Basis and Practices of Restorative Justice: The Case of the Ethiopian Criminal Justice System
Keywords:Access to justice, Restorative Justice, Retributive System, Victim Participation
Purpose of the study: The Ethiopian criminal justice system views crime as an offense against the state. and is not allowed the participation of the victim and the community and also win-loss outcome. Scholars have established the concept of restorative justice which views crime as a violation of the relationship among the victims, offenders and community. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess the legal and institutional basis and practice of restorative justice in Ethiopia.
Methodology: This study employs a qualitative research approach and descriptive research design. The population of this study includes the victims, offenders, criminal justice system components and traditional dispute resolver. Data was collected through document review and the interview of five individuals selected through the purposive sampling technique. The collected data was then analyzed thematically.
Main Findings: The results show that different governmental institutions such as the house of federation, peace minster, police, court, general attorney, and reconciliation commission have a legal recognition to apply restorative justice values and principles. Meanwhile, traditional conflict resolution mechanisms and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms have defector recognition to resolve criminal cases.
Research limitations/implications: The models of restorative justice in Ethiopia entail compromise, withdrawal of charge, probation, pardon, amnesty, plea bargaining, shuttle diplomacy, suspect rehabilitation and reconciliation based on different laws. Therefore, the house of people representative should enact a comprehensive law on restorative justice. The police and general attorney should create awareness about restorative justice.
Novelty/Originality of this study: Restorative justice has many benefits, but the concept itself has not been studied in detail. This study is the first of its kind to examine restorative justice in detail in the context of Ethiopia.
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