This is a follow up on the post ‘Conceptions of Access to Justice’. It seeks to outline the international human rights framework on ‘the right to access to justice’ and briefly set out a monitoring framework capable of measuring the extent to which the right has been realized in a given national jurisdiction. Hopefully, this would lay the basis for consideration of the state of access to justice in the Ethiopian context in upcoming posts.
I wrote This brief article for the internal newsletter of the EHRC; it never got published due to delays in the coming out of the newsletter. I have planned to update it with additional information on recent events such as the new mandate of the MoJ to assist ‘women and children’ in civil cases. The intensified criminal legal aid activities of the Public Defenders Office under the Federal Supreme Court should also be mentioned. Finally, one should be wary of the current status of CSO/NGO legal aid programs in light of the post-Charities and Societies Proclamation challenges. As far as I can tell, the only ones that have survived are those supported through the EHRC funding initiative. Anyway, I believe the original version could serve as a starting point until I (or someone else) can develop a revised version. So, here it is.
1. ተከሳሽ በሌለበት የወንጀል ክስ ስለመስማት (Trial in absentia) ፅንሰ ሃሳብ
ተከሳሽ በሌለበት የወንጀል ክስ መስማት (Trial in absentia) ማለት ተከሳሹ በወንጀል ክሱ በፍርድ ቤት ጉዳዩ በመታየት ላይ የሚገኝ ቢሆንም ተከሳሹ ግን በአካል በፍርድ ቤት ሳይገኝ ጉዳዩ በሌለበት በመታየት ላይ የሚገኝ ማለት ነው፡፡ ይህ አይነቱ የህግ ስረዓት በተለያዩ ሃገሮች የሚተገበር ሲሆን በእኛም ሃገር በወንጀል ሥነሥርዓት ህጉ እና በመገናኛ ብዙሃን የመረጃ ነፃነት አዋጅ ቁጥር 590/2000 ላይ በልዩ ሁኔታ ተደንግጎ ይገኛል፡፡ ተከሳሽ በሌለበት የወንጀል ክስ መስማት ተገቢነቱ መታየት ያለበት ከወንጀል ህጉ አላማ፤ ከፍትህ እና ከሰብዓዊ መብት አንፃር ነው፡፡
The development of this concept paper/article has been informed by a facebook posting on the meaning of access to justice in the Ethiopian context. In commenting on that post, I have mentioned the various meanings that can be attributed to ‘access to justice’. Here is what I meant. Access to justice could be understood in various ways among which the three major conceptions are: as a right recognized under the international human rights framework, as an approach to public sector institutional reform, and a comprehensive rights-based development framework.