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Introduction to Ethiopian Law Research Review


Ethiopia is a country in East Africa also known as Horn of Africa, formally known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the very old countries in the world and it abodes eighty different ethnic groups. In 1991, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) initiated a victorious armed assault through western and central provinces, while in the east, Eritrean military closed in on the cities of Assab and Asmara. In December 1994, the recently designated federal parliament ratified the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Abate, 2011).

Ethiopia is at present one of the poorest countries in the world. Agriculture is the foundation of its economy, providing a living to the huge majority of the inhabitants. The greater part of ground beneath agriculture consists of survival holdings. A small proportion of harvest is sent to the market or exported. Its manufacturing industry entails dispensation of farming and domestic animals products. Rest industries comprise of textiles and garments, construction supplies and metal supplies. Economy of Ethiopia is changing gradually and giving better results (Dixon, Martin, McCorquodale, & Williams., 2011).

The legal and official sector of Ethiopia presents a diversity of important challenges. Today’s legal system unites fundamentals of both common and civil with customary practices. It results in numerous layers mixture and place over different kind of traditional, modern, and religious processes and laws. An examination of all the different elements of these systems and the resultant challenge is further than the range of this appraisal. Many of the separate challenge of such a multifaceted scheme cannot be explore in profundity here; some are the subject of other or ongoing studies and assessment. (Assefa, 2011).

Legal and Historical Context

Ehiopia country was built by as large series of emperors, and Menelik II is the most important in the late 19th century, he brought together frequent lesser kingdom surrounding a variety of Middle Eastern and African racial and spiritual groups. During era of the last Emperor, Haile Selassie I in 1930, he embarked on to merged and join the state and get back previous         Somaliland and Italian colonies-Eritrea. These maintain debatably reasoned continuing worry in areas such as Eritrea, the Nile basin country and the northern states. Despite his performance in 1931 of a regal establishment that shaped a bicameral parliament and a system of courts. His real power and control stay resolutely entrenched in the royal leader and the customary decision class. (Bayeh, 2015)

Ethiopians depend on explicit information or written laws, the laws that are in a written form. The origin of the criminal legal system observed in 1974, the Fetha Nagast (Law of Kings), was the first incorporated legal code, which was translated from Arabic in the mid-fifteenth century. Though, the Fetha Nagast functioned only to Christians. Muslims who became matter to Ethiopian law during invasion was continued to be judged in their own magistrates according to sharia law. Outside the normal legal system, tribe and ethnic courts exercise illegal but effective coercive power, and populace hardly ever requested their decision to usual courts. (Parlett, 2011)

Definition of Law

The set of rules and regulations which a specific state or community recognize as regulating the events of its acquaintances and which it may implement by the obligation of punishment. (Dixon, Martin, McCorquodale, & Williams., 2011)

“The values and system recognized in a society by some authority and  applicable to its citizens, whether in the shape of legislation or of tradition and policies accepted and enforced by judicial decision”

Types of Law

There are four types of law such as criminal, civil, common, and administrative law. All these types include their own policies, rules, and regulations, which are applied according to the situation. (Dixon, Martin, McCorquodale, & Williams., 2011). Some other types of law include,

  • Permissive Law

The law allows or permits its subject to do the act they give. It gives option or right to the subject whether to act or not.

  • Directive law

The directive law gives instructions, or commands to the subject and the subject has a legal duty to do it whether he/she likes it or not, otherwise he or she has to suffer with consequences.

  • Prohibitive law

The law discourages the subject from doing an act, which is not required to be done. If the subject acts against the ban, an evil pursue as the result of the breach. All criminal codes come under the prohibitive law.

  • Sanction

Every citizen in a country is required to follow the law formed by the country. If subjects violate the law sanctions will follow them. Sanction is a punishment or coercive gauge that consequences beginning breakdown to obey a law. The main objective of sanction is to prohibit a person to respond.  In other words, sanction will make a wrong doer to realize that s/he made a mistake and s/he should correct it. (Abate, 2011).

Introduction to Ethiopian law

Introduction to Ethiopian Law Research Review

The Ethiopian structure is fundamentally parliamentarian, where the political parties have greatest number of seats in the HPR shall. They lead the decision-making and endorse the scheduled time of members for the executive Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. The President has no real control except formally signing all new laws coming from the HPR. However, the Prime Minister has wide authority, similar to other presidents in presidential systems. (Baker B. , 2013)

For HPR, members are generally selected for a five-year term in a “first past the post” electoral system. The most important function of the HPR is to pass laws on substance allocated to federal authority and approve nationwide policy standards. It’s other important functions include the ratification of international agreements, the appointment of federal judges, and the examination of the behavior of members of the administrative. (Abate, 2011).

The House of the Federation (HOF) is the next or higher boardroom in the central government of Ethiopia. In conservative federal systems, the second chamber serves as the ambassador organization for the district units. In the Ethiopian system, the House of the Federation fundamentally functions the same but in the FDRE Constitution, this is developed in a somewhat different way.  It is does not contain legislature from the federal units, but includes representatives of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples. (Baker B. , 2013).

Key Institutions in the Legal and Judicial Sector

Executive Branch-Federal

The President of Ethiopia is the Head of State and is chosen by a two-thirds majority vote of a joint session of parliament. His duties include, being accountable for formally proclaiming laws and global unity accepted by the House of Peoples’ Representatives in agreement with the Constitution. The PM is the Chief Executive, and is selected from among members of the majority party of the House of Peoples’ Representatives. The authority of government is granted to the majority party in the House of Peoples’ Representatives, and the highest decision-making powers of the federal government are vested in the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, who are in charge to that House. Prime Minister’s duties also contain accountability for making certain the accomplishment of laws adopted by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, and for choosing and presenting proposal to that same House for President and Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court. (Abbink, 2011)

The laws are being implemented by the 1991. There is the council of Ministers, which recommends about the certain summary laws ad there are the purposes to do the completion of laws. The House of People Representatives focuses on the ceremony of law example, the law EPRDF is focused for the ruling nationwide and the other regions.

There are multiple Ministries and agencies in the Federal Executive branch, these agencies have a direct influence on performance of the legal system. There is the need to do the accountability of the Federal Police Commission because the examination of central crimes has the responsibilities to focus on the crimes and the court judgment. However, the ministry of the federal affairs has the secondary units (Wondirad).

In 2001 the federal Ministry of Capacity Building was came into being, as the building programs and initiatives were taken, so that there could be focus on the examining the implementation of the countries. Thus, the guiding, coordinating was focused and which coordinates with the Ethiopia. The Justice system was made so that the preferences can be given to the Ministry of Justice and the other Ministry of Education. There was the legal teaching that made the relationships and duties effective so that there could be betterment in the processes (Abate, 2011).

The Federal Executive

The Prime Minister

Regarding focuses on the House of people representatives, it could be said that there is the authority of government.

The chief director control of the federal government is powers in the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister who are responsible to the HPR. (Parlett, 2011).

Some of the duties of  a Prime Minister includes,

  • Follow up and make certain the execution of policies, laws, commands and other verdicts approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR).
  • There is need to do the implementation of the decisions, which are approved by the Councils of Ministers, so that the regulations and policies could be focus for the implement and exercises.
  • To lead the Council of Ministers directs its actions and acts as its representative.
  • To implement management activities in the implementation of the country’s foreign policy.
  • He shall follow and implement the Constitution.
  • The Prime Minister oversees the behavior and competence of the Federal management and takes such counteractive actions that are necessary.
  • He chooses and submits recommendations for position of Commissioners for the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
  • The PM manages the demeanor and competence of the Federal administration and takes such corrective actions as are essential.
  • His duties also include appointing high civilian officials of the Federal Government.
  • By using the Constitution and the other laws, there could be the focuses on all the responsibilities, which are entrusted and can be discharge by him.
  • In agreement with law, pass or choice recognized by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, the PM advocates to the President applicants for the honor of prizes, medals, and gifts.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission

The commission of the Ethiopian human rights focuses on the FDRE Constitution so that there should be no violation and the Human Rights Commission can provide the benefits to the people and the Federal administration. There are different articles on the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission as the Proclamation 210/2000, which looks on the civil rights and the teachings are there for the nation, as the Ethiopian Union has secluded the human rights (Baker, 2013).

According to Article 6 of Proclamation No.210/200, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission contains the subsequent powers and duties:

  • To make sure that regulation, laws, directives, government decisions and orders don’t breach the individual rights of nation assured by the Constitution.
  • To assume examination, jupon grievance or its own instigation, in admiration of civil rights violations.
  • To contribute in global human rights conferences, meeting, or symposia.
  • Enter into contracts, possess material goods, using the own name can be sued.
  • Offer consultancy services on matters of individual rights.
  • Promote beliefs on civil rights information to be presented to global organs.
  • To compose proposal for the amendments in the existing laws, passing of new laws and formulation of policies.
  • Perform such other behavior as may be essential to reach its goals.
  • Use mass media and other means to educate public, spread adequate consciousness concerning individual rights;
  • To enhance its custom of admiration for, and insist for enforcement of, human rights.
  • Translate into confined vernaculars, global human rights mechanism adopted by Ethiopia and scatter it.
  • The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic, which is in the country Ethiopia focuses on granting the freedoms to the people, so that the human rights could be focused and all the people should be given advantages, as there could be relationships with the supporting organizations.

The Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman

The Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman (EIO) is intended to avoid and cure random or unfair managerial actions of the management and its citizens. To give a simply reachable means to the community to guarantee that essential human rights are not desecrated by the director without a street for grievance study and restore. According to Proclamation 211/2000’s Article 5, the objective of the EIO is to observe to transporting about high-quality supremacy, competent and translucent, and are support on the rule of regulation, by way of make certain that people rights and reimbursement offered by law are appreciated by organs of the executive. (Wandall, 2015).

As per article 6 of Proclamation 211/2000, the EIO shall have the duties and power to perform following acts.

  • Request therapy in case where it can be believed that maladministration can be happened.
  • To take delivery of and examine grievance in admiration of maladministration.
  • To study and explore on ways and means of limitation maladministration.
  • Give vision to executives and make sure that they carry out their functions, so that there could be the collaboration, with the laws and the other maladministration’s.
  • Perform all other functions that are related to its objective.
  • Supervise that managerial directives subject, and choice given, by administrative organs and perform all rights of citizens and the law as well.
  • Give recommendations for the amendment of present laws, practices or orders.
  • To ensure obligation of new laws and formulation of guidelines for bringing a better governance;

Ethiopian Anti-Terrorism Law from Human Rights Perspective

The human rights friendliness can’t be dogged easy examination of the law. It also dependsIntroduction to Ethiopian Law Research Review on the way the law is applied in practice. In case of laws, this is more relevant in many authority systems; it is prone to mistreatment due to biased reasons of which anti-terror laws are worth mentioning. The case of Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law is no exemption in this stare. There are competing influences spoken in a variety of condition owned and confidential medium about the person rights friendliness. (Wubie, 2012)

There are different schemes in International human rights and could be practiced while protecting human rights.  A number of flexibilities are also built in legal framework of human rights. There are certain limitations and restrictions in International human rights, which restrict subjects from violating the law. The national law should be managed in a way that meets international human rights standards. The law is not allowed to practice in a similar scale every time; there are different situations that need to be handled accordingly.  (Wubie, 2012)

The restrictions under one law might be right of the other one. A plenty number of rights are documented in a variety of global human rights instruments. Some rights that might be limited for a real cause is the right to freedom and safety of the person. States can exercise a right whose practice isn’t prohibited under the law (Wubie, 2012).

The Ethiopian Anti-terrorism law has a significant impact on the issue of reimbursement for victims of human rights infringement happen beginning terrorism. Government will take positive measures to remedy human rights violations and as a result for civil rights defense in general. The main purpose of the law is to protect Enthiopians from terrorism and give them liberty to live in the country with their all rights (Wubie, 2012).

Furthermore, Enthiopia is a country with diverse ethnic groups, all groups have their own language, belifes, culture, and values. Therefore, managing diversity is quite difficult so there sould be strong implementation of law in order to faciliatte every group. Formal and state law are formed for ease of civilians so they can live a healthy life style in the country. Person who breach law or act against the rule learn consquences as well (Aneme, 2015).

  • Abate, T. (2011). Introduction to Law and the Ethiopian Legal System.
  • Abbink, J. (2011). Land to the foreigners’: economic, legal, and socio-cultural aspects of new land acquisition schemes in Ethiopia. Journal of Contemporary African Studies .
  • Baker, B. (2013). Where formal and informal justice meet: Ethiopia’s justice pluralism. African Journal of International and Comparative Law 21.
  • Bayeh, E. (2015). “Human Rights in Ethiopia: An Assessment on the Law and Practice of Women’s Rights. Humanities and Social Sciences .
  • Dixon, Martin, McCorquodale, R., & Williams., a. S. (2011). Cases and materials on international law. Oxford University Press, .
  • Parlett, K. (2011). The individual in the international legal system: continuity and change in international law. Cambridge University Press .
  • Wandall, R. H. (2015). Trust and Legal Governance: A Case Study of Ethiopian Criminal Justice. Journal of Law and Society 42 .

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