The Constitution makes clear provisions with regards to the members of the Constitutional Council.
The pioneer 11 members of the Constitutional Council appointed by President Paul Biya on February 7, 2018 have a special status, beginning from the institutions that designate them, qualifications, terms of office and what is expected of them.
Term of Office
Law N°. 2008/001 of 14 April 2008 to amend and supplement some provisions of Law N° 96/6 of 18 January 1996 to amend the Constitution of 2 June 1972 in its Article 51 (1) New provides that, “The Constitutional Council shall comprise 11 members designated for an eventually renewable term of office of six years.” The members are chosen from among personalities of established professional renown and must be of high moral integrity and proven competence. Article 51 (2) of the Constitution specifies that they are appointed by the President of the Republic. This follows their designation as the President of the Republic designated three members including the President of the Court, the President of the National Assembly and that of the Senate each designates three members and the Higher Judicial Council designates two.
Paragraph 4 of the Section 51 of the Constitution states that, “Members of the Constitutional Council shall take the oath of office as laid down by law before Parliament meeting in congress.” They have to perform the ritual before taking up their functions.
The duties of member of the Council shall be incompatible with those of “Member of Government, of Member of Parliament or of the Supreme Court. Other incompatibilities and matters relating to the status of members, namely obligations, immunities and privileges shall be laid down by law,” Article 52 (5) of the Constitution makes it clear.
Paragraph 3 of Article 51 of the Constitution says everything on the cases and procedures for the replacement of members of the Constitutional Council. “In the event of the death or resignation of a member or any other cause of incapacity or inability duly established by the competent bodies provided for by law, a replacement shall be designated by the competent authority or body concerned and appointed to complete the term of office,” it states. The designated member who replaces another one will serve the entire term of office and could be appointed for another six –year term if he had replaced the first member for less than two years.
They are protected against all threats, outrages and attacks of whatever nature during the exercise of their functions. Except caught in the act of crime or final sentence, no arrest or detention of a member can take place without the authorisation of the Constitutional Council.
Article 13 of the Law of 21 April 2004 on the status of members of the Constitutional Council states that its President is entitled to advantages, treatment and allowances fixed by the decree of the President of the Republic. The members during their tenure of office are holders of special professional cards and wear distinctive insignia during official ceremonies. They have a rosette that identifies their vehicles.