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Common Law Lawyers Ground Courts in Southern Cameroons




Common Law Lawyers have expressed dismay towards Biya’s lukewarm attitude in an open communique addressed to the President of the Republic on the 6th of October 2016 in Bamenda. Anglophone lawyers expressed their grievances towards the resolutions and declarations of 9th May 2015 in Bamenda and 13th February 2016 in Buea respectively. Triggered by the government’s lukewarm attitudes towards their plight, the Common Law Lawyers decided to communicate the Presidency of the Republic one more time. They enumerated in their communique these two major grievances:

  1. The disintegration of Cameroons common law. They call on the government to establish an Ad hoc commission to respond to their Bamenda Resolutions of 9th May 2015 and Buea Declarations of 13th February 2016.
  2. They requested for an emergency session of the Higher Judicial Council in which all Civil Magistrates will be re-deployed from the two Common Law Jurisdictions of the Northwest and Southwest Regions and also all Common Law Magistrates from the two Common Law Jurisdictions of the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

Moreover, their frustration was evident in the number of Anglophone lawyers who have been arrested, harassed, and detained by the police for attempting to exercise the constitutional rights of freedom of expression through press conferences. Freedom of expression is a basic human right and must be a call for concern in the Cameroons; one can’t talk about a country where there is so-called freedom of speech and expression of opinions, meanwhile, the police are at your back on every word you utter especially that which is a critic on governments functionality.

In this regard, the Anglophone lawyers declared a sit-down strike from all court sessions in Southern Cameroons from Tuesday the 11thOctober 2016 to Friday the 14th of October 2016. They are as well calling on all members of the Cameroon Bar Association to join them in the strike action.

It is evident that these lawyers have been patient for quite a long time and it seems the government is taking their patience for granted by remaining adamant to their plight and concern for an effective Common Law system in Southern Cameroons.

BaretaNews wonders the following; Why should the government express such negative attitudes towards the plight of Anglophone lawyers for over a period of two years? How certain are these lawyers that a sit-down strike might instigate the government to respond to their call? Is the government indeed altering Cameroons Common Law? And is the Rule of Law applicable in Cameroon?

BaretaNews think that these lawyers have the power to hold government at a place where they will have to respond. It is evident that for long the government has given a deaf ear to the plight of these lawyers. We of this platform are of the opinion that, the common law Lawyers should embrace fully the Southern Cameroons agenda of restoration of its statehood, declare the creation of a Southern Cameroons Bar Council. It is only at the position of strength that Biya and his government can be tempted to dialogue. Anything lesser than this might be another water being thrown on the camel’s back

God is still saying something.

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