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Title:Confessions received through interpreters: an African hearsay problem
Author:Smith, D.N.
Periodical:The Nigerian Law Journal
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:Because of the big quantity of languages in Africa there arises in the African context certain problems of proof which are found with much less frequency in other jurisdictions. The present article discusses one such problem of proof: the reception of confessions through the medium of interpreters. The question at issue is whther the police officer's evidence of what he was told by the interpreter constitues inadmissible hearsay where the interpeter is only capable of testifying that his translation was an accurate one. The major solutions reached by Africa and other courts are set out, followed by an analysis of these solutions in light of the principles underlying the hearsay rule.