n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - The right to legal representation and equality before the law in criminal proceedings in Botswana

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



Like all modern democracies, the right to legal representation is guaranteed by the Constitution of Botswana ("the Constitution of Botswana"). But sadly, constitutional provisions by themselves do not offer protection of fundamental human rights. Constitutional provisions become mere rhetoric and insufficient mechanisms for the protection of human rights, if proper measures are lacking to ensure that they are followed through. If the right to legal representation is to be attained, the thesis that first generation civil and political rights are negative rights which merely forbid the state from violating the rights of the individual is unsustainable. The right to legal representation is meant to ensure procedural equality. The state has a standing body of trained prosecutors who are supported by the police.

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