HEM Citizen University 2021: “the constitution presents gray areas, limits and ambiguity” dixit Nadia Bernoussi

It is to Nadia Bernoussi, professor of constitutional law and member of the Consultative Commission for the Revision of the Constitution in 2011, who has the honor of opening the 24th edition of the Citizen University, this year, in 100% mode. online, Lady Covid and adverse consequences oblige, not allowing face-to-face.

Nadia Bernoussi will have, during this first seminar in a series of nine of the Citizen University 2021, proposed by the HEM Foundation, developed and with a manifest charisma, her presentation under the theme “the Constitution: 10 years later”.

After laying the groundwork and recalling how this Constitution was applied in Morocco, Nadia Bernoussi examined in great detail its evolution over the past decade and highlighted some of its gray areas. While remaining in her field of predilection, law, which gave her a position of neutrality, she will have her entire presentation throughout, says the benefits but also the dysfunctions or at least the elements that did not correspond with a reality of the field and starting ambitions. ” For the observer or for those who love public affairs ”, she will say, “We will immediately realize, beyond its interesting aspect and its significant aspects that it initiated, that it is a constitution where there are gray areas, limits, ambiguity and hesitation “. The professor of constitutional law of his “I accuse” involves three elements, timing, identity reflexes in his eyes, and the search for a consensus which according to the speaker is a soft consensus.

Of the first she will say, ” in three and a half months, it’s difficult to make a perfect constitution which anyway is a human work and therefore perfection is not there “While she attributes to the second element, hesitations about identity reflexes and the third” the soft consensus cancels out the democratic debate and in fine, the constitution becomes a legal response to political concerns which sometimes have radically different societal projects. “. Then summing it up, ” all this means that in the constitution you find provisions which at the same time say something and which neutralize it because precisely, it was necessary that everyone can find their way around “.

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Nadia Bernoussi also recalled the context in which this 2011 Constitution was born, “ It is a constitution that was revised in the context of the time, in the wake of the Arab Spring and the February 20 movement, it is interesting to recall it because there had been very interesting reports like that ofequity and reconciliation, the report on the fiftieth anniversary and the memoranda of political parties (Koutla) which called for a constitutional review which did not take place. On the other hand with the advent of the Arab Spring, it was a detonator to do this “. And to support this ” We can say that the democratic demand was then visible, audible and transmissible in the demonstrations (50 per day), in the hearings of the Commission for the revision of the constitution with the presence and listening of civil society. This demand went in three main directions that can be summed up as follows, first the reconstruction of the political regime towards a more balanced parliamentary monarchy and with the separation of powers, second, the moralization of public life and finally the third towards a quest for dignity, a consecration, a demand vis-à-vis political, social, economic, cultural and environmental rights, but also the rights of litigants“.

And the professor in constitutional law to classify these requests in percentage according to the slogans, noting in passing that the “grumbling” if one can say so and with all due respect to some people raised towards the demand for a job at 42%, 7% for housing, 6% for marginalization, 5% only on political reforms, 4% solidarity with others, 3% issues of insecurity and the rest under various headings. This culture of participation according to Nadia Bernoussi had been facilitated by social networks. That was before, as the famous expression would say, whereas for the current context ” we are on the eve of legislative and other elections, we are in a state of health emergency, we are awaiting the national commission for a new development model, there is a renewed national unity around the issue of territorial integrity, and this will be the anniversary of the tenth year of the constitution ”.

It is the moment chosen by some to ask the question of its revision and to review the provisions ”. She noted in passing that the current civil society is in full swing with regard to individual freedoms and the level of gender equality and the level of governance in general. ” There have recently been attacks on individual freedoms which would not have taken on the same national and international dimensions before 2011. Today they are all the more problematic as the 2011 constitution devotes 1/3 of the articles to human rights. ‘Man whereas at the level of application and applicability, there are problems. And back up his words, “The laws, the penal code, the statute of the public service and all the infra-constitutional laws, have not been harmonized with the new provisions of the constitution”.

Regarding the fallout, Nadia Bernoussi tells us “ When the constitution was voted, there was a “firefighter” effect, the tension eased and the constitution with its significant advances in rights and freedoms, the distribution of powers and participatory democracy, changed. But the culture and the elites are those of yesterday and the constitution will be applied by doing with “. From the constitution the professor of constitutional law will underline, “ The skeptics will say that nothing has changed and that it is a constitution of continuity and that there is even an increase in the powers of the Head of State. Others will say it is a constitution that has ruptures, where tracks have been opened in an irreversible way, but in fact it is the application of the constitution that will decide if it is another system and if we have returned. in the traditional mode of governance “.

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