BY DOH JAMES SONKEY IN YAOUNDE
The New Judicial Year opened last February 22, 2017 during a solemn ceremony at the Supreme Court without a word being mentioned on the arrest and detention of super scale Magistrate, Ayah Paul Abine who is also Advocate General at the Supreme Court. His arrest and detention is highly criticized by legal professionals as haven been carried out in gross violation of the law. Incarcerated at the Secretariat of State for Defense, SED, Justice Ayah Paul Abine is yet to be judged as charges are also yet to be levied against him.
Another key point that the public hoped could be addressed at the solemn opening of the New Judicial Year in Cameroon was the grounding of court cases in the North West and South West Regions of the country since the outbreak of Common Law Lawyers strike last November 21, 2016 demanding the redeployment of Civil Law Magistrates to Civil Law zones and Common Law Magistrates to Common Law zones, the creation of a special department at the Supreme Court to hear cases in the Common law domain, the creation of Common Law department in the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM etc.
As stipulated by section 33 of law No. 2006/16 of December 2006 to lay down the organization and function of the Supreme Court, the official opening of the judicial year was marked by two key speeches; that of the Chief Justice, Daniel Mekobe Sone and that of the Attorney General, Luc Ndjodo who earlier made submissions.
In his submission, the Attorney General of the Supreme Court, Luc Ndjodo presented considerations on issues of human rights notably the protection of freedoms by public authority. He stated both national and international legal instruments that protect freedoms of individuals in Cameroon adding that a commission has been created at the Supreme Court to rule on claims for compensation in case of reparation damages suffered by victims of unlawful loss of liberty.
On his part, Chief Justice Daniel Mekobe Sone delivered a speech on the theme “The resurgence of private justice and the rule of law in Cameroon.” Decrying that there has been a resurgence of many forms of private justice which threatens the essence of the rule of law, the Chief Justice stressed that such a situation cannot be tolerated in a democratic country governed by the rule of law as problems ought to be resolved within the ambit of the law.
The Supreme Court Head thus called on citizens to bring all actions before the courts rather than taking the laws in their hands through violence.
The official opening of the new judicial year was also attended by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Cavaye Yiguié Djibril, Vice President of the Senate, Genevieve Tjoues representing the President of the Senate, Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang and a college of Cabinet Ministers, the President of the Economic and Social Council, Luc Ayang, CPDM Central Committee Secretary General, Jean Nkuete, CDU National President, Adamou Ndam Njoya, ELECAM Board Chairman, Samuel Fonkam Azu’u, Bar Council President, Ngnie Kamga and Bar General Assembly President Barrister Nico Halle.