The Cameroonian judicial system is determined to step up its adaptation to the changing times, particularly, the dictates of modern technology. At the solemn reopening ceremony of the 2023 judicial year, Wednesday 22 February 2023 in Yaounde, the Lord Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Daniel MEKOBE SONE, noted that the Cameroonian judicial system stood the risk of being outdated completely with the rapid changes in world technology.
In his submission titled “Cameroonian justice confronted with the rise of information technology and communication,” Chief Justice Daniel MEKOBE SONE observed that Internet, social media, android phones, digital deployment, electronic payment methods and other digital tools have impacted judicial procedures and services, notably civil status registries, civil matters like divorces, commercial matters, companies and lots more.
“ICTs have considerably plunged Cameroonians into shambles,” Daniel MEKOBE SONE lamented. Especially such aspects as cybercriminality, cryptocurrency and abusive use of social networks. He frowned at the many Cameroonians transforming their cyber spaces into virtual tribunals where persons are accused, judged and sentenced. To whistle-blowers, citizen journalists and influencers perpetrating offences against other individuals, the law is still in place and will bring each offender to book.
Although the preamble of the January 1996 Constitution guarantees freedom of communication, of expression and of the press, the Lord Chief Justice recalled that these freedoms are not without restrictions.
The solemn reopening ceremony of the Supreme Court holds at the start of each judicial year, attended by Heads of Appeal Courts, lower Administrative Courts, and lower Audit Courts, in judicial robes, under the chairmanship of the Lord Chief Justice. The ritual is instituted by Law No. 2006/016 of 29 December 2006 to lay down the organisation and functioning of the Supreme Court.
As expected, this year’s session was attended by top government functionaries, notably, the Prime Minister Head of Government Joseph DION NGUTE and the Minister of State, Minister of Justice, Keeper of the Seals, Laurent ESSO. The diplomatic corps, international organisations and a host of others were equally in attendance.