Hearsay evidence is the submission of evidence by a person based on what s/he has heard from another person who has not appeared in court. This article examines the extent to which hearsay evidence is admissible in common law and civil law. The core theme addressed in this article is whether hearsay evidence should be admissible in Ethiopia. Comparative study is used in analyzing the experience under common law and civil law. Ethiopia’s Constitution, Criminal Justice Policy, the laws on civil and criminal procedure, and other laws are explored. Moreover, reference is made to court decisions. The article analyzes the two perspectives that are forwarded in response to the issue whether hearsay evidence should be admissible in Ethiopia. Article 20(4) of the Ethiopian Constitution guarantees the right of defendants (in criminal cases) to confront evidence submitted against them, and the Criminal Justice Policy embodies a similar stipulation. The author argues that hearsay evidence should not, in principle, be admissible, and its admissibility should only be allowed under the exceptions that ought to be expressly stated in the law.
Article text is in Amharic