Benin – Appeal against the Upov (Ogm) law: 6th absence for the government

The Constitutional Court has just postponed the hearing on the Upov again. For the sixth time, the government failed to show up. Brice Sohou, very disappointed, questioned the presiding judge about the time frame within which the court will have to assume its responsibilities.

The law on the Union for the New Plant Varieties Protection (Unpvp) remains a taboo subject, one might say. The government, by decree of the Council of Ministers, transmitted the law to the National Assembly for adoption. Very early on, farmers’ organizations joined forces against the law. The deputies of the seventh legislature did not pass the law until the end of their term of office. A citizen, president of the NGO Aclimowec, brought an action before the Constitutional Court to declare the law unconstitutional.

Since then, the government has not bothered to respond to any of the hearings. The High Court allows itself to refer the hearing each time without taking any decision. Recently, in a broken stick show, Professor Joseph Djogbénou indicated that the court has a 30-day deadline for rendering decisions. But in this obviously special case, the court seems to be at the opposite end of the spectrum. In ordinary courts, when a party misses the hearing two or three times, the judge makes his decision taking into account the information he has. Here, the Constitutional Court is an exception, certainly for technical reasons.

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