Higher Judicial Council : New Course Charted For Magistrates

President Paul Biya chaired the session of the Council at the State House yesterday August 10, 2020.

The magistracy corps in Cameroon has received a fresh boost and is thus expected to witness serenity and celerity in rendering clear and equitable justice to those in need. A session of the Higher Judicial Council which held at Unity Palace yesterday August 10, 2020 under the chairmanship of President Paul Biya, President of the Council, bolstered the corps’ functioning with far-reaching conclusions summed up in varied Presidential decrees. 
As it’s the tradition, yesterday’s session scrutinised how the country’s judiciary has fared since the last Higher Judicial Council of June 7, 2017, examined files for integration and promotion of magistrates. Unlike in previous sessions, yesterday’s session never examined any case of waywardness of magistrates.  
However, the novelty was the swearing in of new members and Secretary appointed on June 15, 2020 for a mandate of five years. In effect, all the substantive and alternate members designated by the three arms of government; Legislative, Judiciary and the Executive were present and actively took part in the in-camera discussions at the State House.
The members began trooping into Unity Palace as early as 11 am and were carefully led to the session hall by a battery of State protocol officials mobilised for the event. Given that yesterday’s session held under the context of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, each member had his/her temperature taken and hands sanitised at the entrance to the State House before proceeding to take their seats in the deliberations hall. All of them had their face masks throughout the about an hour conclave. At 11:30 am, all the members were already at Unity Palace and the stage fully set for the session at midday.
The arrival of the presiding officer, President Paul Biya at 12 noon gave a kicker to in-depth deliberations on the various points on the day’s agenda. The appointments, transfers and integration of young jurists from the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM being savoured at moment within and without the country is therefore fruits of the August 10, 2020 Higher Judicial Council session.
Talking to the press after the session, the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and Keeper of Seals, Laurent Esso, who is also Vice President of the Higher Judicial Council, observed that conviviality prevailed throughout their discussions. He disclosed that the country’s judiciary lives up to the expectations of the Cameroonian people although outlining that magistrates are sometimes not understood vis-à-vis public opinion. The Minister reiterated the fact that the President of the Republic is the guarantor of the independence of the judiciary. A Disciplinary Council, he said, was already put in place and members designated. On why yesterday’s session never had any disciplinary file, the Minister of State said no file was submitted. “It is when the Council submits a disciplinary file that the President of the Republic decides to convene a magistrate before the Higher Judicial Council during which the magistrate in question could come along with defence lawyers,” the Minister of State said.  



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