These are some of the measures taken by the Head of State to make all Cameroonians get equal access to the judicial system.
As Cameroonians brace up for the National Dialogue announced by the Head of State to mainly solve the sociopolitical and security crises that have been raging on in the English- speaking North West and South West Regions of the country perpetrated by secessionists, history will for ever note that the Head of State, President Paul Biya had long taken measures to make the judiciary equally accessible to all.
One of the root causes of the crisis was the demand of Common Law Lawyers who practise in the English- speaking regions who wanted legal and legislative provisions to enable the French and Anglo-saxon cultures of the country to be fully respected in the judiciary to make all Cameroonians have equal access to the judiciary.
The Head of State instructed the consultations between the government and the Common Law Lawyers. The Head of State in his message to the nation on September 10, 2019 declared that, “From the outset, and true to an option that I hold dear, I instructed the holding of dialogue between the government and trade unions to seek appropriate solutions to these demands. The measures taken by the government at the end of these consultations went beyond the initial demands.” In the judicial system, the Head of State quoted, “creation of a Common Law Section at the Supreme Court to handle appeals filed against decisions of low courts in Common Law matters.” Still at the Supreme Court, the Head of State appointed Chief Justice Epuli Mathias, the first ever person from the English-speaking regions of Cameroon to the post of President of the Judicial Bench of the court, and he was commissioned into his duties on August 30, 2017.
Concerning the training of judicial and legal officers, President Paul Biya cited the creation of a Common Law Section at the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM). This materialised on April 9, 2018 when he signed a decree reorganising the structure and functioning of ENAM with the Common Law Section created. The measure was followed by the programme to recruit English-speaking pupil judicial and legal officers as well as court registrars for a period of four years. Some 80 of them were admitted last year. To ensure the effective and efficient training of the English-speaking pupil judicial and legal officers and Court Registrars, the Head of State also ordered the recruitment of Anglophone teachers at the Magistracy and Registry Division of ENAM. Government has also gone far in its policy to enable all Cameroonians get access to the judiciary system right from school. The policy has been concretised through the creation of law faculties in State universities. For instance, the Head of State instructed the creation of the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences in the Anglo-saxon University of Buea. He also instructed the creation of the Department of English Law in the universities of Douala, Maroua, Ngaoundere, and Dschang that are similar to that of the University of Yaounde I, Soa. Conclusions and decisions of the National Dialogue announced for the end of this September will just be to cement the harmonise policies in the judicial system. The beneficiaries of the Head of State’s decisions and the ENAM officials have been appreciating the measures.