President Paul Biya has sent a bill to Parliament to reform the Supreme Court. The changes will see the creation of the Common law bench in the months ahead. The bill we are reliably informed has been recieved at the National Assembly Thursday June 22.
If adopted, Biya will sign an Ordinace to make the Common law bench a reality. This was one of the biting issues raised by protesting Common law lawyers which sparked the Anglophone crisis. After giving a deaf ears to this demands, Government sluggishly swung into action. The Minister of state, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals on March 30, 2017 announced the creation of the Bench amongst others measures.
Esso says , the measures are intended to improve on the functioning of the judiciary and also to satisfy the legal and judicial disposition of the constitution in section 1 paragraph 3 which stipulates that the official languages of Cameroon shall be English and French both languages having equal value.
The Minister even claimed , that before the lawyers went public with their claims, the President of the Republic had initiated reforms regarding the functioning of the judicial system and had presided judicious measures.
While some Common law practitioners have appreciated the move, Barrister Fru John Soh has rubbished the move saying it is too late. Common law lawyers continue to ground courts in the North West and South West regions in a crisis which has taken an unprecedented dimension with the Biya regime paying in hard currency for innitially downplaying the demands raised by the lawyers.