The Constitutionality of non Disclosure of Witness’s Identity for the Criminal Defendant In Ethiopia

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The objective of this thesis is to investigate and analyze the constitutionality of non-disclosure of witness’ identity and its impact on the right of the accused to a fair trial, cross-examination, and confrontation in Ethiopia. For the purpose of this research qualitativemethodology is used. Both secondary and primary data were collected. As far as secondary sources areconcerned; books, journal articles, and government enactments are analyzed.. Laws and cases were taken as a primary source. In addition to these key informants, interviews were done with thirteenpersons as primary sources. For this purpose the research analyzed to answer thequestion does the laws and the practices which affirm for the non-disclosure of witness’s identity are compatible with the constitutional and human rights principles of accused persons in Ethiopia.As the analysis of data shows, there are proclamations that allow for non-disclosure of witness’s identity in Ethiopia. Among them, the Revised Proclamation to Provide for Special Procedure and Rules of Evidence on Anti-corruption, the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Crimes Proclamation, and the Protection of Witnesses and Whistleblowers of Criminal Offences Proclamation are some of them. They violate the constitutional rights to confrontation, cross- examination, and fair trial of accused persons. In addition to those laws, the practice done by the Federal Attorney General, Courts, and Council of Constitutional Inquiry concerning the non- disclosure of witnesses identity to accused person also show that the government is giving decisions incompatible with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Constitution. Therefore the thesis paper recommends for the amendment of those proclamations in relation to the provisions which allow for non-disclosure of witness identity for accused persons or if those laws are not amended the constitutionality of those provisions should be submitted to the House of Federation for constitutional interpretation and make void pursuant to article 9/1 of the FDRE constitution.



Criminal Defendant In Ethiopia