The Role of the Examining Magistrate as an Investigator in the Anti-Corruption Drive in Cameroon

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Kwei Haliday Nyingchia
Published On: 27/06/2022
Volume: 8
Issue: 3
First Page: 143
Last Page: 165
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Kwei Haliday Nyingchia, The Role of the Examining Magistrate as an Investigator in the Anti-Corruption Drive in Cameroon, Volume 8 Issue 3, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 143-165, Published on 27/06/2022, Available at https://jlsr.thelawbrigade.com/article/the-role-of-the-examining-magistrate-as-an-investigator-in-the-anti-corruption-drive-in-cameroon/

Abstract

Cameroon like other countries in the world has tremendously been ravaged by corruption and measures taken to contain this cankerworm have proven inadequate. One of the recurrent forms through which corruption is manifested in Cameroon is through the misappropriation of public property. In the prosecution of this offence, the role of the Examining Magistrate is crucial. Consequently, the Examining Magistrate can be regarded as an amphibious figure in our judicial organization with exorbitant powers to conduct preliminary inquiries or pre-trial investigations in complex criminal matters. When performing investigative functions, his powers are akin to those of judicial police officers. The Examining Magistrate is a magistrate of the bench usually seen in countries with the civil law inspiration wherein the inquisitorial system originated. In this system, he is a judge who carries out pre-trial investigations into allegations of crime and in some cases through a committal order recommends for prosecution. Matters can only be brought to him by the prosecution through a holden charge or a complaint with a civil claim made by a victim of an offence since he cannot commence preliminary inquiry of his own motion. In the fight against corruption, his actions can be control by the parties, the State Counsel and the Inquiry Control Chambers of the Court of Appeal. He enjoys independence in the exercise of his functions though this independence is affected by the absence of the functional independence of the judiciary. The qualitative research approach was adopted in this research. Through the doctrinal method, on desk review of primary and secondary data was made. This paper recommends that the functional independence of the judiciary should be adopted and that the Examining Magistrate should be capable of opening preliminary investigations in matters relating corruption without being seized by the prosecution or a civil party.

Keywords: Judiciary, Independence, Corruption, Examining Magistrate, Judge, Preliminary Inquiry

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