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Applying International Standards in Enforcing the Right to Personal Liberty in Cameroon: Challenges and Prospects

  • Laura-Stella Enonchong (a1)

Abstract

This article examines the problematic enforcement of the right to personal liberty in Cameroon. It offers a critical review of that right by assessing its compatibility with international standards endorsed by article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. It finds that, although a small number of provisions are not sufficiently robust to protect that right adequately, for the most part the Cameroonian provisions reflect international standards. In the light of that assessment, the article seeks to identify the impediments to the effective enforcement of the right and to recommend the most effective and feasible mechanisms for developing a robust enforcement framework for the protection and promotion of the right to personal liberty in Cameroon.

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1 Adopted 16 December 1966, entered into force 23 March 1976: 999 UNTS 171. See for instance General Comment No 35.

2 Adopted 27 June 1981, entered into force 21 October 1986: (1982) 21 International Legal Materials 58.

3 Law No 2005/007 of 27 July 2005, as amended by Law No 2006/008 of 14 July 2006 on the CPC.

4 Bertelsmann Stiftung “Bertelsmann transformation index 2012: Cameroon country report” (2012) at 8, available at: <https://www.bti-project.org/fileadmin/files/BTI/Downloads/Reports/2012/pdf/BTI_2012_Cameroon.pdf> (last accessed 29 September 2016); Freedom House “Freedom in the world 2011: Cameroon”, available at: <www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2011/cameroon> (last accessed 23 November 2014); Committee to Protect Journalists “Attacks on the press in 2011: Cameroon” (21 February 2012), available at: <https://cpj.org/2012/02/attacks-on-the-press-in-2011-cameroon.php> (last accessed 29 September 2016); Amnesty International “Cameroon: Impunity underpins persistent abuse” (29 January 2009), available at: <http://www.refworld.org/docid/498165c92.html> (last accessed  19 September 2016).

5 Bertelsmann, id at 20–22; Freedom House, ibid; Dicklitch, SFailed democratic transition in Cameroon: A human rights explanation” (2002) 24/1 Human Rights Quarterly 152 at 156.

6 Freedom House: “Freedom in the world 2010: Cameroon”, available at <http://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2010/cameroon#.VEm46ahwZrQ> (last accessed 23 November 2014).

7 For instance, Nordberg, JIgnoring human rights of homosexuals: Gross violations of international obligations in Cameroon” (2012) 27/2 American University Law Review 439 focuses on the law authorizing the arrest and detention of homosexuals in Cameroon without a broader discussion of the right to personal liberty. Further, Effiom, BHuman rights in Cameroon: A new framework for the National Commission for Human Rights and Freedoms” (2013) 2/1 E-journal of International and Comparative Labour Studies 65 examines the role of the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms in promoting socio-economic rights, while Time, VWomen, law and human rights in Cameroon: Progress or status quo?” (2014) 6/1 Journal of Law and Conflict Resolution 1 looks at the development of women's rights in Cameroon.

8 The choice of instruments can be accounted for by the fact that they have been ratified by Cameroon and form part of the corpus of human rights legislation in Cameroon.

9 See generally van Kempen, PHFour concepts of security: A human rights perspective” (2013) 13/1 Human Rights Law Review 1 . See also Joseph, S and Castan, M The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases, Materials and Commentary (3rd ed, 2013, Oxford University Press) at 341–44.

10 See for instance the Human Rights Committee's decision in Delgado Páez v Colombia comm no 195/1985, UN doc CCPR/C/39/D/195/1985 (23 August 1990), especially paras 5.5–5.6; Rajapakse v Sri Lanka comm no 1250/2004, UN doc CCPR/C/87/D/1250/2004 (2006); and the African Commission in Sudan Human Rights Organisation and Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions v Sudan comm no 279/03-296/05, especially paras 173–75.

11 Joseph and Castan The International Covenant, above at note 9 at 341.

12 van Alphen v The Netherlands comm no 305/1998, UN doc CCPR/C/39/D/305/1988 (1990) and Spakmo v Norway comm no 631/1999, UN doc CCPR/C/67/D/631/1995 (1999). See also Joseph and Castan, ibid.

13 The European Human Rights Convention has greater clarity on this aspect, given that the grounds for lawful arrest are specifically enumerated in art 5(1)(a)–(f).

14 These are discussed in the next section.

15 For instance art 7(d), which guarantees the right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal.

16 Adopted in Maputu, July 2003. Other instruments such as resolutions are authoritative in interpreting and elaborating specific rights in the ACHPR. See Naldi, GThe African Union and the regional human rights system” in Evans, M and Murray, R (eds) The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The System in Practice 19862006 (2nd ed, 2008, Cambridge University Press) 20 at 38.

17 Constitution of Cameroon, preamble, para 10.

18 Law No 65/LF/24 of 12 November 1965 and Law No 67/LF/1 of 12 June 1967 on the Cameroonian Penal Code.

19 The most current version is Law No 2006/015 of 29 December 2006 on the Organization of the Judiciary.

20 Law No 90/54 of 19 December 1990.

21 For historical reasons Cameroon has a bi-jural legal system consisting of the English common law and the French civil law. Cameroon was administered as separate UN trust territories by Britain and France. The former Southern Cameroons, under British tutelage, adopted the English common law, while the former French Cameroon, which was administered by France, adopted the French civil law system.

22 Grant v Jamaica comm no 597/1994, UN doc CCPR/C/56/D/597/1994 (1996).

23 Griffin v Spain comm no 493/1992, UN doc CCPR/C/53/D/493/ 1992.

24 CPC, sec 31.

25 Offences are classified as simple offences, felonies or misdemeanours according to the maximum penalty provided by the Penal Code.

26 CPC, sec 33.

27 In Griffin v Spain, above at note 23, the Human Rights Committee stated that it was unreasonable to argue that the complainant was unaware of the reasons for his arrest given that drugs had been found on him by the arresting authority. See also Grant v Jamaica, above at note 22.

28 CPC, sec 119(a).

29 Sieghart, P The International Law of Human Rights (1983, Oxford University Press) at 152–53.

30 Jijon v Ecuador comm no 277/1988, UN doc CCPR/C/44/D/277/1988 (1992).

31 Borisenko v Hungary comm no 852/1999, UN doc CCPR/C/75/D/852/1999 (2002).

32 CPC, sec 19(1).

33 Id, sec 19(2)(b).

34 ICCPR, General Comment 35, IV.38.

35 Fillastre and Bizouarn v Bolivia comm no 336/1988, UN doc CCPR/C/43/D/336/1998 (1991). See also Smith, R Texts and Materials on International Human Rights (2nd ed, 2010, Routledge) at 502 .

36 The HRC has also held pre-trial detention periods of nine months and 18 months to violate art 9(3). See Sequeira v Uruguay comm no R.1/6, UN doc supp no 40(A/35/40) (1980) and Burgos v Uruguay comm no R.12/52, UN doc supp no 40(A/36/40) (1981), respectively.

37 Huri-Laws v Nigeria (2000) AHRLR 273 (ACHPR 2000).

38 International Pen, Constitutional Rights Project (Ken Saro-Wiwa) v Nigeria (2000) AHRLR 212 (ACHPR 1998).

39 CPC, sec 218.

40 Id, sec 221.

41 Thomas v Jamaica comm no 614/95, UN doc CCPR/C/65/D/614/1995 (1999) and McTaggart v Jamaica comm no 749/1997, UN doc CCPR/C/62/D/749/97 (1998).

42 Law on the Maintenance of Law and Order, sec 2, para 4.

43 See for example E/CN.4/2000/9/Add.2 (report of the UN special rapporteur), submitted pursuant to UN Commission on Human Rights res 1998/38, paras 52 and 53, cited in Enonchong, NHuman rights violations by the executive: Complicity of the judiciary in Cameroon?” (2003) 47/2 Journal of African Law 665 at 273.

44 Annette Pagnoulle (on behalf of Abdoulaye Mazou) v Cameroon (2000) AHRLR 55 (ACHPR 1995); PEN International et al “Joint contribution on Cameroon to the 16th session of the working group on the universal periodic review” (October 2012), para 13 , available at: <http://www.pen-international.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/12-10-07-Cameroon-UPR-PEN-CPJ-ISF-ENGLISH.pdf> (last accessed 1 October 2016).

45 CPC, sec 224(1) and also sec 246.

46 Id, sec 222(1) and (2); Judicial Organization Ordinance, sec 25(2)(a).

47 CPC, sec 221(2).

48 Law No 2004/016 of 22 July 2004 on the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission (NCHRF Law), sec 3, para 5.

49 CPC, sec 225.

50 Judicial Organization Ordinance, sec 25(3)(b).

51 The procureur général is head of the legal department of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

52 Judicial Organization Ordinance, sec 25(3)(d).

53 Ibid.

54 Ibid.

55 Id, sec 25(3)(f) and (4).

56 CPC, sec 246(g).

57 Id, sec 224(2).

58 Thomas v Jamaica, above at note 41 and McTaggart v Jamaica, above at note 41.

59 Sextus v Trinidad and Tobago (818/1998) ICCPR A/56/40, vol II (2001); also Borroso v Panama comm no 473/1991, UN doc CCPR/C/54/D/473/1991 (1995), para 8.5.

60 Approximately GBP 600.

61 Penal Code, sec 184(1)(a).

62 Nigerian Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, secs 19 and 16 respectively. In Uganda, the maximum sentence for embezzlement is 14 years and bail is available to anyone arrested on suspicion of embezzlement. See the Ugandan Anti-Corruption Act 2009, secs 19 and 49 respectively.

63 Nigerian Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, sec 42(1)(2).

64 Dr Martin Luma and 18 Others v The People (2002) 1 CCLR 11.

65 In fact they were subsequently charged with simple offences.

66 N Enonchong “Human rights violations”, above at note 43 at 272.

67 Comm no 560/93, UN doc CCPR/C/59/D/560/1993 (1997).

68 Comm no 250/2002 (ACHPR 2002).

69 See also the HRC in A v New Zealand comm no 754/97, UN doc CCPR/C/66/D/754/1997 (1998).

70 (2000) AHRLR 248 (ACHPR 1999).

71 Principle M(4) of the African Principles guarantees the right of persons deprived of their liberty to challenge that decision before a court.

72 For a detailed account of the law and practice of habeas corpus in Cameroon, see Enonchong, LHabeas corpus under the new Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon: Progress or status quo?” (2014) 14/1 Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 47 .

73 CPC, sec 584(3).

74 Id, sec 585(3).

75 Id, sec 586(4).

76 Id, sec 586(2).

77 Id, sec 453.

78 In fact an appeal can be filed within five days of the trial court judgment; the case file must be forwarded to the president of the appeal court within five days and the appeal court is required to deliver its decision within seven days: id, secs 586(3), 587(1) and (2) and 275(2).

79 Suit no HCF/0040/HB/09 (unreported). See also Namondo Makake v Bernard O Bilai suit no HCF/164/IR/04-05 (29 September 2005); Etengeneng JT v The Governor of South West Province (1998) 1CCLR 9, where executive authorities demonstrated contempt for habeas corpus orders.

80 See the opinion of the HRC in Torres v Finland comm no 291/1988, CCPR/C/38/D/291/1988.

81 Article 19 v Eritrea (2007) AHRLR 73 (ACHPR 2007), para 99 and footnote 29. The African Commission in that case made reference to a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (Union Alimentaria Sanders SA v Spain, 7 July 1989, series A 157) that a backlog of cases cannot exonerate a state party from unreasonable delays.

82 Irina, DA culture of human rights and the right to culture” (2011) 1/2 Journal of Communication and Culture 30 at 30.

83 Eyinga, AGovernment by state of emergency” in Joseph, R (ed) Gaullist Africa: Cameroon Under Ahmadou Ahidjo (1978, Fourth Dimension Publishers) 100 at 106–10.

84 For instance, DS Oyebowale, above at note 79, where the applicant was arrested without a warrant and detained for 62 days without charge. See also US Department of State “Country reports on human rights practices for 2013: Cameroon”, available at: <http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2013&dlid=220090> (last accessed 19 September 2016).

85 US Department of State, ibid. See also note 4 above.

86 Ibid.

87 HRC “Compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with para 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21: Cameroon”: A/HRC/WG.6/16/CMR/2, para 56. See also A/HRC/WG.6/16/CMR/3, paras 44–45 and 49.

88 See for instance Pierre Désiré Engo v Cameroon comm no 1397/2005, CCPR/C/96/D/1397/2005; Philip Njaru v Cameroon comm no 1353/2005, UN doc CCPR/C/89/D/1353/2005; and Titianhojo v Cameroon (2007) AHRLR 21 (HRC 2007) where the complainants were arrested without being charged until several months later. See also US Department of State “Country reports 2013”, above at note 84, sec 1(d).

89 Comm no 1813/2008, CCPR/C/101/D/1813/2008.

90 US Department of State “Country reports 2013”, above at note 84, sec 1(d).

91 Ibid. See also A Morris “Cameroon” in M Nalla and G Newman (eds) Crime and Punishment Around the World (2010, ABC-CLIO, LLC) 27 at 29.

92 US Department of State, ibid.

93 Ibid.

94 African Commission “Third periodic report of Cameroon within the framework of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights” (9–24 April 2013), paras 90–97, available at: <http://www.achpr.org/files/sessions/54th/state-reports/3-2008-2011/staterep3_cameroon_2013_eng.pdf> (last accessed 9 September 2014).

95 US Department of State “Country reports 2013”, above at note 83, sec 1(d). See also Amnesty International “Cameroon: Impunity underpins”, above at note 4 at 2–3.

96 African Commission “Prisons in Cameroon: Report of the special rapporteur on prisons and conditions of detention in Africa” (2-15/09/2002), ACHPR/37/OS/11/437 at 21–22; Sama, NJProviding legal aid in criminal justice in Cameroon: The role of lawyers” in Penal Reform International Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond: Making the Rule of Law a Reality (2007, Penal Reform International) 160 .

97 This problem was discussed extensively in Enonchong “Habeas corpus”, above at note 72 at 56–62.

98 Wakai and 72 Others v The People (1997) 1CCLR 127; The People v Nya Henry (2005) 1CCLR 61 where executive officials refused to comply with bail orders.

99 Above at note 79.

100 That problem has been discussed extensively elsewhere. See Enonchong “Habeas corpus”, above at note 72 at 58–62; Enonchong, LJudicial independence and accountability in Cameroon: Balancing a tenuous relationship” (2012) 1 African Journal of Legal Studies 313 .

101 Constitution of Cameroon, art 37(2).

102 Id, art 37(3).

103 Ibid.

104 Above at note 98.

105 The legal department has dual status as an executive institution under the Ministry of Justice and a section of the judiciary in charge of public prosecution. It is responsible for supervising the enforcement of judgments: CPC, sec 545(2).

106 US Department of State “Country reports 2013”, above at note 84, para 1(d); Advocates for Human Rights “Report on the death penalty and detention conditions in the Republic of Cameroon under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in response to the third periodic report of the Republic of Cameroon presented at the 53rd ordinary session of the Commission” (April 2013), para 33, available at: <http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/uploads/cameroon_african_commission_death_penalty_detention_conditions_october_2013.pdf> (last accessed 28 September 2016).

107 Sama “Providing legal aid”, above at note 96 at 162.

108 See for instance The People v Asanga Asongwe CFIBA/1128 C/01-02 (unreported), which was adjourned 20 times, cited in Sama, ibid, especially footnote 38.

109 Above at note 79.

110 CPC, sec 19(1) and (2)(b).

111 See for instance DS Oyebowale, above at note 79.

112 HRC “Compilation prepared”, above at note 87, para 35; US Department of State “Country reports on human rights practices for 2012: Cameroon” (2013), available at: <http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2012&dlid=204097> (last accessed 29 September 2016); Freedom House “Freedom in the world”, above at note 6.

113 Ibid.

114 Above at note 88.

115 Above at note 89, paras 7.4 and 8.

116 Advocates for Human Rights “Report on the death penalty”, above at note 106. See also Morris “Cameroon”, above at note 91 at 30.

117 African Commission “Third periodic report”, above at note 94, para 18.

118 US Department of State “Country reports 2013”, above at note 84, para 1(d); Advocates for Human Rights “Report on the death penalty”, above at note 106, para 33.

119 C Vaillant et al “Evaluation de la coopération de L'Union Européenne avec la République du Cameroun: Rapport de synthèse - volume 1”  [Evaluation of EU cooperation with the Republic of Cameroon: Summary report – volume 1] (March 2014) at 4, available at: <https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/evaluation-cooperation-ec-cameroon-1328-main-report-201403_fr_0.pdf> (last accessed 1 October 2016).

120 US Department of State “Country reports 2013”, above at note 84, para 1(d).

121 “Cameroon can and should improve human rights protection for all: UN human Rights chief” (2 July 2013) UN News Centre, available at: <http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45329#.VZz8FxtRHIU> (last accessed 21 February 2015).

122 Advocates for Human Rights “Report on the death penalty”, above at note 106, para 31.

123 Vaillant et al “Evaluation de la coopération”, above at note 119 at 5.

124 R Murray The Role of National Human Rights Institutions at the International and Regional Levels (2007 Hart Publishing) at 5. See also M James “Toothless bulldogs: The human rights commissions of Uganda and South Africa: A comparative study of their independence” (2002) African Human Rights Law Journal 68 at 71.

125 Murray, ibid.

126 “Principles relating to the status and functioning of national institutions for the protection and promotion of human rights”, Commission on Human Rights res 1992/54, 3 March 1992, annex: GA res 48/134 of 20 December 1993 (Paris Principles), paras B(2) and (3).

127 Decree No 90-1459 of 8 November 1990.

128 Id, art 4(2).

129 Id, art 4(1).

130 Above at note 126, principle 1 (a)–(e).

131 Commonwealth Secretariat “National human rights institutions best practice” (2001), chap II, secs 2.1 and 2.2.

132 Human Rights Watch “Government human rights commissions in Africa: Cameroon: Staffing and appointments” (2001), available at: <http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/africa/cameroon/cameroon2.html> (last accessed 2 April 2006).

133 Decree No 90-1459, art 2.

134 Id, art 3.

135 Above at note 48.

136 Id, secs 22 and 23.

137 Id, sec 2.

138 US Department of State “Country reports 2012”, above at note 112, sec 4, para 5.

139 NCHRF Law, sec 6(1).

140 Ibid.

141 Effiom “Human rights in Cameroon”, above at note 7 asserts that the accountability structure leaves the institution vulnerable to external pressure.

142 S Gwei “The Cameroon experience of creating and running a national commission for the protection and promotion of human rights” in K Hossain et al (eds) Human Rights Commissions and Ombudsman Offices: National Experiences Throughout the World (2001, Kluwer Law International) 169 at 182; NCHRF “NCHRF in detention centres in Cameroon: Achievements, challenges and prospects”, available at: <http://www.cndhl.cm/index.php/nchrf-in-detention-centres-in-cameroon-achievements-challenges-and-prospects> (last accessed 9 September 2014).

143 NCHRF, id.

144 NCHRF Law, secs 3 and 5.

145 NCHRF “NCHRF in detention centres”, above at note 142.

146 Ibid. See also NCHRF “Annual report 2001” at 24 and NCHRF “Annual report 2002” at 11.

147 Human Rights Watch “Government human rights commissions in Africa: Cameroon: Activities” (2001), available at: <https://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/africa/cameroon/cameroon3.html> (last accessed 9 September 2014).

148 Effiom “Human rights in Cameroon”, above at note 7 at 83. See also Gwei “The Cameroon experience”, above at note 142 at 174 and 181.

149 The Penal Code, secs 152–53 (which criminalize contempt of public authorities and the president) and sec 305 (which criminalizes defamation) tend to authenticate the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists critical of the government.

150 Nordberg “Ignoring human rights”, above at note 7 at 461–63; World Organization Against Torture “Cameroon: Report publication: Defenders of the rights of LGBTI persons face homophobia and violence” (15 February 2015), available at: <http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/reports-and-publications/cameroon/2015/02/d23011/> (last accessed 4 July 2015).

151 Ibid.

152 The use of “traditional” highlights the fact that the French system has evolved from that historical position and, since 2010, has adopted post-legislative judicial review.

153 Constitution of Cameroon, art 47(3); Law No 2004/004 of 21 April 2004 on the Organization and Functioning of the Constitutional Council (Constitutional Council Law), art 3(1). The Constitutional Council is the institution vested with jurisdiction to review the constitutionality of laws.

154 A different view is expressed in Enonchong, NHarmonization of business law in Africa: Is article 42 of the OHADA Treaty a problem?” (2007) 51/1 Journal of African Law 95 at 108.

155 Vroom, CConstitutional protection of individual liberties in France: The Conseil Constitutionnel since 1971” (1988–89) 63 Tulane Law Review 266 at 272. See also Adjei, CThe comparative perspective and the protection of human rights à la française” (1997) 17/2 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 281 at 294–95.

156 Nguini, MJuristes-savants, droits de l’état et état de droits au Cameroun” [Lawyer-scholars, rights of the state and the rule of law in Cameroon] (1998) 6/2 Polis / CPSR 81 at 57; also, Olinga, APolitique et droit electoral au Cameroun: Analyse juridique de la politique electorale” [Politics and electoral law in Cameroon: Legal analysis of electoral politics] (1998) 6/2 Polis / CPSR 31 at 40–41.

157 Constitution of Cameroon, art 47(2)(3); Constitutional Council Law, art 19(1).

158 Constitution of Cameroon, arts 57–60.

159 The president of Cameroon has been vested with considerable legislative powers regarding decrees, delegated and residual legislative powers that are used extensively. See id, arts 8(8) and 27.

160 Ayah, PA Cameroonian case study: Executive presidency versus parliamentary executive” (2004) 85/4 The Parliamentarian: Journal of the Parliaments of the Commonwealth 318 .

161 Ibid.

162 Law No 73/1 of 8 June 1973 (amended by Law No 2014/016 of 9 September 2014) on the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, sec 17(1) states that the president of the National Assembly must command a majority.

163 Inter-Parliamentary Union “Cameroon: National Assembly”, available at <http://www.ipu.org/parline/reports/2053_E.htm> (last accessed 14 February 2015).

164 See for instance, Enonchong “Harmonization of business law”, above at note 154 at 107.

165 Specific details of the reforms are discussed in depth in Enonchong “Habeas corpus”, above at note 72 at 68–71 and id “Judicial independence”, above at note 100.

166 L Enonchong “Habeas corpus”, id at 71.

167 “Cameroon can and should”, above at note 121.

168 Sarkin argues that, although community service sentences offer potential, that might be undermined by scarcity of resources, a problem affecting most African countries. See Sarkin, JPrison conditions in Africa: An evaluation from a human rights perspective” (2009) 9 Sur International Journal on Human Rights 22 at 40–42.

169 See generally Reiling, D Technology for Justice: How Information Technology Can Support Judicial Reform (2009, Leiden University Press).

170 US Department of State “Country reports 2012”, above at note 112, para 1c.

171 Naidoo, G et al. “An overview of internet development and the impact on e-government in South Africa” in Maumbe, B and Okello, J (eds) Technology, Sustainability and Rural Development in Africa (2013, Information Science Reference) at 195.

172 Ibid.

173 Commonwealth Best Practice, chap IV, sec 4.2, para 1.

174 Paris Principles, “Methods of operation” principle (g).

175 Commonwealth Best Practice, chap IV, secs 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4.

176 NCHRF Law, sec 19(3).

177 Id, sec 2.

178 Id, sec 3.

179 The Nigerian National Human Rights Commission “Activities of the Commission”, available at: <http://www.nigeriarights.gov.ng/Activities.php> (last accessed 29 September 2016).

180 Ibid.

181 The South African Human Rights Commission has partnered with several law schools, universities and NGOs. See Human Rights Watch “Protectors or pretenders? Government human rights commissions in Africa” (2001), available at: <http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/africa/overview/record.html> (last accessed 9 June 2014).

182 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo 2005, art 162.

183 Rotman, ABenin's Constitutional Court: An institutional model for guaranteeing human rights” (2004) 17 Harvard Human Rights Journal 281 ; Tanoh, A and Adjolohoun, HInternational law and human rights litigation in Côte d'Ivoire and Benin” in Killander, M (ed) International Law and Domestic Human Rights Litigation in Africa (2010, PULP) 109 at 116–17.

184 Gicquel, J and Gicquel, J-É Droit Constitutionnel et Institutions Politiques [Constitutional law and political institutions] (24th ed, 2010, Montchrestien) at 113 ; Neuman, GAnti-Ashwander: Constitutional litigation as a first resort in France” (2010) 43/15 Journal of International Law and Politics 17 . Le contrôle de conventionnalité is a mechanism for reviewing national legislation for its compatibility with international instruments.

185 Syndicat Général des Ingénieurs-Conseils et Administration des Douanes v Société des Cafés Jacques Vabre, judgment of 24 May 1975, CC (chambre mixte), 1975, DS Jur (Fr) 497.

186 France's supreme appellate jurisdiction in administrative matters.

187 Constitution of Cameroon, art 45.

188 Judgment no 404/cor, 12 May 2003.

189 Art 16(1) of the convention states: “States parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women” (b) “The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent”.

190 Ordonnance de référé [provisional order] no 200/C/TPI/Y, 30 November 2000 (unreported).

191 See above at note 98.

192 Metou, BLe moyen de droit international devant les juridictions internes en Afrique: Quelques exemples d'Afrique noire francophone” [Means of litigating international law in domestic courts in Africa: Some examples from black francophone Africa] (2009) 22/1 Revue Québécoise de Droit International 129 at 161–62.

* Associate lecturer, University of Warwick. PhD (University of Warwick), LLM (University of Birmingham), MPA (Kentucky State University), Maitrise en Droit (University of Yaoundé II), LLB (University of Buea).

Keywords

Applying International Standards in Enforcing the Right to Personal Liberty in Cameroon: Challenges and Prospects

  • Laura-Stella Enonchong (a1)

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