Comment: The standards in admitting expert evidence in Ethiopia: some practical discrepancies

Author:Abreha Mesele Zinabu
Position:Abreha Mesele Zinabu, LLB Mekelle University, LLM in Human Rights Law Addis Ababa University, and Lecturer, Mekelle University, School of Law Email: expansion97@gmail.com.
Pages:239-247
SUMMARY

Judges render justice based on the presented evidence justifying their decisions. In criminal cases, these decisions can have ramifications on an individual’s right to liberty, life and property. Correctness of conviction much depends on the evidence presented to the courtroom and the interpretation of the evidence by judges. Expert evidence is particularly important because certain issues are... (see full summary)

 
FREE EXCERPT
239
The Standards in Admitting Expert
Evidence in Ethiopia:
Some Practical Discrepancies
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mlr.v11i1.9
Abreha Mesele Zinabu
Abstract
Judges render justice based on the presented evidence justifying their decisions.
In criminal cases, these decisions can have ramifications on an individual’s right
to liberty, life and property. Correctness of conviction much depends on the
evidence presented to the courtroom and the interpretation of the evidence by
judges. Expert evidence is particularly important because certain issues are
beyond the expertise of judges in the current era of specialization and due to ever-
expanding advances in technology. Expert evidence has to be used very
cautiously based on a set of objective criteria that judges can use. This comment
looks at the experience of other countries in relation to admission of expert
evidence. It then assesses the current practice in Ethiopia by looking at a few
cases and concludes that there is wide variation in admitting expert evidence and
regarding the weight given to it by different courts.
Key terms
Expert Evidence, admission, weight of evidence, criminal justice
administration, Ethiopia
______________
Introduction
Expert witness is indispensable for the proper functioning of the criminal justice
system. However, judges may sometimes be unsure about the procedures for
admitting it and the weight that should be attached to it may be sometimes
problematic to judges. Wrong convictions may ensue as a result of problems
with scientific uncertainties on the side of psychologists and other behavioral
science scholars. Expert testimony by such experts serves two principal goals:
inform judges that eyewitnesses are significantly less reliable than common
Abreha Mesele Zinabu, LLB Mekelle University, LLM in Human Rights Law Addis
Ababa University, and Lecturer, Mekelle University, School of Law Email:
expansion97@gmail.com.

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL