House of Advisors: Adoption in Committee of Two Draft Bills Establishing Morocco's Legal Competence over Its Entire Maritime Domain

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The Committee on Foreign Affairs, National Defense and Occupied Moroccan Zones at the House of Advisors
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, National Defense and Occupied Moroccan Zones at the House of Advisors unanimously adopted, on Tuesday, two draft bills aimed at establishing legal competence of the Kingdom over its entire maritime domain.

These are bill 37.17 amending and completing the Dahir establishing Law 1.73.211 of Moharrem 26, 1393 (March 2, 1973) setting the limit of territorial waters, as well as bill 38.17 amending and completing Law 1.81 establishing an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles off the Moroccan coast.

In a presentation before the members of the commission, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad Nasser Bourita stressed that the two texts are of particular importance in the context of updating the national legal arsenal relating to the Kingdom's maritime domain.

The elaboration of the two draft laws follow the royal speech delivered on the anniversary of the Green March, in which the Sovereign insisted on the need to assimilate the configuration of the entire territorial zone of the Kingdom, he recalled.

The two bills also aim to fill the legislative gap in the area of maritime areas and adapt it to the full sovereignty of Morocco over its entire territory and territorial waters, knowing that the texts governing this area date back to 1973 and 1981, added Bourita, underlining in this regard the need to harmonize legislation with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982).

The Minister also affirmed that the process of delimiting the maritime domain is very important all the more so since it is an act of sovereignty drawing on international law of the sea. Such operation could lead to overlaps with neighboring countries, notably Spain, which should be resolved through dialogue, he said.

The commission also adopted draft bills relating to 22 international agreements which are part of the diversification of partnerships between Morocco and a number of countries. These agreements are related to the fields of the fight against crime, economic cooperation, non double taxation, the fight against tax fraud and the merchant navy.

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