Shing Praise Wandia
PhD Researcher/University of Buea, Cameroon
Journal Title: International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS)
Author(s): Wandia, Shing Praise
Published On: 04/06/2023
First Page: 381
Last Page: 392
Cite this Article
Wandia Shing Praise;The Efficacy of the Special Criminal Court in the Fight Against Misappropriation of Public Funds in Cameroon, Volume 7 Issue 3, International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS), 381-392, Published on 04/06/2023, Available at https://www.rsisinternational.org/journals/ijriss/articles/the-efficacy-of-the-special-criminal-court-in-the-fight-against-misappropriation-of-public-funds-in-cameroon/
The battle against the misappropriation of public funds committed by individuals, mainly public servants, for private gains, has witnessed different degrees of commitment by different countries. Rated as one of the most corrupt counties in Africa by Transparency International, the Republic of Cameroon enacted the law creating the Special Criminal Court (SCC). This comes as one of the most robust and significant legislative developments in the fight against the misappropriation of public funds. The smooth functioning of the court seems to be hindered by the vagueness of some legislations relating to the effective functioning of the court, lack of judicial independence of the court, and violation of due process rights which poses a threat to the fulfillment of the main aim of the court as a “special court” characterized by speediness. The paper thus sets out, to critically examine the effectiveness of the court in curbing the misappropriation of public funds. The study uses the qualitative research methodology, employing primary data sources from relevant statutes such as the Law of 2011 creating the SCC, the Cameroon Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, and interviews. Secondary data from textbooks, journal articles, and newspapers were also used. The study is underpinned by the Natural Law Theory and the Theory of Justice. Findings reveal that even though there are adequate laws ensuring the effective functioning of the Special Criminal Court, there are contrary laws that give the executive the power to influence judicial processes in the court. The impartiality of judges and the investigation of cases under the jurisdiction of the court and the fact that only the President of the Republic or the minister in charge of justice can refer a matter to the court is also a call for concern. This study, therefore upholds that, there should be strict implementation of the laws regulating the conduct of proceedings in the court. That there should be the political will to curb the offense, for the misappropriation of public funds can only reduce if the political will to do so is made paramount.
Keywords: misappropriation of public funds, corruption, restitution, Special Criminal Court.