Covid-19: To What Extent Has the State Abided by the Constitution?
As many countries across the globe, Moroccan authorities announced a series of precautionary measures aimed at keeping the novel Coronavirus (covid-19)[i] under control, and the measures taken to confront the virus were cautiously gradual, as it moved from the evacuation of Moroccans stuck in the Chinese region of Wuhan in early March to suspending schools and closing Mosques. It then created a fund to manage the pandemic, before making the last move of declaring health emergency for a month from March 20th to April 20th, 2020.
Although the announced measures were primarily aimed at counteracting the accelerating spread of the virus, practice revealed that the Constitution does not always provide room for these measures; as some of these measures are stipulated by the Constitution, while others are not.
In this context, this paper attempts to take stock of and evaluate the announced measures and decisions taken from a constitutional standpoint, since the King’s chairing of the first working session in order to follow up on the situation of Moroccans who were stranded in the Chinese city of Wuhan on January 27th, 2020, up to the deployment of Moroccan army units on March 20th with the aim of enforcing a whole host of government decisions related to containing the spread of the pandemic.
Work Sessions: The King’s Executive Presence
The 2011 Constitution does not contain the “working sessions” as a form of communication between the King and the rest of the authorities and other constitutional institutions, but in practice, it has been frequent in recent years that the King presides over working sessions, as one of the traditions that emerged on the margins of the 2011 Constitution. These working sessions are characterized by the unity of subject matter and are producing binding decisions for the public authorities. They are also attended by a small number of officials, depending on the specificity of the topic on the agenda of each session.
In connection with the topic of the novel Coronavirus, the working session, chaired by the King on January 27th, 2020, was of a proactive nature as it was devoted to the measures related to the evacuation of a number of Moroccan citizens from the Chinese region of Wuhan. The second working session held on March 17th, 2020 was a follow-up session designated to monitor the management of the spread of the Coronavirus.
Following the rise in the numbers of people infected with the novel Coronavirus and given that people’s congregation in the mosques to perform the five daily prayers, Friday prayers, and the reading of the daily Hizb from the Quran after performing Al-Maghreb prayer could constitute a stimulating environment for Coronavirus transmission, the Supreme Council of Ulema issued on Monday March 16th, 2020 a fatwa permitting the closure of mosques temporarily while maintaining the call to prayer[ii], at the request of King Mohammed VI in his capacity as Commander of the Faithful.
Box 1: The Fatwa of the Supreme Council of Ulema on the temporary closure of mosques
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, prayers and peace be upon the faithful Messenger and his noble family and companions:
A Fatwa from the Supreme Council of Ulema on the issue of the temporary closure of mosques
Considering the Fatwa request addressed to the Supreme Council of Ulema by the Commander of the Faithful, may God protect him, he whose care for and attachment to mosques as well as his keenness to increase their number and open them to worshipers are well known to the Nation;
Given the severe harm caused by the pandemic sweeping the world;
Considering the directives issued by the competent authorities, including the Ministry of Health, with a view to ensuring the prevention of the virus by closing public and private spaces;
Drawing inspiration from the texts of Shara’ that emphasize the necessity of preserving lives and favouring avoiding harm over bringing benefits;
Knowing that one of the conditions of prayer, especially in mosques, is the existence of the sense of security, and that the fear of this pandemic cancels out the sense of security;
For all these legitimate and rational pre-emptive considerations, the Fatwa-issuing Scholar Authority of the Supreme Council of Ulema declares the following decisions:
The closure of mosques, whether for the five daily prayers or the Friday prayers, as of this day, Monday, March 16, 2020, corresponding to 21 Rajab 1441 HC;
Reassuring citizens that this procedure will not be indefinite. Performing prayers in the mosques will be restored as soon as the competent authorities decide to return to normal;
The continuation of the calls to prayer in all mosques.
May God protect our King, the Commander of the Faithful, and keep him as a protector of the Nation’s religion, saving its souls from all kinds of decay[iii].
Source: website of the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs
In this section, the following observations can be drawn:
Firstly, the fatwa of the Supreme Council of Ulema finds its constitutional basis in the provisions of Article 41 of the 2011 Constitution, which states in its second paragraph that “The King, the Commander of the Faithful, shall preside over the Supreme Council of Ulema, which undertakes to examine the issues referred to it.” Its third paragraph adds “The Council shall be considered the sole entity qualified to issue fatwas that are formally adopted, regarding the matters referred to it (..)”[iv].
Secondly, it was remarkable in the text of the fatwa issued by the Supreme Council of Ulema, that it was succinct and devoid of constitutional support, as it included in the founding rationale a single mention to the request of the fatwasubmitted to the Council by the Commander of the Faithful, without referring to Article 41 of the Constitution. The fatwa was also devoid of any referral to the Quranic or Hadith texts, and that it lacked historical support in the absence of any referral to precedents in Islamic history, or recurrent jurisprudence by renowned Maliki religious scholars, which is an official doctrine of the State. In addition, the language was much closer to the institutional language than to the language of fatwas.
Thirdly, Article 41 of the 2011 Constitution employed the following terms: “examining issues”, “issuing fatwas”, and “regarding matters referred to it”, while the text of the fatwa of the Supreme Council of Ulema stated the following: “considering the request of the fatwa addressed to the Supreme Council of Ulema by the Commander of the Faithful.” However, on referring to the Constitution and the texts regulating the Supreme Council of Ulema, we do not find data on the formalities of requesting fatwas that the King submits, as the Commander of the Faithful, to the Supreme Council, and that the fatwa does not carry a reference number, as is the case, for example, regarding the opinions issued by the Legitimate Committee for Participatory Finance[v], disclosing in the preamble the parties who have referred the case to it, its registration number, and the date it was filed at the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council of Ulema[vi].
Fourthly, Paragraph 2 of Article 41 of the Constitution does not clarify the ways in which the Supreme Council of Ulema examines the issues referred to it. If Article 41 of the Constitution employs the phrase “undertaking to examine cases”, then Article Four of the Dahir stipulating the creation of the Supreme Council of Ulema provides for it: “the Supreme Council of Ulema is entrusted with the following tasks: 1- discussing the issues referred to the Council by Our Majesty”[vii], Article 10 of the Supreme Council of Ulema’s bylaws[viii] state that it takes its decisions and recommendations unanimously, but nothing spells out whether or not fatwas fall under the section of decisions and recommendations, or are subject to voting procedures[ix].
Fifthly, the texts organizing a number of constitutional institutions (the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social, and Environmental Council …) have always distinguished between two types of situations: studying cases and texts in ordinary cases, and then studying them in a state of urgency, just as those texts differed in the estimation of terms and deadlines. In this regard, Article 41 of the Constitution does not help, nor does the text of the Supreme Council of Ulema’s fatwa stipulate whether there is recourse to urgent measures during the request for a fatwa, especially since the issue is urgent as it concerns the most vital objectives of religion, namely preserving religion and preserving lives.
The Pandemic Response Fund: Collective Burden Bearing
Parallel to the work sessions and the Fatwa of the Supreme Council of Ulema, the King issued orders to create a fund for the management of the Coronavirus pandemic, which was named: “The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Management Fund”. The organizing decree was published in the Official Gazette on March 17th, 2020[x].
The accelerated spread of the virus has justified resorting to the application of Article 40 of the 2011 Constitution, which stipulates the following provisions: “everyone must bear, in a solidarity manner, and in proportion to the means available to them, the costs required for the development of the country, as well as those resulting from the burdens of pests and natural disasters afflicting the country”[xi], by inviting citizens to make donations to the fund. This is an occasion to test the mobilizing ability of State institutions to measure the degree of people’s confidence in the actions taken by constitutional institutions, especially the government.
However, the government’s creation of this fund was an option within a number of constitutional and legal options available, for example by submitting a bill to amend the Budget Act, in compliance with the provisions of Article 4 of Law N° 130-13 of the Budget Act, which states that “the provisions of the law cannot be changed during the fiscal year except by amended budget acts.”[xii] The article refers to a main rule that is covered by the general principles of the law called “a rule of matching forms ”, meaning that the Budget Act, given the special provisions stipulated for it by the Constitution and the special procedures and rules, can only be modified by laws of its kind, called amending budget acts. Nevertheless, the government did not opt for this path, as it found in Article 29 of the 2020 Budget Act N° 70-19 an outlet for the creation of the said fund, which states that “in accordance with the provisions of Article 26 of Act N° 130-13 of the Budget Act, the government, in urgent, pressing, and unforeseen events, is authorized to create, during the 2020 fiscal year, special accounts of the treasury under decrees. The two budget committees of Parliament shall be informed of this in advance. ”[xiii] Although this article does not disclose the formality of informing the committees, be it on the manner (informing the two committees), or in terms of the period (in advance).
Referring to the decree related to the preparation and implementation of budget acts, Article 25 related to the application of Article 26 of the Organizational Law of the Budget Act did not add any new precisions in this matter. Rather, it merely stated in the end of the paragraph the following prevision: “The Finance Minister shall determine the modalities of the application of this article”[xiv].
The State of Emergency: A Constitutional Void
The declaration of a “health emergency” is the most important decision that has an impact on citizens. This is part of a series of measures announced to counter the novel Coronavirus, especially with regard to the rights of individuals and their freedom of movement and circulation. And in relation to the issue of curtailing the spread of the virus, and if we rule out the declaration of war, the 2011 constitution provides for the possibility of declaring a state of exception (A), or a state of siege (B), but it did not provide for the state of emergency (C).
A- State of Exception
The 2011 Constitution stipulated the fulfilment of one of two conditions for the declaration of a state of exception (l’état d’exception) by the King by virtue of a Dahir. These conditions are: if the integrity of the national territory is threatened, or if something that impedes the normal functioning of constitutional institutions occurs, provided that the Prime Minister and the two Presidents of the Chambers of Parliament, the President of the Constitutional Court, are consulted and that the Nation is addressed. The state of exception is lifted by the formalities prescribed for its declaration.
However, the King did not resort to declaring a state of exception despite the alarming numbers of the Coronavirus cases, which leads to asking the question: Does not the spread of a deadly virus, resulting in a near paralysis of general business, threaten the integrity of the national territory? Is the phrase “the threat of the integrity of the national territory” in Article 59 of the Constitution understood as in the event of a military attack in its traditional sense only?
The 2011 Constitution is likely to imply a traditional concept of the potential threat to the national territory, given the growing talk of other forms of threats, which may take on technological or epidemiological dimensions, as is the case with the novel Coronavirus.
On referring to the dictionaries of the Arabic language, we find it useful to explain the word ‘obstruction’, as mentioned in Article 59 of the Constitution. The word refers to all that prevents the natural course of things such as congestion and the likes, and all obstacles and difficulties, problems and their implications. If there is a character that distinguishes the novel Coronavirus, it is its ability to prevent people from meeting in a closed place, especially if the number of attendees exceeds five.
Given that obstructing the normal functioning of constitutional institutions is a standing condition for declaring a state of exception, the Government and Parliament have been affected by the spread of the pandemic, and witness to this is the number of media coverage that showed government members running their ministries from home[xv]. But this did not prevent the Council of Government from continuing to meet regularly[xvi], despite one of its members being infected with the virus, which required all members of the government to be tested, all of the tests came back negative. Despite the fact that the Parliament is currently in recess[xvii], it is difficult to imagine that its plenary sessions will be held in such circumstances. Nevertheless, the state of exception has not been resorted to.
B- State of siege
On the other hand, a state of siege (l’état de siège) can be declared under the provisions of Article 74 of the Constitution, for a period of thirty days, by virtue of a Dahir countersigned by the Prime Minister, and this period may only be extended by law. The declaration of the state of siege is among the issues discussed in the Ministerial Council, pursuant to Clause 8 of Article 49 of the Constitution. However, if the last paragraph of Article 59 of the Constitution stipulates that “the fundamental freedoms and rights stipulated in this Constitution shall remain guaranteed”, during the period of a declared state of exception, then there is no equivalent of this requirement during the declaration of a state of siege.
The declaration of the state of exception shares with the declaration of the state of siege one main aspect consisting in that they are phrased as a possible not a mandatory recourse. Thus, Article 59 of the Constitution stipulates that “the King may declare the state of exception by virtue of a Dahir,” while Article 74 of the Constitution states that “a state of siege may be declared for a period of thirty days. Conversely, they are distinguished in terms of wording from the manner by which a state of war is declared, as Article 99 of the Constitution states “the decision to declare war shall be taken at a Ministerial Council.” Yet, the state of exception is not specific in terms of duration, it is lifted “as soon as there is no reason that calls for it, “which remains in the hands of the authority that has declared it initially, while the state of siege is limited to thirty days, and this period can only be extended by law.
C- State of emergency
The term “state of emergency” (l’état d’urgence) was not mentioned in the 2011 Moroccan Constitution, in any form, be it original or derived, as is the case in the Egyptian Constitution of 2014 (A.154): “the President of the Republic shall declare, after taking the opinion of the Council of ministers, a state of emergency as regulated by the law (..)”[xviii] , or the Algerian Constitution of 2016 (Article 105):“ the President of the Republic shall decide, if necessary, to declare a state of emergency or a blockade (..) ”[xix].
The constitutional void on the possibility of declaring a state of emergency is what explains the confusion that occurred in dealing with this new situation, as the Moroccan authorities initially resorted to launching an undeclared state of emergency, by placing a number of restrictions on the movement of people and their circulation, which was identified by the joint statement of the Ministry of Interior[xx] and the Ministry of Health[xxi] on March 18th, 2020 in health confinement, except in the case of extreme necessity (grocery shopping, going to the doctor or going to work). The public authorities in the field have begun to incite people to stay at home. One day afterwards, the Ministry of Interior officially announced that the country would be under a health emergency starting from March 20th to April 20th, 2020. However, it is noticed that Decree Law[xxii] N° 2-20-292 on the enactment of provisions related to the state of health emergency and the its declaration, was not presented to the Council of Government until Sunday March 22nd, 2020, which leads to the conclusion that the initiation of the implementation of the state of emergency in practice was not framed by law, and that the text came later.
The measures of the state of emergency are stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Morocco is a state party[xxiii]. Article 4 of the Covenant (clause 1) states that “in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.[xxiv]” On this article, two general comments of the Human Rights Committee[xxv] were received, in particular general comment No. 29 (2001)[xxvi], which detailed the measures related to the state of emergency and their relationship to rights and freedoms.
Army Deployment: Passing to Full Speed
The deployment of a number of armored vehicles of the Royal Armed Forces in the streets of major cities (Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, Salé) starting on March 20th, 2020, to contribute to the enforcement of government decisions to address the Corona pandemic, was a noticeable shift in the state’s handling of the issue, in a move to step up its efforts to maximum speed in the context of unsuccessful attempts to contain the Coronavirus. This move was preceded by the King’s instructions as the “Supreme Commander and Chief of the General Military Staff of the Royal Armed Forces, to the Inspector General of the Royal Armed Forces, in order to place the equipped medical centers, whose creation had been ordered by His Majesty For this purpose, in various parts of the Kingdom, at the disposal of the health system with all its components, if necessary and when needed.”[xxvii] After less than a week, the military and the civilian medical bodies were entrusted with the task of fighting the virus, and mobilizing military medical means to strengthen the medical structures devoted to managing this pandemic[xxviii]. This move finds its constitutional basis in the provisions of Article 53 of the Constitution, which states that “the King shall be the Supreme Commander of the Royal Armed Forces. He shall have the right to appoint to military positions, and he may authorize others to exercise this right.
The measures announced to respond to the Coronavirus were characterized by their gradual, proactive nature, guided by an unmistakable communication. Equally noticeable is the executive presence of the King, whether as the Commander of the Faithful or as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, using the Constitution at times, and the norms emerging in parallel to it at other times. Although the pandemic forced the authorities to make firm decisions, especially those related to restricting the freedom of movement and circulation of people, the practice posed problems regarding its constitutional basis, especially with regard to declaring health emergency, where the legal framework was subsequent to the process of starting to implement it in practice.
However, it appears that the Moroccan authorities do not have many options if the situation worsens, as they have only two options: declaring a state of exception or a state of siege.
 [Translator’s note] “Fatwa” is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized Muslim scholars authority
 [Translator’s note] “Ulema” members of a body of Muslim scholars who are recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic law and theology
 [Translator’s note] “Hizb” refers to each of the roughly equi-longitudinal 60 parts in which the Quran has been traditionally divided to ease its reading and memorization
 [Translator’s note] “Hadith” refers to the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed
 [Translator’s note] “Maliki” is one of the four major schools of Islamic jurisprudence within Sunni Islam
[i] Coronavirus is a virus that infects the respiratory system. It emerged in December 2019, in Wuhan, in the People’s Republic of China. Morocco had its first Coronavirus case on 2 March 2020.
[ii] Fatwa by the Supreme Council of Ulema permitting the closure of Mosques, Monday 16 March 2020, the website of the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs.
[iii] The Fatwa was undersigned by Mohamed Issef, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Ulema.
[iv] The 2011 Constitution: Dahir N° 1-11-91 dated 29 July 2011 (corresponding to 27 Shaban 1432 Ah), Official Gazette N°5964 Bis, dated 30 July 2011 (corresponding to 28 Shaban 1432 AH) P.3608.
[v] Stipulated by Article 2 of Dahir N°1-15-02, dated 20 January 2015 (corresponding to 28 Rabia I 1436 AH), in completion of Dahir N°1-03-300, dated 22 April 2004 (corresponding to 2 Rabia I 1425 AH), restructuring Councils of Ulema, Official Gazette N°6333, dated 9 February 2015 (corresponding to 19 Rabia II 1436), P.1098.
[vi]CF the opinion of the Sharia Committee for Participatory Finance N° 37 on the issue of the published bill by the Governor of Al-Maghreb Bank setting the terms and modalities of the functioning of the Central Guaranty Fund for the activities and transactions carried by participatory banks, Official Gazette N°6770 dated 18 April 2019 (corresponding to 12 Shaban 1440), P.2047.
[vii] CF Dahir N°1-80-270, dated April 8, 1981(corresponding to 3 Jumada al-Akher 1401) related to the creation of the Supreme Council of Ulema and the regional councils of Ulema, Official Gazette N° 3575, dated May 6, 1981 (corresponding to 1 Rajab 1401 Ah), p. 543.
[viii] Dahir N° 1-04-231 issued on February 16, 2005 (corresponding to 7 Muharram 1426AH) approving the bylaws of the Supreme Council of Ulema, Official Gazette N° 5295, dated February 28, 2005 (corresponding to 19 Muharram 1426 AH), p. 858.
[ix] As is the case, for example, with the decisions issued under Article 17 of the Organizational Law N° 066.13 related to the Constitutional Court, which regulates the manner in which deliberations and decisions are made and the cases that lead to resorting to voting.
Decree N° 2-20-269 issued on March 16, 2020 (Rajab 21, 1441), instituting an account earmarked for private matters named “Coronavirus Pandemic )COVID-19) Management Fund”, Official Gazette number 6865 bis, dated March 17, 2020 (corresponding to 22 Rajab 1441), p. 1540.
[x] Decree N° 2-20-269 issued on March 16, 2020 (Rajab 21, 1441), instituting an account earmarked for private matters named “Coronavirus Pandemic )COVID-19) Management Fund”, Official Gazette number 6865 bis, dated March 17, 2020 (corresponding to 22 Rajab 1441), p. 1540.
[xi] This prevision was phrased in previous constitutions and ensuing amendments as follows: “Everyone must bear, to the best of his ability, the public expenditures that the law shall have the sole authority to create and distribute according to the procedures stipulated in this constitution.”
[xii] The regulatory Budget Act, Royal Decree N° 1-15-62 issued on 2 June 2015 (corresponding to 14 Shaaban 1436 ) implementing the Regulatory Law N° 130-13 of the Budget Act, Official Gazette N° 6370, dated June 18, 2015 (corresponding to 1 Ramadan 1436), p. 5810.
[xiii] Budget Act, Royal Decree N° 1-19-125 issued on December 13, 2019 (corresponding to 16th Rabi II 1441) implementing the Budget Act N° 70-19 for the 2020 fiscal year, Official Gazette N° 6838 bis, dated December 14, 2019 (corresponding to Rabi’ II 1441), p. 11130.
[xiv] Decree N° 2-15-426 issued on July 15, 2015 (corresponding to 28 Ramadan 1436), on the preparation and implementation of budget acts, Official Gazette N° 6378 dated July 16, 2015 (corresponding to 29 Ramadan 1436), p. 6498.
[xv] Hespress, “Coronavirus Prevention pushed “Othmani Ministers “to work from homes,” Tuesday, 17 March 2020.
[xvi] Besides regular cabinet meetings taking place every Thursday, the Coronavirus developments prompted the government to convene an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Monday March 16, 2020, with the intention of deliberating on draft decree N° 2-20-269 to create a special account for private matters called “the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Management Fund”. Then, another extraordinary cabinet meeting took place on Sunday, March 22, 2020, to deliberate on a draft decree N° 2.-20-292 on the enactment of provisions related to the state of health emergency and the procedures for announcing it, as well as draft Decree N° 2-20-293 related to declaring a state of health emergency in all parts of the national territory to confront the spread of Coronavirus.
[xvii] Paragraph 1 of Article 65 of the Constitution states that Parliament shall hold two sessions per year. The King shall declare open the first session on the second Friday of October, and the second session shall be declared open on the second Friday of April.
[xviii] The Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Official Gazette N° 3 bis (A), January 18, 2014.
[xix] The Algerian Constitution, Official Gazette, N° 14, Fifty-third year, Monday March 7, 2016 AD, corresponding to 27 Jumada I, 1437 AH, , p. 21.
[xx]  – See in this regard the first article of Decree N° 2-19-1086 issued on January 30, 2020 (corresponding to 4 Jumada II 1441) defining the powers and organization of the Ministry of Interior, Official Gazette N° 6854 dated February 6, 2020 (corresponding to Jumada al-Akherah 1441), p. 621, which states that: “in addition to the powers assigned to the governmental authority in charge of the interior in accordance with the texts in effect, the following tasks are assigned to the Ministry of the Interior: the territorial administration of the Kingdom and the maintenance of public order and security.”
[xxi] It is useful in this regard to refer to Paragraph 1 of Article 1 of Royal Decree N° 554-65 of June 26, 1967 (corresponding to 17 Rabia II, 1387) considered a law on the necessity of authorizing certain diseases and taking preventive measures to eliminate these diseases, published in the Official Gazette, Decree N° 2853, dated July 5, 1967 (corresponding to 26 Rabi’ I 1387), p. 1483, which states that “cases of illnesses subject to quarantine, social diseases, and infectious or epidemic diseases that are listed by decision of the Minister of Public Health, must be communicated immediately by the medical professionals who have established their emergence to both the local administrative authority and Medical authority of the prefecture or the province.”
[xxii] In implementation of Article 81 of the Constitution, which stipulates that “during recess, the government may issue, in agreement with the committees concerned by the matter in both houses, decree-laws, which must be presented with a view to ratification by Parliament during its regular session. The draft decree-law shall be filed at the office of the House of Representatives, and it will be discussed consecutively by the relevant committees in both houses, with a view to taking, within a six-day period, a joint decision. If this agreement does not happen, the decision shall be incumbent on the relevant committee in the House of Representatives.
[xxiii] Dahir N° 1-79-186 of November 8, 1979 (corresponding to Dhul Hijjah 17, 1399), to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concluded in New York on December 16, 1966 (corresponding to Ramadan 3, 1386), Official Gazette N° 3525 On May 21, 1980 (corresponding to Rajab 6, 1400), p. 632.
[xxiv] The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted and submitted for signature, ratification and accession under UN General Assembly Resolution 2200 A (XXI) of December 16, 1966, and it entered into force on March 23, 1976, in accordance with the provisions of Article 49 thereof. In this regard, see the official website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
[xxv] A contractual committee established under Article 28 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
[xxvi] Two comments on Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were issued: general comment N° 5 of 1981, and general comment N° 29 of 2001. See in this regard the official website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
[xxvii] Statement of the Royal Court issued on March 17, 2020
[xxviii] Statement of the Royal Court issued on March 22, 2020