The Equity and Reconciliation Committee and the Transition Process in Morocco

Established in 2004 by King Mohammad VI, the Equity and Reconciliation Committee (ERC) worked over a period of 18 months and delivered a report which reflects the Moroccan State’s willingness to reconsider its attitude towards human rights issues in their political and legal dimensions. The process as well as the outcome of the Committee’s work reflect the nature of the reform process in the country, a top-down controlled process in which a vibrant civil society, particularly the human rights movement, and political opposition forces are very critical of the ruling authorities but ultimately abide by the terms of an implicit contract of change through consensus, defined by the King. The Moroccan ERC was inspired by other commissions of this kind around the world, particularly South Africa, Peru and Chile. In spite of its serious limitations, such as the avoidance of any criminal prosecutions and only partial reparations, the Committee is the first experience in the Arab world of transitional justice and reconstruction of collective memory.