Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cameroon: Anglophone Lawyers on four-day strike over Government's indifference towards their plight.

Shaken,Government is reportedly looking into the lawyers' concerns after Bar's General Assembly President met Justice Minister.

By Christopher Ambe
Cameroon Common Law Lawyers on October 11 began a four-day sit-in strike intended to protest against Cameroon Government's snobbishness towards concerns they addressed to it for solutions.

 According to reports,the strike was 95% successful on day one and may hit 100% in the rest of the days.
Already shaken  by the protest,the Government  has reportedly  ordered the Ministry of Justice to look into the problems for solutions.

According to Barrister Nico Halle,President of the General Assembly of the Cameroon Bar Association,who spoke with  The Recorder ,this morning ,on phone from Yaounde,he  and others met the Minister of Justice yesterday  to press for solutions to the lawyers' demands.He revealed to The Recorder that,an order has already been issued by the Minister of Justice Laurent Esso, for the complete  translation of the OHADA law  into English from French,which is one of the lawyers' demands.

" I met the Minister of Justice yesterday and he has ordered for the translation of the OHADA law...Is that not success?" he said in a phone conversation with The Recorder. Asked if he was  for the strike or against or against it , Barrister Nico Halle  quipped: " If my colleagues are on strike and I know the reasons,I should rather be fighting for the solutions to the problems...which is what I am doing."

Below is the release from the Cameroon Common Law lawyers,before the start of the sit-in strike:


The President of the Republic of Cameroon
Presidency of the Republic,
Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Whereas it is over two years since we served on Your Excellency’s government our Resolutions of the Bamenda Inaugural Conference of the Cameroon Common Law Lawyers (Anglophone Lawyers) and till date we have received not even an acknowledgment;

Whereas on the 13th of February 2016 we held a second conference over the non-respect of our demands in the resolutions referred to in the preceding paragraph;

Whereas recently, some of our members attempt to exercise the constitutional right of freedom of expression through the medium of Press Conference and were stifled with administrative bans and Police harassments;

Cognizant of the fact that the real power and responsibility of government resides in Your Excellency, as Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, Head of the judiciary, Primary and even sole initiator of legislation in both legislative houses;

We the Presidents of the constituent Associations of Cameroon Common Law Lawyers (Anglophone Lawyers) –Fako Lawyers’ Association [FAKLA], Meme Lawyers’ Association [MELA], North West Lawyers’ Association [NOWELA], and Manyu Lawyers’ Association [MALA], after carefully reviewing the attitude of government towards all the complaints of Cameroon Common Law Lawyers’ over the erosion of the common law in Cameroon as manifest in the OHADA Legislation, The Insurance Legislation [CODE CIMA] and virtually every other piece of legislation since 1972, have this 6th day of October 2016 decided to table the following requests to the President of the Republic of Cameroon in his capacity as Head of the Judiciary, the Head of the Executive and principal initiator of legislation in both legislative houses:

1.     That we extend our patience albeit, non elastic to call on Your Excellency to set up an Ad Hoc Commission to respond to our Bamenda  Resolutions of 9th May 2015 and the Buea Declaration of 13 February 2016  regarding the erosion of the common law in Cameroon;

2.     That Your Excellency should hold an emergency session of the Higher Judicial Council and re-deploy ALL CIVIL LAW MAGISTRATES from the two Common Law Jurisdictions of North West and South West Regions), and in the same vein redeploy ALL COMMON LAW MAGISTRATES from the civil law Jurisdictions to the two Common Law Jurisdictions of North West and South West Regions).

To demonstrate our present feel of government’s negative attitude towards our plight notwithstanding our patience, which can only be saved by meeting the foregoing requests, we hereby give notice that from Tuesday the 11th of October 2016 to the 14th day of October 2016; All the Lawyers of our above Associations shall have a sit-down strike from all court actions.

We enjoin all members of the Cameroon Bar association to support in this constructive strike action for a better rule of law in Cameroon.




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