Mediating Criminal Matters in Ethiopian Criminal Justice System: The prospect of Restorative Justice

In Ethiopia, the use of mediation process as a traditional method of dispute resolution has been practiced for centuries. Even today in rural areas, particularly criminal dispute resolution processes dealing with victims and criminal offenders are widely practiced and deep rooted with varying degrees among the different ethnic groups in the country. For instance, the use of mediation process through Jaarsaa Biyya or Jaarsaa Araara among the Oromo and the other ethnic groups has been used. However, despite the potential applicability of these institutions as an Alternative criminal Dispute Resolution process in the local community, it has not yet attained any significant position of usage and acceptance in the formal criminal justice system. In other words, despite its wide practice and importance in resolving criminal disputes, Ethiopian formal criminal justice system failed to integrate mediation process as an alternative criminal dispute resolution process. 

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