IMPORTANCE OF MOU IN CAMEROON BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from its direct translation speaks of a parole agreement between the parties involved. It is also called a letter of intent. The importance of MOU in Cameroon Business Partnerships is that it is expedient. There must be an agreement to cement an already agreed arrangement, irrespective of the nature of the transaction. In this context, an MOU, as it is fondly called, is a less formal agreement between parties in a transaction that shows an intention to enter into a legally binding agreement.
STEPS TO CREATE A LEGALLY BINDING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING IN CAMEROON
Having discussed the importance of MOU in Cameroon business partnerships, we shall now identify the steps to create a legally binding memorandum of understanding in Cameroon from the essential elements of a Memorandum of Understanding in Cameroon.
- Parties’ clause: It has to show the details of the parties involved.
- The terms of the contract
- The intention of entering into a legally binding contract
- The signatures of the parties
From the above, it has been established that an MOU is a mild agreement between the parties in a transaction; it speaks of a later agreement. A legally binding agreement, on the other hand, simply, is an arrangement between the parties that is documented and prepared by a legal practitioner, most advisably, a solicitor, evincing the terms of the understanding and showing the intentions of the parties to be bound by the terms of the agreement, as well as the penalties for its breach. This is more acceptable even in the courts of law. An MOU is more like a gentleman’s agreement.
It has been established as a trite law that courts will not interfere in agreements between parties. However, where situations demand that the court should, it will adjudicate on the subject matter before it and with reference to the agreement between the parties.
IS AN MOU IN CAMEROON OUTRIGHTLY BAD?
An MOU is not bad and can still be enforced to the extent it can by law. Though, ignorantia juris non excusat, that is, ignorance of the law does not excuse, but where there is a show of intention which can be manifestly seen in the arrangement, and where either of the parties has performed his duty sequel to the understanding, then the court will look into the intention and may rule on the knowledge in favour of the party that has performed his duty.
Should the binding effect of an MOU be brought before the court, the courts will find that commitment has been made, but may not enforce it.
Also, the MOU, but for the principle of estoppel, would be a mere moral obligation on the party that executes the same but not a legal duty. The doctrine of estoppel explains that where the parties have signaled an intention to do a thing, they are heretofore estopped from doing otherwise.
CAN A PARTY NEGOTIATE WITH A THIRD PARTY ON THE SUBJECT MATTER?
A party to an MOU can absolutely negotiate with a third party on the subject matter because there is no legal contract restraining the party from doing so hence amending a memorandum of understanding agreement in Cameroon comes into place.
ENFORCING A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING AGREEMENT IN CAMEROON.
A major importance of MOU in Cameroon Business Partnerships is that it can be enforceable. The question is under what circumstances are enforcing a memorandum of understanding agreement in Cameroon possible?
- Charitable Works: Where a party wants to help some set of indigents or some persons with a gift of money or whatever money’s worth, the party can prepare an MOU, but it is better to create a deed of gift.
- Situations where entering into a contract is not in sight.
- An MOU can be binding where all the conditions of a valid contract exist, i.e., offer, acceptance, consideration, and intention to be bound by the terms of the contract.
- Where the parties are at the preliminary stages of the understanding and seek to clear all ambiguities. But, where the parties are at the definitive stage of the understanding, an agreement is proper, except all the conditions of the contract are stated and it lacks any form of ambiguity, else, it will fail.
The importance of MOU in Cameroon Business Partnerships has been clearly demonstrated in this article.No matter the situation, whether a capital project, education support, an environmental project, a loan transaction, or whatever it is, an MOU does not create a legally binding agreement. Parties should resist the urge to quickly draft an MOU because of the urgency of the situation thinking it will suffice for a formal contract. It is always advisable to enter into a contract or engage the services of your solicitor to draft a legally binding agreement that will be enforceable, even, in the courts. Legal Practitioners should as well do well to professionally advise their clients to walk on the right path to protect their interests.
Article by MAFANY victor NGANDO
“The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.”