Bar.
He provides defense of protagonists.
Bailiff
Officers of the court holding monopoly of notification of writs, he also plays the role of an expert.
Registrar
Court clerk.
 
 

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International Dispute Resolution

Arbitration
Possible except for donations or bequests, questions concerning the standing of persons and the public order.
Necessitates agreement between the 2 parties directly in the commercial contract (arbitration clause) or a postiori (arbitration).
Arbitration Law
Article 306 to 327 of Moroccan civil law procedure, repealed by law no. 08-05 of December 6, 2007.
A commercial arbitration law is being studied.
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Appointment of Arbitrators
The law draws up a list for each court of appeal.
Arbitration Procedure
Parties submit litigation contractually to an arbitrator or an arbitration court.
The arbitrator renders a sentence, final or injunction (preparatory or provisional), according to the law. This sentence must be signed by each arbitrator and justified. It is binding on both the parties.
Permanent Arbitration Bodies
Mediterranean arbitration court (Sectors Covered: International disputes)
Moroccan arbitration court (Sectors Covered: International disputes)

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Latest Update: May 2022