Major National Dialogue: implementating recommendations evaluated two years on (2)

By Hilltopvoices

Goverment officials, political and civil society leaders, Religious and traditional authorities, diplomatic missions as well as members of the dispora from September 30 to October 4 2019/converged at the conference center in Yaoundé Cameroon "to seek ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the North-West and SouthWest Regions as top priority following the transformation of corporate claims by lawyers and teachers to civil disobedience and now a full blown armed conflict. 
Prime Minister Chief Dr Dion Ngute in the middle chairing opening sessio

September 30 2021 marked exactly two years when the event kicked off with the Prime Minister Chief Dr Dion Ngute chairing deliberations.

In a compendium published on the second anniversary of the MND which the government considers a high point and not end point in the dialogue process in Cameroon, the office of the Prime Minister charged with the organisation, assembling of recommendations of the MND and followup for implementation has published a situational report which generally scores high indicated what efforts have been made or are being made to implement the MND recommendations. 

The Compendium first examines government's actions towards handling the cooperate complains by teachers and lawyers. 

Excerpt of Compendium

Response to Lawyers 

Availability of the OHADA Law in English

The Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of Seals handed to the President of the Bar Association, the English version of the Treaty and other OHADA texts published in the Official Gazette Complete

Restitution of Lawyers’ robes and wigs.

Lawyers’ robes and wigs that were seized by the police were effectively handed back. Complete
Legal action against law enforcement officers who brutalized lawyers.

 Prosecution of officers involved in brutalization of lawyers. Complete

Creation within the Supreme Court of a Special Section to review appeals against decisions in English. 

After adoption by Parliament, the President of the Republic promulgated Law No. 2017/014 modifying the organization and functioning of the Supreme Court, with the introduction of a Common Law Section. Complete

Creation at ENAM of a Common Law section.

The President of the Republic instructed a reorganization of ENAM, to include a Common Law.  On going

Transfer of Francophone judicial staff who do not master English. 

The President of the Republic ordered the census of Anglophone magistrates, in view of increasing their number and the redeployment of magistrates, following the linguistic criterion. It is in this regard that by a Decree appointing Anglophone magistrates to the posts of State Counsel in the Court of First Instance and High Court of Bamenda. Complete

Marginalisation of Common Law. 

The President of the Republic ordered the creation of a Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at the University of Buea, the creation of Departments of English Law in the Universities of Douala, Dschang, Ngaoundere, and Maroua, the teaching of Public Law in the Universities of Buea and Bamenda. These followed the harmonisation of the Criminal Procedure Code among others. Complete

Functioning of the Bar Association. 

The President of the Republic instructed that consultations that began with members of the Bar Association on the amendment of the law on the organization of the legal profession should continue. Complete

The President of the Republic also gave instructions regarding: 

The creation of a Law School for the training of Lawyers and Notaries. 

The recruitment of interpreters specialized in courts, pending the results of the special recruitment of Anglophone magistrates and registrars. 

The continuation, on a transitional basis, of the exercise of duties of lawyers and notaries, cumulatively in the North West and South West Regions.

The preparation of the National Forum on Justice, during which all the problems raised by lawyers, and many others, will be taken into account. On going

 Authorisation of Lawyers to visit their clients detained in a Police Station or Gendarmerie Brigade. 

Article 118 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides the freedom to all detainees to be visited by their lawyers or members of their family. Complete

Decongestion of prisons 

During the 2020 Annual meeting of presidents of courts and regional Delegates of Penitentiary. 

Administration to fight against slowness in judicial procedures, it was decided that:
Number of questionings should be reduced; Increase of number of audiences;

Drafting of judgments before their pronouncements; 

Diligent signing of decisions rendered, Compliance with the legal time limits for procedure, Regular control of penitentiary establishments and police custody in the units, 

The transfer of prisoners from overpopulated prisons to others, Increase in the number of penitentiary staff by 600 thanks to the construction of new prisons. On going
Redeploymentof Magistrates, Court Registrars and Judicial Police Officers of French- speaking regions

Following the Higher Judicial Council, many French–speaking Magistrates in the North West and South West Regions, with poor mastery of the English language and the Common Law were transferred to the French- speaking Regions. Appointment of an English-speaking magistrate at the head of the Judicial Chamber of the Supreme Court. On going

Training of English- speaking Magistrates in Administrative and Accounts Litigation

  During the training of Judicial Auditors at ENAM, 10 Magistrates of English speaking were selected to take part. More so, 10 spaces in Administrative Litigation, and 10 in Accounts, planned for the competitive entrance exam for the special recruitment of English – speaking Magistrates. Complete

The Reconstruction of judicial structures destroyed in the North West and South West Regions. 

Some reconstruction works have begun in the Bali court House in the North West, and Tombel court House in the South West Region. On going

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