Cameroon: President Biya Convenes the Higher Judicial Council as Common law lawyers protest continue

The President of the Higher Judicial Council has summoned the Higher Judicial council to, a conclave at the Unity Palace on June 7, 2017. Paul Biya made the call yesterday through an official circular. Though the items on the agenda have not been made known yet, its likely that deliberations will center around the crisis rocking the Judicial system following the sit down protest of Common law lawyers in the North West and South West regions, as well reforms announced over a month ago
The head of state had asked the Minister of Justice Laurent Esso to announce a series of reforms that will quell the ongoing tensions within the judicary.

Amongst these solutions, the Ministry of Justice  was to draw up and submit to  a bill amending the organization and functioning of the Supreme Court to include the Common Law Section.he  also ordered a new assessment test of the mastery of common law by magistrates serving in the Northwest and South West Courts of Appeal. On the basis of this second evaluation, the Head of State will proceed with the redeployment of the magistrates taking into account their mastery of the official language most used, without calling into question either the irreversible option of National integration or the career development of magistrates.


These announcement did not move Common law lawyers who did not show up on the 2nd of May, the date court activities inn the regions were to resume as announced by Bar Council President, Ngnie Kamga.
Camcord is reliably informed that there is panic amongst magistrates as it is rumoured that most of them could be swept by transfers and retirement.


The ongoing stalemate which has paralysed courts in the Anglophone regions reached its peak with the arrest and detention of Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla and Senior Magistrate, Justice Ayah Paul Abine.  Some lawyers and magistrates who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity are calling on the head of state to use the Highly anticipated session to clear  the disturbing situation of Justice Ayah Paul Abine who was "abducted" and thrown in jail without following due procedues for the arrest of a senior judge.

  They also want President Paul Biya to end the trial over  the Balla and co affair who could face a death penalty for what sympathizers call "trumped up charges" of terrosrism, treason, secession and contempt against the state.

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