The contemporary institutional and political organization of the Republic of Cameroon derives its legitimacy and basis from Law N°96/06 of 18thJanuary 1996 on the revision of the Constitution of June 1972. The present constitutional dispositions were adopted by the National Assembly then promulgated by the President of the Republic, alter a long consultation of all strata of Cameroon society.
In the preamble of the Constitution, the Cameroonian people, proud of its linguistic and cultural diversity, solemnly proclaimed that it constitutes a single and one Nation, engaged in a common destiny. It affirms "its firm will to build the Cameroon fatherland on the ideological base of brotherhood, justice and progress". The preambles also proclaims the adhesion of the Republic of Cameroon to fundamental universally recognized democratic principles, the principle African unity and to that formulated by the United Nations Charter. Cameroon's people affirms its attachment to fundamental liberties inscribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UNO Charter, African Charter for Human and Peoples Rights and all international conventions related to it, and dully ratified.
The following principles are solemnly affirmed:
- Human beings, without discrimination of sex, race, religion, belief, possess inalienable and sacred rights;
- All men have equal rights and obligations. The State assures to citizens conditions necessary for their development;
- Liberty and security are guaranteed to each individual in the respect for the rights of others and the supreme interest of the State;
- The respect for all correspondences is inviolable. It cannot be undermined, except by virtue of decisions coming from the judicial authority;
- The State is civil;
- Law has no retroactive effects;
All citizens are obliged to participate, each in proportion of their abilities, in public obligations. They must also contribute towards the defense of the country.