Advisor to the Court of Cassation, Ahmed Dahman, said, Tuesday in Nairobi, that the ecological jurisprudence of the Moroccan Court of Cassation is perfectly aligned with the requirements of public policies on environmental protection.
Intervening at a panel on the impacts of climate change in Africa and the challenges and opportunities for judicial systems in Africa, as part of the 3rd Regional Symposium on Greening Judicial Systems in Africa, Dahman cited a set of laws relating to environmental protection, notably law 11-03 on reference frameworks for environmental protection, law 28-00 on waste management and law 12-02 on civil liability for nuclear damage.
The Court’s Advisor further explained that the Court of Cassation followed the implementation of these laws in cases relating to the protection of the environment, according to the specialty of each chamber, recalling that at the level of the Administrative Chamber, the Court issued several verdicts that recognize the priority of the ecological interest and the rule of no-fault liability, and affirm the responsibility of State and its commitment to compensate for damages due to the development work.
Dahman added that repressive justice plays a crucial role in the protection of the environment since environmental crime has become a daily behavior of some “environmental offenders,” noting that the decisions of the Court of Cassation’s Criminal Chamber differ depending on the nature of the crimes committed, which are generally related to the felling of trees, forest fires, dumping in inappropriate places, and poaching.
The Court’s official further noted that since repression alone is not sufficient to achieve environmental security, it is essential to seek alternative preventive solutions, based on specialized training in the environmental field, stressing the need to raise citizens’ awareness of the threats that Earth faces due to environmental destruction.
In this regard, Dahman urged African governments to devote their efforts to protect the continent from climate change and to use African resources to protect the African citizen, suggesting, in particular, to encourage citizens to live in rural areas since rural exodus is one of the main factors of environmental pollution.
The Court’s Advisor also called for the implementation of an urgent strategy for the use of green energy to replace conventional resources such as oil, gas, and coal, which are destructive elements of the environment, stressing the importance of finding safe ways to dispose of industrial waste.
Dahman further stressed that African citizens face numerous threats related to ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and criminal organizations operating in human trafficking, underlining that there should be more symposia and forums to allow environmental experts to be heard, so as to implement an integrated strategy to control environmental deterioration.
Over 300 participants are partaking in this session of the 3rd Regional Symposium on Greening Judicial Systems in Africa, held between April 3 and 5 under the theme: “Strengthening the Role of Judiciaries in Addressing Climate Change in Africa”.