Lawyers in Cameroon desert courts over unfair treatment

Anadolu Agency | Bar association calls five-day protest over disrespect of lawyers by country’s magistracy, military and executive branch

Lawyers in Cameroon abandoned their gowns and wigs Monday as they launched a five-day protest to express their dissatisfaction over the lack of respect shown to them by the country’s magistracy, military and executive branch.

The decision was made by the Cameroon Bar Association, which met on Nov. 21 following the arrest and detention of lawyers who were charged with “contempt of court and destruction.”

The incident occurred on Nov. 10 at a court in the city of Douala, where two lawyers were facing trial on charges of corruption.

They were said to have collected a large sum of money from a client who ended up receiving an 18-year sentence instead of 18 months. A relative of the client went to the judge to claim back the money paid, but he referred them to the lawyers, who admitted receiving the money.

The two lawyers were remanded in custody on Nov. 9 and sought bail the next day, but the judge adjourned the matter to Nov. 25. Other lawyers present did not welcome the decision and expressed themselves vocally.

Moments later, police officers and gendarmes entered the courtroom and dispersed the angry lawyers with tear gas. Some of the lawyers sustained injuries during the commotion.

While the Cameroonian press portrayed the event as “a strike,” for lawyer Djanda Maurice, this is not the case.

“The council of order has decided to suspend robe-wearing for a week. We did not talk about a strike. This means that we won’t do anything that we usually do when we wear our black dresses,” he told Anadolu Agency.

He considers this decision “much awaited” by his colleagues and him because the latest news on lawyers was the “last straw.” He said there are more and more obstacles to the exercise of their profession but also acts of bargaining around citizens’ freedoms.

“Faced with this, we lawyers are the last rampart. This is not the first time we have been mistreated. There are always incidents. My opinion is largely favorable to the measures we have taken,” said Djanda.

For lawyer Tchamo Mafetgo, it is “a peaceful and poignant way to express oneself and be heard.”

Above all, she said they are “fed up with the problems related to our profession. Among other things, [there is] the disregard of lawyers at the judicial level and by judicial police officers despite the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure.”

– Urgency to reform

The lawyers contacted by Anadolu Agency are convinced that things can change if the authorities make a complete diagnosis of the judicial system.

Because “justice in Cameroon is well underway in a very bad way. It is undermined by many evils at the level of lawyers and magistrates,” said Djanga.

According to him, difficult working conditions do not guarantee the impartiality of magistrates or judges.

“People prefer to go and pay judges instead of paying lawyers. Sometimes it is the judge who suggests using him instead of lawyers. It’s a real bargain,” he said.

Tchamo only considers that “this disorder” creates problems that should not take place between lawyers and magistrates. The situation is also against people who trust the state court for their defense.

“Magistrates should not settle scores against lawyers. There is only open language that could be used to diagnose conflicts and roles. The magistrate should also not allow himself to destroy a file whose right is on the lawyer’s side,” she said.

For this, Djanda believes there are many reforms to be made. In particular, many obsolete laws dating from before independence should be revised and systematically imprisoning lawyers should be avoided.

Check Also

Cameroon cardinal suggests military rule might end Anglophone crisis

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon CRUX | Cameroon’s only Catholic cardinal is in hot water for suggesting the …

5 comments

  1. **** RULE BY DECEIT AND DECEPTION ****

    Case study: Annexation equation

    SC + LRC = LRC

    • CONCLUSION

      LRC is ruled by the most corrupt, dishonest, faithless, deceitful, arrogant, foolish, stupid, despicable, evil, demonic and insensitive CRIMINALS on planet earth.

      A country ruled by deceit, deception and terror is likened to a house built on sand.
      It is common knowledge and a celebrated fact that a house built on sand cannot stand for long.

      Thank God, Dictator Biya’s UNWINNABLE, UNSTOPPABLE; UNCONTROLLABLE and financially UNSUSTAINABLE war will rescue the Anglophones from that sh*thole VIVRE-ENSEMBLE with LRC.

      GOD IS INDEED GREAT

    • **** BREAKING NEWS ****

      Repentant separatist leader claims state officials orchestrated Kumba school massacre.

      In a live Facebook broadcast, ex-separatist leader, Success Nkongho and now DDR advocate for over one hour launched a massive attack towards state authorities for committing crimes and abominations and blaming them on Ambazonia fighters.
      “They saw that tranquility was coming to the Southwest, then they went and paid some thugs who call themselves Amba boys and told them to go and kill kids in Mamfe. The same people pretended later to shed crocodile tears, and the same people organized state burial…” he boldly claimed.

    • ** MY TAKE **

      The truth always prevails.

      Success Nkongho and General Nambere have finally realized that they were dubbed by the GOC to drop weapons. That is the reason they are now publicly exposing the atrocities perpetrated by Atanga Nji boys.

      LRC is a country ruled by a demonic crime syndicate. This crime syndicate murdered in cold blood in Kumba,then turned arround to accuse the separatists. As if that was not enough. The crime syndicate then declared a national day of mourning for the innocent children they murdered.

      WONDERS SHALL NEVER END IN THAT GOD-FORSAKEN COUNTRY !!!!!!

  2. “The council of order has decided to suspend robe-wearing for a week. We did not talk about a strike. This means that we won’t do anything that we usually do when we wear our black dresses,” he told Anadolu Agency.

    What is the “council of order”? Is that supposed to be the general legal council?

    Why are these people forcing a francophone country to become an anglophone country and vice versa?

    This contraption called Cameroon does not work. Lets consider changing it.

Nullam elit. justo Curabitur leo. quis risus. Praesent dapibus tristique