Selection of an expert trainer for the seminar for lawyers
TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE SELECTION OF AN EXPERT TRAINER FOR THE SEMINAR FOR ENGLISH-SPEAKING LAWYERS UNDER THE THEME "THE LAWYER AND ELECTORAL DISPUTES IN CAMEROON"
NB : Live in the region where will be held the seminar is an asset.
Since the 1990s, Cameroon has engaged in numerous initiatives aimed at improving governance and the rule of law. A National Governance Plan adopted in 2006 also placed the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law among national priorities. Through the latest national Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP) drawn up in 2010 for the period 2010-20, the government is committed to "guaranteeing everyone better respect for individual rights and civil liberties", by "strengthening the rule of law and the security of people and property".
The Republic of Cameroon has also ratified numerous international conventions on human rights and the promotion of democratic values. The country has a significant arsenal of laws transposing international standards. As for the monitoring of respect for these rights, Cameroon was subject to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations in May 2013. The country accepted 121 recommendations while 50 were rejected.
With the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Cameroon (2015-2019), a visible emphasis should still be placed on governance around human rights-based programming with the support of the civil society. This civil society, with little or no structure, should be far better.
Despite government efforts and progress in improving governance, there are still significant obstacles to the effective democratisation of political life and respect for fundamental rights. Indeed, the recent deterioration of the security situation in certain regions of the country combined with the social and economic vulnerability of certain social groups (in particular young people and minorities) requires greater efforts by the authorities to promote fundamental rights.
The current political context in Cameroon is characterised by the stability of the existing political power. The presidential election in 2011 saw the re-election of President Paul Biya faced with a fragmented opposition (23 candidates in total). However, the voter registration rate remains low. Still, the latest municipal and legislative elections in September 2013 have allowed progress such as the introduction of biometrics, biometric lists, better general organization of the electoral process and an increase in the percentage of women elected as Parliamentarians.
Basic elements of Civil and Political Rights
Given the above context, and considering complementarity with other programmes such as the Civil Society Support Programme (PASC) or the Justice Support Programme (PAJ), the EU wishes to work towards the improvement of civil and political rights in order to contribute to an open and participatory democratic debate.
Civil and political rights are in general directly applicable, i.e. they are effective without enforcement measures. It is now recognised, however, that these rights also require positive actions on the part of the State, since they are, inter alia, guarantees of the democratic character of a State.
Strengthening democracy and the rule of law necessarily involves citizen participation. Participatory democracy is characterized by participation, transparency, free expression, free access to information, freedom of assembly, accountability, efficiency and equity. It ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on a broad consensus at the societal level and that the voices of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable can be heard in decision-making on the allocation of resources necessary for development.
The overall objective of EU intervention under the EIDHR mechanism is therefore to support civil society organisations (CSOs) and public bodies in promoting democratic values, a pluralist political dialogue and an environment conducive to citizen participation.
The specific objectives are to:
- Support and strengthen participatory and representative democracy, including parliamentary democracy, and democratization processes ;
- Promote freedom of expression and a tolerant and open environment through free access to information, protection of the actors of this freedom, promotion of professional media and the right to communicate freely ;
- Promote freedom of assembly, association and peaceful assembly and support the structuring and pooling of social groups (trade unions, youth, women, minorities, etc.);
- Foster a dialogue for stability and peace through the promotion of civic education and a "willingness to live together";
- Establish a climate of trust in electoral processes and institutions, and enhance reliability and transparency at all stages of the electoral cycle.
The project to strengthen national capacities in public policy monitoring and evaluation (Bar - Governance - Rule of Law (PBGE) Project) contributes directly to the pursuit of these objectives.
The Bar - Gouvernance - Rule of Law Project funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is governed by the Grant Contract - EXTERNAL ACTIONS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION - EIDHR/2015/371-568.
This project, which is divided into 8 main activities, has the overall objective of strengthening the rule of law and human rights governance in Cameroon, through better formulation, monitoring and evaluation of public policies in the field of civil and political rights.
Two major outcomes are expected in the implementation of the PBGE:
- Civil and political rights are better taken into account by the government in the context of human rights-based programming ;
- An operational synergy between civil society and public authorities.
The two results mentioned above are fully consistent with the priorities identified for the EIDHR 2015 and this consistency is analysed under the prism of the three main specific objectives of the project.
First, by developing and reinforcing the ex-ante and ex-post control role of the Parliament (MPs and Senators included) in the monitoring and evaluation of public policies in Cameroon so that they respond to the social demand for human rights, in particular civil and political rights, the action is in line with the EU’s call for proposals, which aims, among other things, at developing participatory and representative democracy, including parliamentary democracy, the processes of democratization and human rights. This coherence is reinforced with the planned development and dissemination of an annual alternative report on human rights by the Bar in collaboration with CSOs.
This paper is perceived both as an alternative mechanism for monitoring UPR recommendations and a realistic human rights thermometer in Cameroon. It could constitute a tool that could provide more traceability and even visibility on the level of compliance with the commitments undertaken by Cameroon before the treaty monitoring bodies and a tool on which both national and international advocacy could be based. The document will be enriched for educational purposes with case law violating human rights ethics. This objective thus corresponds to the priorities of the EIDHR 2014-2020, namely the monitoring of the human rights situation, but also the creation of an environment conducive to political changes concerning human rights.
Secondly, by choosing to strengthen the administrative jurisdictions (which control the administrative acts taken by governors, Senior Divisional Officers, Divisional Officers, Mayors, etc.), and to involve Lawyers, the action aims at preventing the numerous abuses identified in the administrative authorities’ work in the maintenance of law and order (unilateral banning of public demonstrations, arrests of opposition officials, trafficking in elections, closure of radio stations, seizure of written newspapers, bans on certain programmes, etc.).
This prevention of violations of civil and political rights (bottom-up) is consistent not only with the first objective (top-down), but also with the priorities of the Call for proposals, which aims, inter alia, at promoting “freedom of expression and a tolerant and open environment through free access to information, the protection of the actors of this freedom, the promotion of professional media and the right to communicate freely” and “freedom of assembly, association and peaceful assembly and support the structuring and pooling of social groups (trade unions, youth, women, minorities etc.) ".
Finally, considering an operational synergy between the Bar and the civil society with the public authorities by setting up a permanent framework over the duration of the project, the action targets an institutional gap and aims not only to institutionally strengthen the Bar and the civil society, but also to involve them in democratic processes in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public policies. In this respect, the project corresponds to the dynamics of strengthening the civil society promoted by the EIDHR mechanism.
The right to vote is one of the foundations of democracy. According to the Constitution, "national sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it through their representatives and through the referendum".
By decree of 07 February 2018, Cameroon opened its electoral year by convening the Electoral College, in preparation for the election of Senators.
The same year, should also be held, not only the Municipal and Legislative elections, but also the Presidential election. In addition to these elections, Regional elections, provided for by the constitution, could be held.
Elections, at all levels, are a high point in democracy.
This is an appointment with the citizens. The various actors of society are fully involved in this moment, which sets the rhythm of the lives of individuals and leaders, so that it is a success and not a missed appointment, tainted with suspicion or irregularity.
All this is being prepared, in order to be in compliance with the legal texts.
The assistance of a lawyer, particularly experienced in the specificities of the Electoral Code and the related case-law, is therefore of real importance, in order to avoid being the subject of dilatory appeals or, on the contrary, to exercise appeals, so that the "Vox populi" is respected.
Given their complexity, electoral disputes thus require command of the legal provisions relating to elections by lawyers who are responsible for defending the interests of elected or non-elected candidates whose election results are contested because of irregularities affecting the fairness of the vote.
This training is therefore of crucial importance with regard to the stakes both for the various candidates in the running and for the credibility of the elections planned and the success of the electoral process under way. This issue is also an issue of justice and electoral transparency. Especially since Cameroon is a party to a number of international instruments enshrining the right to vote as a human right, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
This training is also fundamental since with the elections announced for the year 2018, it will be the very first experience of the Cameroon Administrative Courts in this matter which was formerly devolved to the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court, but also of the Constitutional Council whose members were appointed by decree N°2018/105 of February 07, 2018.
- Overall goal of the training
Strengthen the capacity of Lawyers in the field of electoral disputes.
- Specific goals
This training should enable participants to:
- Master the legal and institutional framework of electoral disputes in Cameroon ;
- Master the elements that can be contested before the competent Courts ;
- Understand the mechanism of data collection in polling stations, transmission, communication and management of polling station data ;
- Master the mechanisms and the procedure for referring electoral disputes to the Courts ;
- Master the mechanisms for managing electoral disputes ;
- Master the role of the Lawyer in each stage of the electoral process.
- Expected Outcomes
At the end of this session, the following major outcomes are expected:
- A good command of the legal texts governing electoral disputes, whether it concerns electoral disputes before the Administrative Judge or before the Constitutional Council ;
- ➢ Mastery of the Lawyer's role in the electoral process.
3.2. Tasks and duties of the Expert
The duty of the Expert Trainer is to:
As part of the presentations prepare the following themes
Day 1 : Electoral disputes before the Administrative Judge
Theme 1 : General Introduction
- Legal and institutional framework of electoral disputes in Cameroon ;
- The principles ;
- The specific features common to the different types of electoral disputes
Theme 2 : Disputes concerning preparatory operations (electorate, candidacy, colour, acronyms and symbols)
Theme 3 : The actual election dispute (election campaign, electoral operations, counting and proclamation of results)
Day 2 : Electoral disputes before the Constitutional Council
Theme 1 : Disputes relating to the Presidential election
Theme 2 : Disputes relating to Legislative elections
Theme 3 : Disputes relating to Referendum consultations
As part of the work in the workshop : Prepare practical cases related to the themes ;
Ensure, in accordance with the educational brochure, the function of moderator.
3.3. Expected deliverables
- A lecture accompanied by case studies on the selected themes;
- An educational documentation of these lectures in Word and PowerPoint format.
These deliverables will be subject to prior validation by the PBGE.
3.4. Profile of the Expert Trainer
- At least 10 years' professional experience in the practice and/or teaching of electoral law as a judge, lawyer or academic ;
- Specific professional experience of at least 5 years as a law Trainer in schools or training centre for legal professionals or as a law teacher in a higher or university institution ;
- At least 5 years' professional experience in Cameroon or sub-Saharan Africa and ability to work as part of a team in a multicultural context ;
- Very good capacity for initiative and very good communicative and pedagogical practice ;
- Very good command of computer tools and strong writing skills.
3.5. Term of the Contract
The duration of the Expert Trainer's service is 2 days.
3.6. Payment of fees
A cheque representing the total amount of the fees corresponding to the number of days of service will be given to the Expert Trainer at the end of the Seminar and this after deposit of the deliverables.