Provocation as a defense in Cameroonian Criminal Law
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1.0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Base on this chapter we are going to be looking at the following concepts;
Back ground to the study, statement of problems, research questions which is divided into two that is main research question and specific research questions, research objectives which is also divided into two; that is, main objectives and specific objectives, research methodology, scope of the research, justification for the research, significance of the study, definition of key terms and synopsis.
1.1 Background to the study
The rationale of this work is to give a better and wider scope of comprehension and application of the defence of provocation in law, which enshrines a defence which diminishes responsibility and reduces the penalty of a person who has committed an offence but under the influence of provocation.
This work is also intended to draw the attention of judges to the fact that when dealing with matters of provocation they should not only limit themselves to the strict rules of section 85 of the Penal Code, for as provided by the commentaries to that section, there is Indio range of methods of provocation and each is to be weighted in the light of the circumstances of each case as: golden scales are to be avoided.
It is further aimed at highlighting the requirement of an ordinary person losing his self- control. For an ordinary person who is the measurement standard of provocation) is not the same as a person with certain peculiarities.
It is worth noting that much reference has been made to authorities from the common law jurisdiction. This is so because;
-The interpretation given by French lawyers as to what is provocation here is very different to the meaning of the defence of provocation as intended by the Penal Code. Since the interpretation and application of the defence by Common Law judges find expression in the provision of the Penal Code, especially as the Common Law is still applicable in Cameroon, one is bound to allude to it.
– More important is the lack of law reporting in Cameroon which makes it a Herculean task to come across Cameroonian Court decision on this subject. This is aggravated by the difficulties in getting access to judicial materials during research.
That notwithstanding, the principles of the defence of provocation are the same although emphasis has been made where necessary to the provisions of section 85 of the Penal Code.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Basically, the controversial nature of the defence appears to enable defendants to receive more lenient treatment because they allowed themselves to be provoked.
Provocation is often a mitigating factor in sentencing. It rarely serves as a legs defence meaning it does not stop the defendant from being guilty of a crime.
The provision of section 85(1) of penal code should be re-defined more widely like the unlimited circle in lawful defence. Provocation should also go beyond the beneficiary circle although the judges will have to determine in each case if the defendant had moral obligation to protect a victim other than himself.
Thus this study is going to examine whether or not provocation can be use as defence in Cameroonian Criminal Law, what are the main challenges as well as chances of success.
1.3 Research Question
There are basically two types of research questions that is main research questions and specific research questions and they can be seen below.
1.3.1 Main Research Questions
-Should provocation be considered as a defence in Cameroonian Criminal Law?
1.3.2 Specific Research Questions
-What is the legal effect of provocation as a defence to Cameroonian Criminal Law?
-What are the elements of provocation?
1.4 Objective of study
There are basically two types of research objectives and they are general research objectives and specific research objectives
1.4.1 main objective
The main research objectives here is to find out if provocation can be considered as a defence in Cameroonian Criminal Law
1.4.2 Specific Objective
-To examine the legal effects of provocation as a defence
-To examine the elements of provocation