The Right to Legal Counsel in Ethiopia: A Case Analysis in Oromia

Gemechu, Desalegn (2016) The Right to Legal Counsel in Ethiopia: A Case Analysis in Oromia. Other thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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The right to legal counsel in criminal justice proceedings is recognized under the FDRE constitution (Art. 20 (5)) and the revised constitution of Oromiya National Regional State (Art 20 (5)). This right is also recognized under international bill of rights such as ICCPR (Art. 14 (3) (D). The rationale behind granting this right is that, when a state and a criminal defendant confront at criminal justice proceedings, there exists certainly an inequality of arms. Because the state is powerful, as it has necessary resources, trained man power and sufficient finance to deal with the issue. But when most criminal defendants are seen relatively, they are weak, as they are ignorant of the science of the law and their rights, have no competitive resources when brought before a tribunal that has power to take their life or liberty. Moreover, disparity is observed among jurisdictions in recognition and implementation of the right to legal counsel in criminal charge. The source of this disparity is that some objective and subjective aspects of the right are stated in general terms hence exposed to interpretation. Issues as to the types of persons who need be represented by legal counsel, the types of crimes which call for the participation of legal counsel, and the stage of the criminal justice proceedings at which the right to legal counsel starts to operate need interpretation. When the way these points are interpreted and implemented in Ethiopia in general and in Oromia National Regional state in particular are analyzed, using as a bench mark the international standards and recognized good practices of certain jurisdiction, the state's provision of legal counsel for the indigent criminal defendants is narrowly defined to specific criminal cases leaving out many serious crimes out of the scope of the state's legal aid system. It is also incomplete in practice which doesn't cover all chains of criminal justice process. As a result, it is not strong enough to screen out the innocent from the real perpetrator and to protect the right to a fair trial of the accused.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Kabiru Wallace Ndung'u
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 10:41
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 10:41

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