Togo(en)

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LEGAL TRAINING RESOURCE CENTER


Background

Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a West African country with Lomé as its capital. It is one of the smallest African states, bordered to the north by Burkina Faso, to the south by the Gulf of Guinea, to the east by Benin and to the west by Ghana. The population is estimated at about 7.6 million in 2017.

On 27 September 1992, the Constitution of the Fourth Togolese Republic was adopted by referendum, which enshrines a number of provisions on the rights, freedoms and duties of citizens in Title II "Rights, freedoms and duties of citizens" (articles 10 to 50) and affirms the principles of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary and Title VIII "Judicial power" (articles 112-129). The fundamental objective of this Constitution was to include Togo in the circle of democratic states that respect human rights and the rule of law.

The judicial organisation in Togo

The judicial organization in Togo, like its law, is influenced by French law. Togo's judicial organization is composed of two orders, the judicial order and the administrative order (Article 119 of the Constitution). The judicial organisation in Togo was created by Ordinance No. 78-35 of 7 September 1978 on the judicial organisation, as amended successively.

According to article 1 of Order No. 78-35, justice is administered by two categories of ordinary courts: "ordinary courts of common law" and "specialized ordinary courts". The ordinary courts of common law are:

-The Supreme Court (established by articles 120 to 125 of the Constitution and governed by Organic Law No. 97-005 of 6 March 1997 on the organization and functioning of the Supreme Court);

-The Courts of Appeal, and -The Courts of First Instance.

The specialized ordinary courts are:

-Labour courts, and -Juvenile courts

In addition, there are also two categories of special courts, namely the Security Court (governed by Act No. 81-006 of 30 March 1981 on the Code of Military Justice) and the Special Court for the Punishment of the Misappropriation of Public Money (governed by Order No. 72-018 of 13 September 1972 establishing a special court for the punishment of the diversion of public funds).

The ordinary courts of common law - namely the Supreme Court, the courts of appeal and the courts of first instance - are organised into chambers:

-The Supreme Court sits in administrative and judicial chambers;

-The courts of appeal sit in civil, commercial and social chambers, correctional chambers, administrative chambers, indictments and assizes courts, and

-The courts of first instance sit in civil chambers, commercial and correctional chambers.

The specialized ordinary courts are not organized into chambers.

Type of legal system

The sources of the rights of the defence

National sources of the rights of the defence

International sources of the rights of the defence

The organs of the criminal trial

The judicial police

The Public Prosecutor's Office

The investigating judge and the indictment division

The trial courts

Legal aid situation

The rights of the accused

Free Justice

Principle of legality and non-retroactivity of criminal law

The right to be tried within a reasonable time

The abolition of the death penalty

Procedural guarantees

Presumption of innocence

The rights of the defence

Information on the inculpation charges

The right to have witnesses heard

Pre-trial criminal proceedings

Investigations in the criminal procedural system in Togo

The investigating judge

The constitution of a civil party

Transportation, searches and seizures

The hearing of witnesses

Questions and confrontations

Mandates and their execution

Preventive detention

The Letter of Request

Expertise

Nullity of information

Procedure during the trial

Before the Assize Court

Before the Court of First Instance

Debates

The judgment

The appeal and the appeal in cassation