Since September 2019, 142 application files demanding incorporation and or direct enrolment into Cameroon Bar Association are lying at the headquarters of the Bar in Yaoundé unattended.
In an open letter addressed to members of the Bar Council, Barrister Walters Atoh Tchemi criticizes the attitude of the Bar Council. To the human rights lawyer, incorporation and or direct enrolment into the bar is of right and stipulated in section 8(1)(b) of law No 90/059 of 19th December 1990 organizing the practice at the Bar.
“The operation of the law is more powerful than the will of man…the complacency and indifference of the present bar council relating to the incorporation and or direct enrolment of lawyers from foreign bars into the Cameroon Bar is disgusting, sickening and revolting,” Barrister Walters Atoh Tchemi has stated.
Barrister Atoh affirms that the sustainability of any Bar Association depends on the greater number of lawyers.
Disturbed by the prolonged silence of the Bar Council over a sensitive issue of incorporation of lawyers, Bar Atoh says, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter…our brothers and sisters from foreign bars need not starve to death before they are incorporated or enrolled into the bar in Cameroon…Swear them in, Swear them now”.
Bar Walters Atoh Tchemi is one of the rare lawyers in Cameroon to break the silence, speaking out on behalf of Cameroonians who nurse ambitions to practice the law in Cameroon as lawyers.
The open letter to the Bar Council comes when the Bar is observing a partial strike asking the government to respect lawyers. Observers say lawyers need to show a shining example by respecting the law, by not only incorporating lawyers from foreign bars but periodically organize bar exams for graduates of law schools to participate.