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The IUP Journal of Law Review :
An Analysis of the Difficulties in Determining Jurisdiction in Land Matters: The Case of Cameroon
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Land is an important aspect in a human beingís life. Therefore, problems or disputes which crop up from it should be settled by the judiciary. The 1974 Land Tenure Ordinance and its implementation decrees shifted the jurisdiction of land matters from the judicial tribunals to administrative boards. This has caused a lot of problems because most, if not all, of the members of there boards are not well versed with land law. This has hampered them from passing sound judgments in land disputes, thus leaving the disputing parties unsatisfied at the end of the judgments. This paper investigates the limits or problems caused by these administrative boards in settling land disputes. The paper does so through a reading of records mainly from documentary and internet search. The data thus collected constitutes the sources from which the law is drawn, stated and analyzed in the light of the stated aim of the paper. The results inter alia identify the problems and limits which the land consultative board, the inter boundary commission and the agro-pastoral commission face in the settling of some land disputes. The results also highlight the limitation of the boards in settling land disputes and the advantages of the courts in settling the same. The results are significant as they expose the gaps in the current law as it transfers the jurisdiction of the settlement of some land disputes to the consultative boards. The paper concludes with suggestions on where the law should go.

 
 
 

Across Africa, land is integral to identity and existence. Access to and ownership of land for women, men and the community is often problematic, particularly when law and culture collide. Yet, land remains the key to the livelihoods and survival of all, especially in a typically agrarian economy such as that of Cameroon. Land issues, including family property matters, are often determined within entrenched cultural norms where a hybrid legal interpretation of both customary and national law is applied. Land, which is a primary capital asset and generally the most durable, serving as an almost unlimited reservoir of sustenance for the man who has the use and enjoyment of a usable portion of it, is looked upon as the nucleus of manís livelihood and survival. What ideological approach is considered, whether it is the collectivist African approach, the capitalist or socialist perspective of land, it is generally acknowledged that land is central to the process of development and satisfies the basic needs of mankind, being farming and building most especially. It belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, a few living and countless members are yet unborn.

 
 
 

Law Review Journal, An Analysis of the Difficulties, Determining Jurisdiction, Land Matters, The Case of Cameroon