Fair Trial


Article 12 of the Namibian Constitution contains the provisions for fair trial. The effectiveness of the judiciary in Namibia is basically respected and all persons generally have an equal opportunity in court for a fair trial.

The right to a fair trial is contained in Article 12 of the Constitution, which provides that in the determination of their civil rights and obligations or any criminal  charges against them, all persons shall be entitled to

Ø  a fair and public hearing

Ø  by an independent,

Ø  impartial and

Ø  competent Court or Tribunal established by law:

provided that such Court or Tribunal may exclude the press and/or the public from all or any part of the trial for reasons of morals, public order or national security, as is necessary in a democratic society.

The Constitution further determines that a trial shall take place within a reasonable time, failing which the accused shall be released and that judgments in criminal cases shall be given in public, except where the interests of juvenile persons or morals otherwise require.  All persons charged with an offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law, after having had the opportunity of calling witnesses and cross-examining those called against them and that all persons shall be afforded adequate time and facilities for the preparation and presentation of their defence, before the commencement of and during their trial, and shall be entitled to be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice.

Our Constitution does not provide for “a right to remain silent” as is the case in many other jurisdictions. Our Constitution however does state that no persons shall be compelled to give testimony against themselves.

The effectiveness of the judiciary in Namibia is basically respected and all persons generally have an equal opportunity in court for a fair trial, with high regard to the Rule of Law.

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