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University of Kent (2018)

Women’s Access to Justice in Morocco through the Lens of Family Law

Hanafi, Leila

Titre : Women’s Access to Justice in Morocco through the Lens of Family Law

Auteur : Hanafi, Leila

Université de soutenance : University of Kent

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2018

Résumé partiel
This Morocco-focused study was conducted to assess access to justice for women regarding the implementation of the Moudawana. Its aims are firstly to provide original evidence, notably through field research, about discrepancies in access to justice for women as a disadvantaged group, and to contribute to the ongoing literature tracking women’s rights throughout the political development of Morocco and North Africa. The research presents a reflective insight into accessing justice in Morocco for women through a focus on the accessibility and performance of the formal justice system and disparities in the implementation of the law in urban vs. rural settings, whereby the urban sample is the capital region Rabat-Sale-Kenitra and the rural one is Draa-Tafilalt. The particular role of the formal justice system, which I also refer to as the ’justice system’ or ’judicial system’ is emphasised throughout this dissertation as both an arena in which barriers to full implementation exist and one that could be greater utilised in the pursuit of justice for all women. This research addresses also the role informal justice plays as a dispute resolution forum in rural Morocco, but the primary focus of the empirical research is tailored to the formal system due to the scarcity of information regarding informal justice and the capacity for greater oversight of the effective implementation therein. There is a need to better understand its impact on women because the courts can help alter (or entrench) social norms as well as place limits on government action and create opportunities for women’s social and legal empowerment.

This thesis examines these two issues of accessibility and performance from a supply perspective and the impact of the demand because the two exist in a cyclical relationship. Therefore, its main contribution is to advance the arguments that accessibility and performance of a fair and impartial justice system is key to ensuring women’s access to justice, and that by empowering women to utilise this system and the laws in place for their protection, access to justice can become a reality. Therefore, it is imperative to rethink implementation of the existing family law so that it becomes applied to both formal and informal justice systems.

Mots clés  : Access to justice, Family law, Morocco


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