In Cameroon, the Penal Code is a comprehensive guide to the laws of crime. The criminal law is divided into three categories: minor, major, and international. Simple offenses are punishable by ten days in jail or a fine of 25,000 FCFA. Article 26 (2) of the Constitution enshrines this principle: the power to prosecute is reserved for the Parliament, excluding the executive branch, and serious crimes are punished by death.
In Cameroon, rape is a felony under article 296 of the penal code. It is punishable by a sentence of five to 10 years. Moreover, the criminal code conflates consensual and non-consensual acts of homosexuality. Thus, sexual assault is a criminal offense in Cameroon. The Penal Code also provides for the minimum age of responsibility for the crime of homicide.
While the Penal Code does not specify a specific age limit, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights states that the length of punishment must be proportionate to the crime. In Cameroon, the duration of a criminal offence is determined by the crime and the time period the law allows. However, in some cases, a person can be prosecuted for several crimes. In this case, the penalties can be reduced or eliminated altogether depending on the severity of the crime.
Moreover, Cameroon has a strict policy against consensual same-sex. It has no statute of limitations and aggressively prosecutes those who commit it. This policy has led to the de-criminalization of consensual same-sex acts. This is an absolute necessity in the legal context. This will restore the dignity of a large section of the population.
In Cameroon, the criminal procedure law requires the defendant to appear in court during a trial. Hence, corporate bodies will not be able to comply with this requirement. Instead, they will have to be represented by a legal representative. If the corporate bodies do not pay the fine on the spot, they will be imprisoned. The law does not address the issue of summoning corporate bodies to court or their criminal history.
In Cameroon, sexual and gender-based crimes are punished by double prison terms. In other countries, adult homosexuality is punishable by double prison time. In Cameroon, the crimes of adult men and women are punished by nolle prosequi. The penalty for the offenses depends on the severity of the crime committed by the defendants. In Cameroon, minors of the opposite sex may be subjected to a nolle pro sequi.