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International Journal of Legal Discourse

Editor-in-Chief: Cheng, Le

Managing Editor: Sun, Yuxiu

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Communication of an interpreter and fair trial under Nigerian criminal justice system

C. Ogwezzy Michael
Published Online: 2016-05-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijld-2016-0006


It is established that certain constitutional safeguards are enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to ensure the fair trial of accused persons in criminal matters. A breach of any of the constitutional safeguards will vitiate a trial and may consequently nullify the entire proceeding depending on the degree of breach. It is argued in this paper that, English language is the official language of all the courts in Nigeria and if the language is not understood by the accused person standing trial in a criminal matter, an interpreter should be provided, failure upon that, their right to a fair trial would have been breached. Though the failure to provide an interpreter has always been treated as a matter of procedure and a conviction would not be disturbed on appeal except it can be shown that the failure to provide an interpreter led to miscarriage of justice. The author therefore intends of examine the “Communication of an interpreter and fair trial under Nigerian Criminal Justice System”. In this academic inquiry, a doctrinal approached involving the review of relevant scholarly literatures is adopted.

Keywords: language; communication; courts; interpreter; fair trial; Nigeria


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About the article

Received: 2015-11-11

Accepted: 2016-02-23

Published Online: 2016-05-19

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: International Journal of Legal Discourse, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 213–233, ISSN (Online) 2364-883X, ISSN (Print) 2364-8821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijld-2016-0006.

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