The blogger, with a strong legal foundation built on experience as a Public Prosecutor and a Master's degree in International Law, is currently serving as a senior Human Rights Officer at the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.

Criminal Reinstatement in Ethiopia: Exploring the Factors Behind its Limited Application


Criminal reinstatement (simply reinstatement) also known as “Expungement” or “Expunction” in the common law legal system is a legal process that allows individuals with criminal records to have their convictions removed from public records. This means that the records are destroyed; making them inaccessible to organizations that may conduct background checks. Reinstatement is a concept included in our criminal code and criminal procedure code, but the law and its details are hardly known in our society. As a result, it is not widely used. This paper explores the concept of reinstatement, its difference from pardon, the eligibility criteria, the process involved, its relevance in helping individuals reestablish their lives following a conviction, and the impact it has on individuals and society as a whole. It also highlights the gaps in the current practice of criminal reinstatement and concludes with recommendations for improvements. 

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