Pursuing the Right to an Effective Remedy for Human Rights Violation(s) In Cameroon: The Need for Legislative Reform
Undoubtedly, global and regional human rights instruments clearly entrench the right to an effective remedy for a human rights violation. The substantive nature of the right to an effective remedy makes it relevant to the realisation of the right to equality as well as the right to equal protection under the law. Cameroon, as a State Party to most of these human rights instruments, is bound to adopt measures aimed at giving effect to the rights contained therein. One of such steps, in my opinion, is the enactment of domestic legislation that defines the content of these rights; stipulates the forums where remedies for human violations could be pursued; specifies what kinds of remedies a victim of a human rights violation would get at the end; and lastly, defines who can access such forums. Unfortunately, the lack of domestic legislation that meets these requirements means the right to an effective remedy for a human rights violation in Cameroon cannot be realised. It is argued in this paper that the critical nature of the right to a remedy, given its bearing on other substantive human rights as well as the protection and promotion of human rights, warrants progressive efforts undertaken by the State in order to give effect to this right. Therefore, the sheer lack of a legislative instrument in this regard makes it very difficult for the pursuit of a right to a remedy when there is a violation of human rights. As evidenced by legislative developments in numerous African States that are States Parties to these international instruments, there is growing consensus that the enactment of domestic legislation that answers the questions of content; forums; outcomes and access is a positive and vital step towards the realisation of the right to an effective remedy for a human rights violation.
Keywords:Right to an effective remedy; human rights litigation; democratic culture; human rights; Cameroonian legal system; South African legal system.