Cameroon: Special Criminal Court - Some 225 Decisions Rendered, Billions Recovered

The jurisdiction has published five volumes of decisions it has rendered since its official opening on October 15, 2012.

The Special Criminal Court (SCC), Cameroon's institution in charge of hearing and determining matters relating to the misappropriation of public funds with the least amount being FCFA 50 billion, has in a five volume- book published the decisions it has rendered since the inaugural hearing on October 15, 2012 that marked its official opening.

Law No. 2011/028 of 14 December 2011 as amended and supplement by Law No. 2012/011 of 16 July 2012 states that the "Special Criminal Court shall be competent to hear and determine matters, where the loss amounts to at least FCFA 50,000,000 relating to misappropriation of public funds and other related offences provided for in the Penal Code and International Conventions ratified by Cameroon." With the powers confer- red on the court by the law, as of July 16, 2020, it registered 211 cases.

The Special Criminal Court has also rendered 177 decisions on the merits and 48 cases on interlocutory being a total of 225 decisions. On the financial domain, it has paid to the public treasury in connection with the restitution of the corpus delicti the sum of over FCFA 9,000,000,000. The book states that damages and fines amount to FCFA 205,511,934,502.5 and costs being FCFA 9,572,127,963.05. The objective of the book is to popularize the jurisprudence on the misappropriation of public property, inform public opinion on the decisions of the Special Criminal Court and promote the work done by the court's experts. Each of the five volumes of the publication, has over 600 pages on average. A total of 100 cases are submitted with at least 16 decisions per volume. The judgements under appeal are supplemented at the bottom of the page with the references of the judgement rendered by the Supreme Court, if the said has already ruled.

The President of the Special Criminal Court, Emmanuel Ndjere in the editorial of the book said its publication is the "result of collaboration between experts, men and women experienced in the task including magistrates, judicial personnel of the Bench and their colleagues on the Legal Department, as well as experts, lawyers and representatives of the State who work with honour to administer justice within this institution." The book also delves on the procedures to reach a decision at the Special Criminal Court. The President of the Court justified this by the fact that some citizens do not know its achievements and procedures taken to pass judgement on a case. He said the book is to address shortcomings of the citizens. As such, the book contains certain judgements that are likely to enlighten citizens, in terms of cases judged, procedures, debates and decisions rendered. The publication of the book is an innovation in the judicial system in Cameroon, considering that the Special Criminal Court is the first court in the country to publish its decisions .

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