The Right to Defense Counsel in Ethiopia: A Quest for Perfection

  • Tsehai Wada
Keywords: defense counsel, arrestee, accused, public defender's office, human rights


The tght to defense counsel is in short, an arrested or accused persons tght to hate a state appointed counsel when she cannot afford to hire one. Given its importance in administering an ideal criminal justice system, it is given recognition under major international human tghts instruments as well as constitutions and subsidiary laws of many countries. Despite such wide recognition, its implementation is fraught nith difficulties. Ethiopian laws, as well as regional and international human rights instruments to which Ethiopia is a party, also recognize this -ight. Nonetheless, the tght is availed by quite afew indidua who came into confict with the law. This piece attempts to show the legalframework that pertains to the tght under discussion, canvass the practice starting from 1965 to date from different academic researches, anaye data collected as recently as 2015 and indicate the shortcomings of both the laws and the practice. In doing so, it discusses the laws and practices of different countries with a vew to draw insight from their strengths. The paper identifies that the major hurdle in all
these is the lack of a dibrant Pubc Defenders Office and counseb, among others, and suggests that this institution shall be intgorated, and the relevant laws shall be amended to give full effect to the tght.


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