Cameroon: Law On Freedom of Association - Minat Edifies Senators On Amendment

Minister Paul Atanga Nji explained the modifications to members of the Committee on Constitutional Laws of the Senate on November 23, 2021.

The Committee on Constitutional Laws of the Senate has examined Bill No.177/PJL/SEN/2L to amend some provisions of Law No. 90/53 of 19 December 1990 relating to freedom of association. This was during a working session on November 23, 2021 during which the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji presented and defended the legal instrument before the Committee members headed by Senator Etame Masoma, and in the presence of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Relations with the Assemblies, Bolvine Wakata.

The proposed amendment concerns Section 5(4) of the law relating to freedom of association. It states that "Political parties, trade unions, sports associations, non-governmental organisations, artistic and cultural organisations as well as inter-trade organisations shall be governed by separate instruments." The initial law specified that the aforementioned groupings which, by virtue of their specific character, do not fall within the scope of the 1990 Law. Hence, the above groupings are subject to specific systems determined by the respective laws organising them and the objective is to have specific laws reflective of the realities of the grouping concerned. Going by the bill, inter-trade organisations are included in the list of associations that have specific systems relating or governing them. The Minister explained to the Committee members that the proposed modification pursues having in place a legislation specific to inter-professional organisations without risk of conflict on the application mode of the various texts. Thus, the establishment, organisation and functioning of groupings in respect to the principle of freedom of association, is governed by a separate law. The respect for human rights, contributing to the growth of the country's democratic process and maintaining peace and order, are some of the benefits of the proposed amendment.

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