Tag Archives: criminal law

The Sport Facilities Administration Proclamation No. 729-2012


The Sport Facilities Administration Proclamation may not be as controversial as the new Urban Land Lease Proclamation; however, an unexpected incident during its adoption has made it somewhat  ‘Historical’ document. An interesting description regarding the incident is found on capital, one of the country’s top business newspapers.

In a rare show of dissident in the House of Peoples’ Representatives whose 546 of 547 seats are filled by the ruling EPRDF and its affiliates, two ruling party Members of Parliament on Thursday abstained while the majority approved a new proclamation for the administration of sport facilities allowing alcohol ads to be placed in stadiums, while at the same time levying punishment on crimes yet to be spelled out.

(Two ruling party MPs abstain as majority approves controversial sport facilities’ bill Monday, 09 January 2012)

The two representatives were unhappy about the criminal sanctions imposed by the proclamation in article 11(3) (b) &(c).  Article 11 (3) (b) of the proclamation makes advertisement in sport facilities about cigarettes or cigarette related substances or liquors with more than 12% alcoholic content a criminal act punishable with imprisonment from six month to one year and with fine from Birr 5,000 to Birr 10,000. This law comes as a  good news for the beer industry as they could advertise their products in every sport facility. (The alcoholic content of beer on average is not more than 12%)

The 12% ceiling was unacceptable for the two MPs. It seems they just wanted the prohibition of any advertisement about alcoholic beverages in sport facilities. As reported by Capital, one of the MPs raised a challenging question regarding the unwanted side effects of the law. He asked “Aren’t we sending the message that the alcohol we know to be harmful to the public is ‘ok’ only because their alcoholic content is below 12 percent?”

The other point of dissent was the way the act constituting a crime in article 11 (3)(c) is stated. According to this article, any person who commits in sport facilities, other acts prohibited by regulation issued for the implementation of this Proclamation; is punishable with imprisonment from six month to one year and with fine from Birr 5,000 to Birr 10,000.

Honestly speaking, it is logically and practically impossible to obey this provision. It lays down a punishment, but you can not for sure know the criminalized act.

This is not the first time parliament has failed to be guided by the basic principles of criminal law in its criminal legislation on specific laws. I have tried to briefly address this issue on my previous post ‘You could be a criminal without committing a crime.’ According to Article 20(6) of Forest Development, Conservation and Utilization Proclamation No.542/2007 anyone will be punished with not less than 6 months and not exceeding 5 years imprisonment and with fine Birr 30,000 if he commits A CRIMINAL ACT NOT SPECIEFIED IN THE PROCLAMATION.

 

The following is the text of Sport Facilities Administration Proclamation No. 729/2012. You can also download the pdf version of the document Continue reading →

Special Criminal Provisions: CRIMES IN VIOLATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAWS


CRIMES IN VIOLATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAWS

Proclamation no. 660 A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR APICULTURE RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND PROTECTION

[Article] 8. Penalty

Unless it requires higher penalty under the criminal law:

1/ Any person who undertakes commercial beekeeping or queen rearing or who found in act of without written permit from supervising authority in rehabilitation area closure or community forest or state forest or wildlife parks and reserve areas is punishable with a fine from Birr 2,000 to Birr5,000 or imprisonment up to one year or both.

2/ Any person who exercise improper handling of data and information on activities related to beekeeping and processing and discourages furnishing of data and information when requested or transport honeybee colonies without covering with mesh wire or kaki fabric and take a stop at locations of human and animal traffic areas is punishable with a fine from Birr 1,500 to Birr 3,000 or imprisonment from six months up to one year or both.

3/ Any person who commits hazard on natural habitat while operating beekeeping or cause to spread honeybee diseases to healthy colonies or induce harm on beekeeping and bee products due to improper use of pesticides or cause damage on the honeybee colonies and ecology of the area due to fire hazard while honey hunting is punishable with a fine from Birr 5,000 to Birr 10,000 or imprisonment from three up to seven years or both.

4/ Any person who defy, threatens or put in danger the supervising authority is punishable with a fine from Birr 2,000 to Birr 5,000 or imprisonment from two up to five years or both.

5/ Any person who found in act of processing, transporting or market supplying to the market place or consumer market sale or transfer of adulterated, contaminated or poisoned bee products is punishable with a fine from Birr 10,000 to Birr 15,000 or imprisonment from five up to ten years or both

6/ Any person who imports or exports or attempts to import or export live bee species or honeybee races or used beekeeping equipment or goods without the operating permits or contrary to the conditions thereof, or any person who commits or attempts any honeybee races smuggling is punishable with a fine from Birr 15,000 to Birr 20,000 or imprisonment from ten up to fifteen years or both.

7/ Any person who violates the provisions of this Proclamation or any regulations and directives to be issued according to this Proclamation or causes any obstruction in the implementation process is punishable with imprisonment up to five years.

Proclamation no 602 A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR COFFEE QUALITY CONTROL AND MARKETING

[Article] 15. Penalties

1/ Any coffee processor who fails to comply with the appropriate technical procedures and thereby causes damage to the quality of the coffee or the local community shall have his processing plant closed and be prohibited from transporting his coffee to transaction centers, and unless punishable by greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 20,000 and an imprisonment of not less than one year but not exceeding three years.

2/ Any person engaged in coffee transaction outside transaction centers established by the Ministry or by an appropriate regional body or the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange shall, in addition to confiscation of his coffee, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 20,000 and an imprisonment of not less than one year but not exceeding three years.

3/ Any person who, without notifying the appropriate body, stores and tenders for sell coffee outside the authorized time and place, shall, in addition to confiscation of the coffee, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 30,000 and in imprisonment of not less than one year but not exceeding three years.

4/ Any person who unlawfully or in an inappropriate manner transports coffee shall, in addition to confiscation of the coffee, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 50,000 and an imprisonment of not less than three years but not exceeding five years.

5/ Any person who sells unfrosted coffee or processed roasted coffee that is of export standard in the domestic market shall, in addition to confiscation of the coffee, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 50,00 and an imprisonment of not less than three years but not exceeding five years.

6/ Any person who owns a vehicle apprehended transporting illegal coffee, shall, in addition to confiscation of the coffee, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 50,000 and an imprisonment of not less than three years but not exceeding five years;

7/ Any person who commits any manipulative act in relation to coffee quality and marketing, shall, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 50,000 and an imprisonment of not less that three years but not exceeding five years;

8/ Any person who illegally diverts and transports coffee legally authorized for transportation to the appropriate inspection centers or to the auction centers or to the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange shall, unless punishable with a greater penalty as per any other relevant law, be penalized by a fine of Birr 100,000 and an imprisonment of not less that five years but not exceeding ten years.

16. Jurisdiction

The Federal First Instance Court shall have jurisdiction on criminal matters provided under Article 15 of this Proclamation.

Proclamation no. 542 A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT CONSERVATION AND UTILIZATION OF FORESTS

[Article] 20. Penalty

Unless otherwise the offence committed is punishable with greater penalty by the criminal law,

1/ Except pursuant to this proclamation and directives issued here in under, cuts trees or removes, processes or uses in any way forest products from a state forest shall be punishable with not less than 1 year and not exceeding 5 years imprisonment and with tine Birr 10,000.

21 Destroy, damages or falsify forest boundary marks shall be punishable with not less than 1 year and not exceeding 5 years rigorous imprisonment;

3/ Causes damages to a forest by setting fire or in any other manner shall be punishable with not less than 10′ years and not exceeding 15 years rigorous imprisonment;

41 Settles or expands farmland in a forest area

. without permit or undertakes the construction of any infrastructure in a forestland without

having the necessary permit shall be punishable with not less than 2 years imprisonment and with fine Birr 20′,0’0’0′;

51 Provides assistance in any form to those who illegally cut forest trees or transport forest products to hide or take away the forest products shall be punishable with 5 years imprisonment and with fine Birr 5,0’0’0′;

6/ Commits a fault that are not mentioned from Sub-

Article (1) to (5) here in above and for which punishment is not imposed shall be punishable with not less than 6 months and not exceeding 5  years imprisonment and with fine Birr 30,000;

21. Speedy Trial

1/ In case. of a flagrant offence committed in violation of this proclamation the offender shall be taken immediately to the nearest police station and charged, and the Criminal Procedure Code shall be applied.

2/ Illegally obtained forest products, shall, together with the vehicle or pack animal used to transport them, be taken to the police station and registered as exhibit.

3/ Upon completion of the process under Sub Article (2) of this Article, the means of transport shall be released and the forest product shall stay seized until court decision is given thereon.

4/ Customs officers or policemen shall have the power to seize and take measure accordance with this Article in areas where inspectors are not assigned.

Proclamation no 541 A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT CONSERVATION AND UTILIZATION OF WILDLIFE

[Article] 16. Penalty

1/ Unless it entails higher penalty under the criminal law:

a) any person who:

( i) commits an act of illegal wildlife hunting or trade;

(ii)carries out unauthorized activities within wildlife conservation areas or causes, in whatever way, damage thereto; or

(iii)is found in possession of wildlife or wildlife products without having a permit;

shall be punished with fine not less than Birr 5000 and not exceeding Birr 30,000 or with imprisonment not less than one year and not exceeding five years or with both such fine and imprisonment.

(b) any person who commits other offences in violation of the provisions of this Proclamation or regulations or directives issued hereunder shall be punished with fine not less than Birr 500 and not exceeding Birr 3,000 or with imprisonment not less than one month and not exceeding six months or with both such fine and imprisonment.

2/ Where a court passes a sentence pursuant to Sub-Article (1) of this Article, it shall, in addition to the sentence, order the confiscation of the wildlife or wildlife products which are the proceeds of the offence together with the weapon with which the offence is committed.

3/ The Ministry or the concerned regional organ may, as appropriate:

(a) sale, transfer to a scientific purpose, to academic institution or destroy the confiscated wildlife or wildlife product;

(b) transfer to the appropriate government organs or destroy the confiscated weapon.

Proclamation no.315/2003 FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT AND UTILIZATION PROCLAMATION

PART FOUR

Miscellaneous Provisions

[Article]16. Offence and Penalty Any person who:

1) is convicted of importing and/or introducing live fish into the waters of Ethiopia or same out of the

country or transfers same from one water body to another without a permit or in contravention to the terms of the permit shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than a year and not exceeding three years or with a fine up to Birr 10,000 (ten thousand Birr) or with both.

2) commits an offence other than those prescribed in Sub-Article (1) of this Article in contravention to this proclamation as well as regulations and directives issued hereunder shall be punished according to the penal code of Ethiopia.

17. Other Sanctions

1) Where any person is convicted of an offence in contravention of this proclamation the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed ‘on the accused, order:

(a)the forfeiture of any fishing boat and/or gear used in the commission of the offence.

(b)the forfeiture of any poison, explosives or any other equipment or substance which has been unlawfully used for fishing.

(c) the suspension or cancellation of any fishing or fish trade permit.

2) Where, following a conviction, any goods seized are not ordered to be forfeited and if any fines remain unpaid within 30 days of the conviction, such goods may be sold and the proceeds shall be used to cover the fines.

3) Where, following a prosecution, an accused person is acquitted, any seized fishing gear or other goods shall be returned to the person. If what has been seized is fish, the proceeds that have been realized from the sale shall be given back to the person.

18. Presumptions of Commission of an Offence

1) Any person who, with out good cause, is found in possession of explosives. ammunition. devices capable of producing electric shock. poison or fish narcotizing plants on the waters of Ethiopia. their shores or banks shall be presumed to be undertaking an unlawful activity in contravention to Article 5 sub-Article (7) of this proclamation.

2)Any person found transferring live fish without a permit is presumed to be engaged in an unlawful act in contravention to Article 5 sub Articles (10). (11) and (12) of this proclamation.

Proclamation no. 206/2000 SEED PROCLAMATION

[Article] 34. Penalties

1) Any person who:

(a) intentionally offers for sale or sells below standard or unregistered seed shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years and with a fine of not less than Birr 50 thousands and not more than Birr 100 thousands.

(b) offers for sale or sells seed in violation of Article 17 of this Proclamation shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than g years and not more than 10 years and with a fine of not less than Birr 50 thousands and not more than 100 thousands.

(c) gives or offers a gift or any other benefit to cause the commission of fraudulent act on seed production, processing, export, import, distribution, retail sell and quality control process shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment of not less than eight years and not more than ten years and with a fine of not less than Birr 50,000 and not more than 100 thousands.

(d)knowingly offers for sale or sells seed in bags which do not comply with the standard shall

be punished with imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 5 years and with a fine of not less than Birr 15 thousands and not more than 25 thousands.

(e) intentionally alters the sample drawn or delivered for test and thus resulting in an incorrect representation of the produce, shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 2 years and not. more than 5 years and with a fine of not less than Birr 20 thousands and not more than 30 thousands.

(f) offers for sale or sells seeds in bags whose labeling and packaging do not comply with the standard and the weight of the seed in the bags is less than the amount paid for it, shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 2 years and not more than 5 years and with a fine of not less than Birr 10 thousands and not more than 20 thousands.

(g) intentionally opens a store sealed by inspector shall be punished with imprisonment of upto2 years and .with. fine of not less than Birr 10 thousands and not’ more! than 20 thousands.

(h)refuses. to cooperate and provide information/ data when requested by the Agency’s Inspector who is exercising his powers and duties pursuant to this Proclamation shall be punished with imprisonment of not more than

1 year and with a fine of not less than Birr 5 thousands and not more than 10 thousands.

(i) violates Sub Articles (1), (a),(b),(d) and (t) of this Article will b~ confiscated.

2) Any official or Personnel of the Agency who:

(a) ‘by, directly or indirectly, receiving a bribe or any other benefit or on grounds of relation, intentionally or negligently supplies or causes the supply of a certificate or verification with regard to seed production, processing, export, import, distribution, retail, sell and quality control process based on a false or deceitful document or;

(b)with the intent to receive a bribe or any other benefit or to injure other person, holds or

delays the decision or action on request or a case that is brought before him in his official capacity;

shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 10years and not more than 15years and a tine of not less than Birr 50 thousands and not more than 100 thousands.

3)Any person or organization delegated or authorized by the Agency to implement seed quality control activities and who:

(a)by, directly or indirectly, receiving a bribe or any other benefit gain or on grounds of relation, intentionally or negligently issued or causes the issuance of a certificate or verification with regard to seed production, processing, export, import, distribution, retail sell and .quality control process based on a false or deceitful document, or

(b)with the intent to receive a bribe or any other benefit or to injure other person, holds or delays the decision or action on request or a case that is brought before him in his official capacity;

shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 10years and not more than 15years and a fine of not less than Birr 50 thousands and not more than 100 thousands. The delegation or authorization shall also be cancelled.

4)Any person who misrepresented himself to be an inspector of the Agency or hinders or obstructs an inspector in the exercise of his powers and duties shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than I year and of not exceeding three years and a fine of not less than Birr 5 thousands and not exceeding Birr 15 thousands.

Proclamation no. 238/2001 A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ETHIOPIAN AGRICULTURAL SAMPLE ENUMERATION COMMISSION

[Article]14. Penalty

Any person who:

I) is unwilling to furnish information regarding Agricultural Sample Enumeration or furnishes false information of same or;

2) obstructs the Agricultural Sample Enumeration by refusing to allow entry to property as referred to under Article 12(3)[1] of this Proclamation shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of not exceeding Birr 150.00 (one hundred fifty Birr) or to an imprisonment not exceeding one month.

Proclamation no. 197/2000 ETHIOPIAN WATER RESOURCES, MANAGEMENT PROCLAMATION

[ARTICLE] 29 Penalty
Any person who violated this Proclamation or Regulations issued thereunder, shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code.



[1] Article 12(3) Any owner, holder keeper, or agent of a premise, a land, livestock, agricultural implements, or machinery thereto, shall have the obligation to allow entry to such property to the Agricultural Sample Enumeration enumerator or supervisor bearing an identification card issued by the Authority.

PROCEDURE OF GRANTING PARDON PROCLAMATION NO. 395-2004


PROCLAMATION NO. 395/2004.

A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR

THE PROCEDURE OF GRANTING PARDON

 

WHEREAS, it has been provided for in Article 71(7) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia that the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia grants pardon in accordance with law;

 

     WHEREAS, it has become necessary to prescribe by law the procedure of granting pardon by making compatible the provisions of criminal law and other laws with regard to pardon with the Constitution

     NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 71(7) and Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows: Continue reading →

you could be a criminal without commiting a crime…


 

Is it possible that you could be liable to a criminal punishment without committing any crime and at the same time your conviction being considered as lawful i.e. according to law? Sometimes such type of cases may happen when there is a miscarriage of justice and abuse of power. When law enforcement officials and judges use their official power to attack an innocent person, at least they know it they are deliberately violating the law. But the question I raised above is totally different from these types of instances.

To make it clear here is the answer for the question. According to one provision of unusual and odd Ethiopian law, anyone could be convicted of a crime even though he has not committed a crime. This may be surprising, but it is true.

This law which makes a person a criminal in the absence of a crime and commission of a crime is ARTICLE 20 SUB ARTICLE 6 of Forest Development, Conservation and Utilization Proclamation No.542/2007.
In order to understand and relate the contents of this provision to other provisions, you should read the preceding five sub articles of the provision.

Article 20 of Forest Development, Conservation and Utilization Proclamation No.542/2007 titled ‘Penalty’ provides for the special criminal violations and penalties against the proclamation.
Here are the criminal violations listed under sub articles 1 up to 5 of article 20.

Article 20. Penalty


Unless otherwise the offence committed is punishable with greater penalty by the criminal law,
1/ Except pursuant to this proclamation and directives issued here in under, cuts trees or removes, processes or uses in any way forest products from a state forest shall be punishable with not less than 1 year and not exceeding 5 years imprisonment and with tine Birr 10,000.


2/ Destroy, damages or falsify forest boundary marks shall be punishable with not less than 1 year and not exceeding 5 years rigorous imprisonment;


3/ Causes damages to a forest by setting fire or in any other manner shall be punishable with not less than 10′ years and not exceeding 15 years rigorous imprisonment;


4/ Settles or expands farmland in a forest area without permit or undertakes the construction of any infrastructure in a forestland without having the necessary permit shall be punishable with not less than 2 years imprisonment and with fine Birr 20000;


5/ Provides assistance in any form to those who illegally cut forest trees or transport forest products to hide or take away the forest products shall be punishable with 5 years imprisonment and with fine Birr 5000;

So these are the crimes specifically listed by the proclamation. But it does not stop here.  As you can see, only five specific criminal violations is not sufficient compared to the extent of  the forests to preserved. Hence sub article 6 was added and it reads:

6/ Commits a fault that are not mentioned from Sub-Article (1) to (5) here in above and for which punishment is not imposed shall be punishable with not less than 6 months and not exceeding 5 years imprisonment and with fine Birr 30,000″

According to this provision, any one could be punished not less than 6 months and not exceeding 5 years imprisonment and fine Birr 30, 000 without violating any provision of law. “A fault not mentioned from Sub-Article (1) to (5)” does not specify any commission or omission of an act.

I don’t think it is necessary to make an analysis and argument to establish that this law is a clear violation of the cardinal principles of criminal law and fundamental provisions of F.D.R.E. Constitution.  Just in case, the principle of legality is found in article 2 of the criminal code.

Article 2.- Principle of Legality.
(1) Criminal law specifies the various crimes and the penalties and measures applicable to criminals.
(2) The Court may not treat as a crime and punish any act or omission which is not prohibited by law. The Court may not impose penalties or measures other than those prescribed by law.
(3) The Court may not create crimes by analogy.

“Criminal law specifies the various crimes…” i.e. the acts considered by law as violations entailing criminal liability.

An act is defined in article 23 of the code.

Article 23.- Crimes.
(1) A crime is an act which is prohibited and made punishable by law.
In this Code, an act consists of the, commission of what is prohibited or the omission of what is prescribed by law.

When you relate article 20 sub 6 of Forest Development, Conservation and Utilization Proclamation No.542/2007, you don’t find any specific act the  “commission of what is prohibited or the omission of what is prescribed by law”

 

 


Abortion law in Ethiopia: A comparative analysis


Abortion law in Ethiopia: A comparative analysis
Tsehai Wada

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