25 - 2013

Les actes uniformes de l’OHADA en traduction

Jean-Jacques Ndongo


African business law became harmonized with the adoption of the Port Louis Treaty in 1993. This praiseworthy initiative, however, has acted as a smokescreen for the political agenda of the mainly French-speaking State-Parties wishing to control the OHADA. This is seen in the predominance of civil law in the Uniform Acts and the pervasive presence of francophone lawyers in the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration and other OHADA institutions. The translation of the Uniform Acts into English has also proved problematic, for their underlying legal concepts and notions do not reflect the spirit of the common law system. Consequently, English-speaking States are hardly encouraged to join the OHADA as its statutes and other regulatory documents clash with their legal culture. The real challenge will be to build up a consensus between French and English speakers so that OHADA can truly become a representative body throughout the continent.

Key words

Uniform Acts, legal translation and comparative law, functional equivalent, linguistic interference, legal concepts.

October 28, 2013
  25 - 2013