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The Complexities and Inequalities of the Laws of Divorce in Cameroon and How these can be Overcome

Acha-Morfaw Epse Ghogomu, Dorothy Lekeaka; (2018) The Complexities and Inequalities of the Laws of Divorce in Cameroon and How these can be Overcome. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Unlike other areas where legislative reform has taken place, the Cameroonian Parliament has never legislated on divorce. Consequently, 57 years since Cameroon gained independence, the applicable laws in divorce matters are still those derived from the colonial era (received English and French laws) as well as customary law. Many of the rules on divorce are archaic and discriminatory. Moreover, the current multiple systems of courts in divorce matters often generate conflicts of jurisdiction. As a result of legal pluralism in Cameroon, the law of divorce is complex, inconsistent, conflicting, over-lapping and detrimental to the rights and freedom of individuals who are bound by discriminatory customary rules. This thesis seeks to remedy this chaotic situation through a unified system of courts and laws. Having justified the case for unification of law and court on divorce matters, this thesis presents a new constitutionally-compliant law on divorce for the whole of Cameroon. Three fundamental underlying objectives run through the proposed system: to support the institution of marriage up to the point that it has irretrievably broken down; to minimise the distress and bitterness in divorce proceedings and to eliminate discriminatory practices. Protecting the institution of marriage while liberalising divorce, is one of the challenges in this thesis. For constitutional and social reasons, these conflicting interests are both important and I have given effect to both. I have argued in favour of a mixed system which considers Cameroon’s received laws, customary laws and constitutional obligations and therefore reflects and respects Cameroon's sovereignty, historical and cultural specificity and international obligations. The solutions proposed in this thesis seek to transcend the current social, legal and linguistic divides within the country and improve spouses’ equality rights on divorce.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Complexities and Inequalities of the Laws of Divorce in Cameroon and How these can be Overcome
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063780
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