Common Law – Anglophone Lawyers Insist On Bi-Jural System

Meeting in Bamenda over the weekend, they expressed concern at efforts to dilute the Common Law system.

“The security and future of the Common Law in Cameroon” was the theme of the crowd-pulling Common Law Lawyers’ Conference in Bamenda on May 9, 2015. The event, which assembled lawyers of Common Law extraction, discussed the nature and quality of the administration of justice in Cameroon and condemned biased practices, opposed the appointment of notaries in the South West and North West Regions and proposed that harmonisation of Cameroonian laws should be Common Law-inspired.

Senior Barrister Njobara Pius chaired the conference. According to the former President of the Cameroon Bar Council, Barrister Eta-Besong Junior, the conference was prompted by moves by some persons to obliterate the identity and completely erase all that constitutes the Common Law in Cameroon. He appeared at a loss why some magistrates make oral or written submissions in French and have judgements written in French in courts in the North West and South West Regions where the language of communication by litigants is English.

Barrister Eta-Besong Junior noted that this was inconceivable in a nation that ought to be essentially bi-jural, bilingual and bi-cultural. It was against this backdrop that he suggested the inclusion of English-speaking aocates in Law Review Commissions. The representative of the President of the Bar Council, Barrister Kemende Henry Gamsey, reminded Common Law Lawyers about the world fast becoming a universal village. He aised against blame games and the need to avoid emotional attitudes in the face of challenges. Rather, he added, proper consideration should be given to the positive and negative aspects of the administration of justice.

Curtains dropped on the conference with the conclusion that the Common Law cultural heritage that obtains in the South West and North West Regions is being eroded and there was urgent need to respect the bi-jural nature of the nation. The Common Law Lawyers also resolved to henceforth address issues beyond their profession in the conviction that they do not live in a vacuum and could be propellers of change as 21st Century social crusaders and human rights lawyers. They therefore demanded a review of the administration of justice for it to be more just, functional, credible and less corrupt. Among the several Common Law Lawyers at the conference were the President of the General Assembly of the Bar, Ntumfor Barrister Nico Halle and former Cameroon Bar Council President, Barrister Sama Francis.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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