Common law lawyers in Cameroon are standing against government’s plans to promulgate a bill that harmonizes the Civil and Commercial Code in the West African country with a French dominant administration.
In a petition addressed to President Paul Biya, and copies sent to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, the embassies of US, Britain, France and the Commonwealth secretariat, common law layers write:
“…We the Common Law Lawyers of Cameroon are vehemently protesting against the promulgation and applicability of the propose Civil and Commercial Code inspired by the French Civil Law system in Cameroon. The code cannot be applied in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon where the Common Law is applicable…”
One hundred and eleven Common Law Lawyers, signatories of the of the petition say it’s a plan by the government to totally kill Common Law given that the Civil and Commercial Code has its roots from the French system of Civil Law.
The constitution of Cameroon provides a bi-jural system that has their roots from Britain for the Common Law and France for the Civil Law. Going by this, Common Law Lawyers say harmonizing the Civil and Commercial Code is totally unconstitutional and unacceptable.
With close to three years of conflict in the North West and South west regions of Cameroon, Common Law Lawyers say tabling a bill to harmonize the Civil and Commercial Code at the National Assembly will further worsen the socio-economic and political situation in the two regions.
To the lawyers, the implementation of the Civil and Commercial Code will mean an extension of “neutralization of the boys” to the entire Anglophone community by the regime of President Paul Biya.
The Civil and Commercial Code covers the law on Contracts, Family Law, Law on Tort, Law on Evidence and Civil Procedure Law.
This is the third memo Common Law Lawyers have written to the President of the Republic since 2014. In the Memo signed by Barristers Ekotang Elad, Mrs. Mariam Weledji, Eta Bisong Jr. Gilbert Tangunyi amongst others, they decry the lack of appropriate attention and consideration to their two previous petitions in 2015 and 2016, landing Cameroon in total bloodshed in the North West and South West.
The bill on the Civil and Commercial Code is yet to be tabled at the National Assembly but Common Law Lawyers say government is secretly sponsoring the bill and they are just being proactive to stop what they say if implemented will fast track the erosion of Common Law and enhance assimilation and subjugation of Anglophones.
Dominic Meme Nwakimo.
Mimi Mefo Info