The Minister of Justice has revealed his version of the story of the claims of anglophone lawyers.
The newspaper La Nouvelle Expression published on December 22, 2016 published excerpts of Laurent Esso, the Minister in charge of Justice, concerning the claims of the lawyers of the English-speaking part of the country.
“With respect to the protection of lawyers in the street, I want to be clear on that. A lawyer is covered by immunity before the courts and this immunity relates to statements made at the hearing and documents filed at the hearing. When a lawyer is before a court, he is protected by the Prosecutor of the Republic of the jurisdiction. But when a lawyer is on the street, he does not enjoy immunity because that is not what the law says. He is protected only in the courts.
Those who go out on the street face the police, and it is not the Ministry of Justice or the court that ensures the maintenance of order. They have their own procedure and they will find, the DO, the SDO, the Governor, etc. So if lawyers want to be protected, let them come before the court. We heard a lot of amalgamation on that, so I wanted to clarify it.
We are told that the grievances of the lawyers known as “Common Law” have been presented. I would first like to say that the Ministry of Justice has received no complaints. None. We have learned through channels that you know that the so-called Common Law lawyers have presented grievances. Nevertheless, I will tell you what the Ministry of Justice has done.
We were in April 2014, I believe, I was in the office, I was advised that there are some lawyers from the northwest and southwest who wish to meet with me. Without a hearing request. Without any particular approach. I interrupted my work and met with the lawyers for nearly two hours in the conference room of the Ministry of Justice.”
According to Laurent Esso, as a grievance: “They said,” We have learned that the Ministry of Justice is drafting a Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure and a Civil Code in secret. And that in this Code there were only texts under French law. I explained to them first that the Ministry of Justice does not write texts in secret. High-ranking judges of the English-speaking Supreme Court, chiefs of the Northwest and South-West Court of Appeals, and other persons familiar with judicial practice, are now being examined by them. I told them they had insufficient information. They returned. They did not even present a grievance. ” Laurent Esso spoke before the MPs in the National Assembly.