Under The Broken Scale of Justice. The Law and My Times
206 pages

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This book explores the latent and sometimes overt undercurrents that have shaped the judicial history of Cameroon since the United Nations Trusteeship period. It is an insightful account by a critical observer privileged to serve as Director of Public Prosecutions and a judge in a post-independence context characterized by dual and often conflictual legal systems inspired by French and English colonialism. Justice Nyo'Wakai demonstrates how the conflict of judicial concepts, procedures and usages have led to the Francophone judicial system trying to impose itself on the Anglophone judicial system in Cameroon. Often reduced to toothless bulldogs by new constitutional dispensations informed largely by the French colonial legacy and Francophone realities, Anglophones have bemoaned the independence of the Judiciary identified with their Anglo-Saxon heritage. In the face of such domination and the highhandedness of the Executive, only mature cool headedness and the ability to bend over backwards on the part of Anglophone legal practitioners have contained the explosive situation and allowed for a gradual evolution of the Judicial System in Cameroon.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 novembre 2008
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789956717392
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 11 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,008€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


The Law and My Times h e L a w a n d M y T i m e s
Titles byL an g aaRPCIG Francis B. Nyamnjoh Joyce Ashuntantang & Dibussi TandeStories from AbakwaTheir Champagne Party Will End! Poems in Mind SearchingHonor of Bate Besong The Disillusioned AfricanEmmanuel Achu The ConvertDisturbing the Peace Souls ForgottenMarried But AvailableRosemary Ekosso The House of Falling Women Dibussi TandeNo Turning Back. Poems of Freedom 1990-Peterkins Manyong 1993God the Politician Kangsen Feka WakaiGeorge Ngwane Fragmented MelodiesThe Power in the Writer: Collected Essays on Culture, Democracy & Development in Africa Ntemfac OfegeNamondo. Child of the Water SpiritsJohn Percival Hot Water for the Famous SevenThe 1961 Cameroon Plebiscite: Choice or Betrayal Emmanuel Fru DohNot Yet DamascusAlbert Azeyeh The Fire WithinRéussite scolaire, faillite sociale : généalogie Africa`s Political Wastelands: Thementale de la crise de l’Afrique noire francophone Bastardization of CameroonAloysius Ajab Amin & Jean-Luc Dubois Thomas JingCroissance et développement au Cameroun : Tale of an African Womand`une croissance équilibrée à un développement équitable Peter Wuteh VakuntaGrassfields Stories from CameroonCarlson Anyangwe Green Rape: Poetry for the EnvironmentImperialistic Politics in Cameroun: Majunga Tok: Poems in Pidgin EnglishResistance & the Inception of the Restoration Cry, My Beloved Africaof the Statehood of Southern Cameroons Ba'bila MutiaBill F. Ndi Coils of Mortal FleshK`Cracy, Trees in the Storm and Other Poems Kehbuma LangmiaKathryn Toure, Therese Mungah Titabet and the TakumbengShalo Tchombe & Thierry Karsenti ICT and Changing Mindsets in Education Victor Elame MusingaThe BarnCharles Alobwed’Epie The Tragedy of Mr. No Balance The Day God Blinked Ngessimo Mathe MutakaG.D. Nyamndi Building Capacity: Using TEFL and AfricanBabi Yar Symphony Languages as Development-oriented Literacy ToolsSamuel Ebelle Kingue Milton KriegerSi Dieu était tout un chacun de nous? Cameroon's Social Democratic Front: ItsHistory and Prospects as an Opposition PoliticalIgnasio Malizani Jimu Party, 1990-2011Urban Appropriation and Transformation : bicycle, taxi and handcart operators in Mzuzu, Malawi Sammy Oke AkombiThe Raped Amulet Justice Nyo’ Wakai: The Woman Who Ate Python Under the Broken Scale of Justice: The Law Beware the Drives: Book of Verse and My Times Susan Nkwentie Nde Precipice Francis B. Nyamnjoh & Richard Fonteh AkumThe Cameroon GCE Crisis: A Test of Anglophone Solidarity
Under The Broken Scale of Justice The Law and My Times By Justice Nyo’ WAKAI (Rtd.) LangaaResearch & Publishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher: LangaaRPCIG (LangaaResearch & Publishing Common Initiative Group) P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Province Cameroon Langaagrp@gmail.comwww.langaapublisher.comDistributed outside N. America by African Books Collective orders@africanbookscollective.com www.africanbookscollective.com Distributed in N. America by Michigan State University Press msupress@msu.edu www.msupress.msu.edu ISBN:9956-558-28-1 © Justice Nyo’ WAKAI 2009 First published 2009 DISCLAIMER All views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Langaa RPCIG.
DEDICATION TO MY PARENTS who breathed into me the spirit of resolute tenacity that has kept me equal to the vicissitudes of life.
Contents Acknowledgments Preface I Preface II An Attorney’s Prayer Introduction Part One Chapter I: Lux Gentium Lex Chapter II: Department Of Public Prosecutions Chapter III: The Legal Profession Chapter IV: Legal Cultures Chapter V: Good Government And Governance Chapter VI: Supremacy Of The Law Part Two Chapter VII: The Bench Chapter VIII: Justice Chapter IX: The Constitution Chapter X: Law Reporting Chapter XI: The Broken Scales Of Justice Chapter XII: Signature
vii ix xiii xxi xxii
1 3 10 36 50 61 70
83 85 89 108 116 129 154
Acknowledgments hen I decided to put together all the major decisions taken Wduring my tenure of office as President of the North West Provincial Court of Appeal, I did not expect that one day I would need them as indispensable material to write a book. It was and has always been my concern to record events that have influenced my life. If I failed to use them, others might find them useful in one form or the other. Now that I have decided to do something, I will begin by acknowledging my indebtedness to Mr Paul Mbuyongha, the P.C. A. Personal Secretary throughout the period that I presided over the Bamenda Court of Appeal. He did all the typing. At a time when the computer had not been heard of in this part of the world, it was a feat to accomplish. To him this work owes much. Alongside with Mr Mbuyongha is Mr Paul Langwa. Mr Langwa joined the service a few years after my assumption of office in 1977. Within a very short time, he got a hang of the registry work. He proved to be a devoted and dedicated member of my staff. Putting the decisions together, and they are several, to which I have had easy and quick reference is the handiwork of Mr Langwa. He is responsible for binding the decisions, otherwise, I would have found it very hard to access some of the decisions mentioned or discussed herein. He, like Mr Mbuyongha, should realise that they have written this book. Mrs Tangwa Meriline Kongla is not my direct staff. She is a full time staff of anNG O , Tas o A u di ti n gan d Man ageme n t A c c ou nt i n g Co n s u l t an ts( TA MA C)headed by Mr Samuel Asobo Mbuyah a C.P.C Bali Old Boy. The Old Boy’s tie induced him to accept that his organisation and theF i rmMo n ie , Wakai & A s s o c i at e s L aw  should share her secretarial experience. She has been wonderful and I regard her the kingpin of the product that is now in your hands. I am extremely grateful and proud of what she has done especially coping with the legalese in some areas of the work. Same applies to Miss. Mirabel Tembei her predecessor.
Not everyone can be acknowledged in every piece of writing. Those named are but a minute few. The unnamed should know that I value their assistance in the various and different ways I received it. Nevertheless two persons deserve special note namely, Barrister Luke K. Sendze and Professor Tazoacha Asonganyi. Whatever merit this work may lay claim to, such claim is due to the meticulous devotion and dedication that both Barrister Luke K. Sendze and Professor Tazoacha Asonganyi put into it. Their contributions are more than succinctly to the reader than I tried to do in a jumble manner. Because the two have succeeded where I failed to make the point, it is considered good sense to reproduce in their entireties their contributions either as previews or general comments. The reader is advised to read them in order to enhance his understanding of the book. Their contributions are not just previews but form part of this book as Prefaces. All statements and errors of any sort found herein, whether typographical and/or misreading, I hold no person accountable but take full responsibility for them. At the end of it all, the pillar of all my efforts remains my wife, Christine, whose concern and anxiety for my physical well being became an obsession during the long hours I spent researching for the materials that make up this little work.
Preface I The Law and My Times” is an excellent expose of the latent and sometimes overt undercurrents that helped shape the Judicial history of Cameroon during the dying days of the United Nations Trusteeship period and the early days of independence up to the present day. From the vantage positions the author was placed by virtue of the posts he occupied throughout this period, he was able to put up the narrative in this book which no doubt graphically captures the minds especially of those of us who lived the events recounted therein and helps those of later years to look at the judicial evolution of this country in its true perspective. From the time the two sectors of Cameroon which had pre-existed under different Trusteeship masters (British and French) with different judicial cultures got united into the federal Republic of Cameroon, it was obvious that a time bomb was planted in the sense that the rivalry in Europe between the Anglophone culture and the Francophone culture was going to show its ugly head in this young vulnerable and inexperienced Federal Republic. And sure it did as can be seen by any person who scans through the pages of the wonderful book. The conflict of judicial concepts, procedures and usages led to the judicial system of one sector trying to impose itself on the other. It is only the mature and cool heads like those of the author who from their vantage positions bent over backwards to avoid an explosion and allow a gradual evolution of the Judicial System in this country. These mature hands had an onerous task of fighting to maintain the independence of the Judiciary inherited from the colonial masters in the face of an aggressive executive power which called the shots at independence and still do so to the present day. At independence with the connivance of the politicians, the President of the Republic who was the head of the Executive branch of Government crafted a constitution which made himself the Chief Magistrate. In that capacity he presided over the Higher Judicial Council whose members were for the most part appointed by him. This Council had the responsibility of appointing, promoting, disciplining, transferring and dismissing Magistrates. This situation seriously undermined the independence of the Judiciary and unfortunately the situation has largely remained unchanged to the present day. Those Magistrates like the author of this book who at independence had a nostalgia for the type of Judicial independence existing during the [ix]
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