Cameroon’s emergency powers: a recipe for (un)constitutional dictatorship?

This article reviews the current state of emergency powers in Cameroon in the light of the 1996 amendment to the 1972 Constitution and emerging international standards regulating the declaration of a state of emergency. It argues that emergency powers are only consistent with a democratic system of governance when there are effective controls to check against their abuse. It concludes that the expansion of presidential powers in Cameroon, with wide-ranging and vague powers to deal with emergencies, combined with the absence of any effective legislative oversight or judicial control, raises serious doubts about the country’s transition from authoritarian dictatorship to a fully-fledged constitutional democracy. Notes, ref., sum. (p. ii). (Slightly revised version of article published in: East African Journal of Peace & Human Rigts, vol. 10, no. 2 (2004), p. 274-294.) [Journal abstract]

Title: Cameroon’s emergency powers: a recipe for (un)constitutional dictatorship?
Author: Fombad, Charles Manga
Year: 2004
Periodical: Journal of African Law
Volume: 48
Issue: 1
Pages: 62-81
Language: English
Geographic term: Cameroon
External link: http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=KULWH8PC1MT3MMHYVL3P
Abstract: This article reviews the current state of emergency powers in Cameroon in the light of the 1996 amendment to the 1972 Constitution and emerging international standards regulating the declaration of a state of emergency. It argues that emergency powers are only consistent with a democratic system of governance when there are effective controls to check against their abuse. It concludes that the expansion of presidential powers in Cameroon, with wide-ranging and vague powers to deal with emergencies, combined with the absence of any effective legislative oversight or judicial control, raises serious doubts about the country’s transition from authoritarian dictatorship to a fully-fledged constitutional democracy. Notes, ref., sum. (p. ii). (Slightly revised version of article published in: East African Journal of Peace & Human Rigts, vol. 10, no. 2 (2004), p. 274-294.) [Journal abstract]