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Copyright (c) 2010 Tulane University School of Law
The Tulane European and Civil Law Forum

ARTICLE: Harmonization of Business Law in Cameroon: Issues, Challenges and Prospects


The Tulane European and Civil Law Forum

25 Tul. Eur. & Civ. L.F. 119


Martha Simo Tumnde*


I. Introduction
Laws were imported in Africa by the colonial powers. The dualist colonial experience of Cameroon left indelible scars on the legal landscape with the result that one part of the country operates a civil law system while the other operates under the common law. Such bi-juralism in the Republic of Cameroon furnishes an excellent example of a mixed jurisdiction.

Following the colonization of Cameroon by France and Britain, English and French laws were applied in the West and Eastern Regions of Cameroon respectively. This legal balkanization of Cameroon created a legal environment of uncertainty which resulted in a blatant conflict of laws in the same country with one flag, one people and one destiny. Until the recent introduction of OHADA (Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires) in Africa, Cameroon remained an example par excellence of a confused legal system characterized by outdated or obsolete laws which were not only scanty in nature but also proved largely inadequate both in content and spirit to address the legal issues of modern commercial transactions. In fact these laws had been abrogated in Nigeria, England and France where they emanated. This inability of the Cameroon legal system to adequately address the tenets and problems of the burgeoning and expanding transactions of the business world has been the result of the bi-jural culture of Cameroon. Certainty, simplicity and uniformity in the law governing economic activities in relating states are vital pre-requisites for mutually beneficial interdependence. Harmonization brings about certainty ...
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