23, December 2016
The so-called Minister of State in charge of Justice and Keeper of the Seal has made a mockery of Cameroon Common Law Lawyers in a presentation at the National Assembly. Laurent Esso revealed that lawyers are only protected while in court and not on the streets.
Said Esso “With respect to the protection of lawyers on the street, I want to be clear on that. A lawyer is covered by immunity before the courts and this immunity relates to statements made at the hearing and documents filed at the hearing. When a lawyer is before a court, he is protected by the Prosecutor of the Republic of the jurisdiction. But when a lawyer is on the street, he does not enjoy immunity because that is not what the law says. He is protected only in the courts.”
The Francophone minister added that those who go out on the street face the police and it is not the Ministry of Justice or the court that ensures the maintenance of order. They have their own procedure and are implemented by the Sub-Prefect, the Prefect or the Governor. “So if lawyers want to be protected, let them come before the courts.” Laurent Esso also noted that the Department of Justice has received no complaints from what he painted as “the so-called Common Law lawyers”. To the Minister, the Common Law Lawyers strike is unnecessary.
By Sama Ernest