Proclamation No.731/2012 Commercial Registration and Business Licensing /Amendment/ Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 732/2012 IGAD Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 733/2012 IGAD Convention on Extradition Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.734/2012 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.735/2012 Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.736/2012 Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.737/2012 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.738/2012 2004 E.C. Fiscal Year Federal Government Supplementary Budget Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.739/2012 African Development Fund Loan Agreement for Financing Hawassa-Agere Mariam Road Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.740/2012 African Development Fund Loan Agreement for Financing Bedele-Metu Road Upgrading Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.741/2012 International Fund for Agricultural Development Loan Agreement for Financing Rural Financial Intermediation Program II Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.742/2012 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Ratification Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.743/2012 Revised African Maritime Transport Charter Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.744/2012 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.745/2012 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of Korea Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 746/2012 Insurance Business Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.747/2012 Agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.748/2012 Agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of India for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.749/2012 Agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the People’s Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.750/2012 Agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Arab Republic of Egypt for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.751/2012 Agreement on Cultural and Arts Cooperation between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Kuwait Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.752/2012 Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Tourism between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Kuwait Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.753/2012 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising from their Utilization Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.754/2012 Export-Import Bank of China Loan Agreement for Financing Addis Ababa Deep Wells Water Supply Project (Phase III) Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.755/2012 Export-Import Bank of India Credit Line Agreement to Provide Additional Loan for Financing Projects for the Development of Sugar Industry Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.756/2012 International Development Association Additional Financing Agreement for Productive Safety Net APL III Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.757/2012 Bilateral Trade Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of Gambia Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.758/2012 Bilateral Trade Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of Kenya Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.759/2012 Advertisement Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.760/2012 Registration of Vital Events and National Identity Card Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.762/2012 International Development Association Financing Agreement for Electricity Network Reinforcement and Expansion Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.763/2012 Export-Import Bank of Korea Loan Agreement for Financing the Sululta-GebreGuracha Power Transmission Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.764/2012 International Development Association Financing Agreement for Financing Women Entrepreneurship Development Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.765/2012 International Development Association Amended and Restated Financing Agreement to Provide Additional Finance to Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.766/2012 2005 Fiscal Year Budget Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 767/2012 Chat Excise Tax Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 768/2012 Export Trade Duty Incentive Schemes Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No.769/2012 Investment Proclamation DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 770/2012 Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development Loan Agreement for Financing the Dessie-Kutaber-Tenta Junction Road Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 771/2012 International Development Association Financing Agreement for Promoting Basic Services Program-Phase III Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 772/2012 African Development Fund Loan Agreement for Promoting Basic Services Program (PBS III) Project Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 773/2012 Agreement between/the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 774/2012 Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income Ratification DOWNLOAD
Proclamation No. 781/2013 Meles Foundation Establishment Proclamation DOWNLOAD
You can get the pdf version on the following link
Proclamation No. 761/2012
Telecom Fraud Offence Proclamation
WHEREAS, considering that telecom fraud is increasing and wide-spreading from time to time thereby encumbering the telecom industry to play an essential role in the implementation of peace, democratization and development programs of the country;
WHEREAS, recognizing that telecom fraud is a serious threat to the national security beyond economic losses;
WHEREAS, it has became imperative to legislate adequate legal provisions since the laws presently in force in the country are not sufficient to prevent and control telecom fraud;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
PART ONE GENERAL
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Telecom Fraud Offence Proclamation No. 761/2012″
In this Proclamation, unless the context otherwise requires:
1/ “telecom service” means public switched telecom service, cellular mobile service, internet service, satellite telephone service, data communication service, telecom-centers or resale service, mobile or fixed private radio service, very small aperture terminal (VSAT) service, cable installation and maintenance service, telecom switches installation and maintenance service, the transmission or reception through the agency of- electricity or electromagnetism of any sounds, signs, signals, writing, images or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical fiber, satellite or other electromagnetic systems or any other service designated as telecom service by the Ministry; and may not include broadcasting service and intercom connection;
2/ “telecom equipment” means any apparatus used or intended to be used for telecom service, and includes its accessory and software;
3/ “call-back service” means the use of dial tone of a foreign telecom operator for international connection without the knowledge of the domestic telecom operator or fraudulently making international calls in to apparent domestic calls and shall include services that are identified as call-back by the International Telecommunication Union;
4/ “Ministry” means the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology;
5/ “telecom service provider” means the Ethio-Telecom or any other person authorized to provide telecom service;
6/ “police” means the Federal Police or, as the case may be, regional state police;
7/ “regional state” means any state referred to in Article 47 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and includes the Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administrations;
8/ “person” means a physical or juridical person
9/ any expression in the masculine gender includes the feminine.
TELECOM FRAUD OFFENCES
3. Offences Related to Telecom Equipment
1/ Without prejudice to the provision of sub-article (3) of this Article, whosoever manufactures, assembles, imports or offers for sale any telecom equipment without obtaining prior permit from the Ministry commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 15 years and with fine from Birr 100,000 to Birr 150,000.
21 Without prejudice to the provision of sub-article (3) of this Article, whosoever uses or holds any telecom equipment without obtaining prior permit from the Ministry commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 1 to 4 years and with fine from Birr 10.000 to Birr 40.000.
3/ The Ministry shall, in consultation with concerned bodies, prescribe types of telecom equipment the manufacturing, assembling, importation, sale or the use of which may not require permits, and set their technical standards.
4. Offences Related to the Provision of Telecom Service
Whosoever provides telecom service without having a valid license issued in accordance with the appropriate laws commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 7 to 15 years and with fine equal to three times the revenue estimated to have been earned by the person during the period of time he provided the service.
5. Offences Related to Interception and Access
Whosoever without the authorization of the service provider or lawful user, or any other competent authority:
1/ obstructs or interferes with any telecom network, service or system;
2/ intercepts or illegally obtains access to any telecom system: or
3/ intercepts, alters, destroys or otherwise damages the contents of telephone calls, data, identification code or any other personal information of subscribers:
commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 15 years and with fine from Birr 100.000 to Birr 150.000.
6. Using Telecom Service for Illegal Purpose
1/ uses or causes the use of any telecom network or apparatus to disseminate any terrorizing message connected with a crime punishable under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009, or obscene message punishable under the Criminal Code; or
2/ uses or causes the use of the telecom service or infrastructure provided by the telecom service provider for illegal purpose;
commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 3 to 8 years and with fine from Birr 30,000 to Birr 80.000
Offence Related to Fraud of Service Charge
1/ fraudulently obtains telecom service without payment of a lawful charge thereof; or
2/ obtains telecom service by means of fraudulent payment charged lo another person;
commits an offence and shall be punishable rigorous imprisonment from 5 to 10 years and with fine equal to three times the charge estimated to have been avoided by the act.
8. Offences Related to Call-Back Service
1/ Whosoever provides call-back service commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 5 to 10 years and with fine equal to five times the revenue estimated to have been earned by the person during the period of time he provided the call back service.
2/ Whosoever intentionally or by negligence obtains any call-back service shall be punishable with imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years and with fine from Birr 2.500 to Birr 20.000.
9. Offences Related to Illegal Telecom Operators
a) establishes any telecom infrastructure other than the telecom infrastructure established by the telecom service provider; or
b) bypasses the telecom infrastructure established by the telecom service provider and provides any domestic or international telecom service;
commits an offence and shall be punishable rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 20 years and with fine equal lo ten times the revenue estimated to have been earned by him during the period of time he provided the service.
2/ Whosoever intentionally or by negligence obtains any telecom service from an illegal operator stipulated under sub-article (1) of this Article commits an offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years and with fine from Birr 2.500 to Birr 20,000.
10. Other Offences
1/ Whosoever illegally manipulates or duplicates SIM cards, credit cards, subscriber identification numbers or data or sales or otherwise distributes illegally duplicated SIM cards, credit cards, subscriber identification numbers or data commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 10 to 15 years and with fine from Birr 100.000 to Birr 150,000.
a/ by connecting any equipment to a public pay telephone or by using any other means obtains services which are not normally available through the public pay telephone; or
b/ obtains or causes others lo obtain telecom service from the telecom service provider by presenting false or forged service agreement or by fraudulently using the identity code of another person or by using any other fraudulent means;
commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 3 to 8 years and with fine from Birr 30,000 to Birr 80(000
3/ Whosoever provides telephone call or fax services through the internet commits an offence and shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment from 3 to 8 years and with fine equal lo five limes the revenue estimated lo have been earned by him during the period of time he provided the service.
4/ Whosoever intentionally or by negligence obtains the service stipulated under sub- article (3) of this Article commits an offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years and with fine from Birr 2,500 to Birr 20.000.
11. Offence Committed by Juridical Person
Where any juridical person commits an offence stipulated under this Proclamation, it shall be punishable with a fine the amount of which shall be equal to ten times the fine stipulated for the offence.
12. Confiscation of Property
The court, in deciding the penalty of an offender under this Proclamation, shall give additional order for the confiscation of any telecom equipment used in the perpetration of the offence.
13. Establishment of Technical Task Force
In order to prevent, investigate and control telecom fraud offence a national technical task force comprising members drawn from the concerned bodies shall be established.
14. Covert Search
Police may request the court in writing for coven search warrant where a telecom fraud offence has been committed or where he has reasonable ground that a telecom fraud is likely to be commuted.
15. Admissibility of Evidence
Without prejudice to the admissibility of oilier evidences to be produced in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code and other relevant laws, the following shall be admissible in court in relation to telecom fraud offences:
1/ digital or electronic evidences;
2/ evidences gathered through interception or surveillance; and
3/ information obtained through interception conducted by foreign law enforcement bodies.
The Federal High Court shall have first instance jurisdiction over telecom fraud offences provided under this Proclamation.
17. Repealed and Inapplicable Laws
1/ Sub- article (1), (2) and (3) of Article 25 of the Telecommunication Proclamation No. 49/1996 (as amended by Proclamation No, 281/2002) are hereby repealed.
2/ No law or customary practice shall, in so far as it is inconsistent with this Proclamation, be applicable with respect to matters provided for under this Proclamation.
18. Power to Issue Regulation
The Council of Ministers may issue regulation necessary for the implementation of this Proclamation.
19. Effective Date
This Proclamation shall come into force on the date of publication in the Federal Negarii Gazela.
Done at Addis Ababa, this 4″‘ day of September, 2012
PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
Proclamation No.769/2012 Investment Proclamation
You don’t write Parlament for Parliament. I just used that term to indicate the lawmaker’s lack of attention to spelling in legislative texts.
The House of People’s Representatives should have its own language editor. The English version of the legislative text is full of spelling errors. Recently I was working on statutory definitions of Ethiopian legal terms. What I realized is that the extent of the problem requires some attention by the law maker or the drafters.
Here are some examples of serious spelling errors in the English version of the legislative text.
P and R stand for Proclamation and Regulation respectively
The numbers represent the number of the proclamation and regulation and year of enactment.
e.g. R173/2009 represents Regulation number 173 of 2009
P372/03 stands for proclamation number 372 of 2003
The word with a spelling error is indicated in red followed by the correct word in bold
Pension [Pensione] (R173/2009) means an establishment offering lodging and breakfast services to tourist and other clients
(According to the Oxford Dictionary 8th ed. Pensione is small hotel or boarding house in Italy)
Documentary Film (R66/99) means a film recorded with the objective of broadcasting or disseminating natural, historical, cultural, political, economical, [economic] social conditions and other factual materials through television, cinema or other electronic screen transmissions
(According to the Oxford Dictionary 8th ed. Economical means giving good value or return in relation to the resources or money expended. Economic is defined as “of or relating to economics or the economy” Similarly, Political means “of or relating to the government or public affairs of a country” and Social is defined as “of or relating to society or its organization” Therefore economic not economical should be taken as the right word for the definition)
Rights to Lien (P372/03) it is a preferential rights of the warehouse man over the goods stored in a warehouse or over the pleadgee [pledgee] of warehouse recipts [receipts] or over the bailer or his transferee on the proceeds earned from sale of the goods, in relation to the cost incurred persuant [pursuant] to the provision of this proclamation to store, prepare pack, transport, insure and for Labour and professional work and incurred
Academic Staff (R132/2007) means any employee of the University College engage [engaged] in teaching or research activities
Accident (P273/03) shall mean an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until such time as all such persons have disembarked, in which:
(a) a person is fatally or seriously injured as a result of:
1) being in the aircraft, or
2) direct contact with any part of the aircraft, including parts which have come detached from the aircraft, or
3) direct exposure to jet blast, except when the injuries are from natural causes, self-inflicted or inflicted by other persons, or when the injuries are to stowaways hiding outside the areas normally available to the passengers and crew; or
(b) the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which:
1) adversely affects the structural strength performance or flight characterstics [characteristics] of the aircraft, and
2) would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component, except for engine failure or damage when the damage is limited to the engine, its cowlings or accessories; or for damage limited to propellers, wing tips, antennas, tires, brakes, fairing, small dents or puncture holes in the aircraft skin; or
(c) the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible
Animal (P267/02) means for the purpose of this proclamation domestic and wild animals includs [includes] sea animals and bees
Aviation personel [personnel] (P273/03) shall mean any individual who engages as pilot in command, co-pilot or flight engineer or any other member of the flight crew of an aircaft [aircraft] or who is involved in the inspection, maintenance, overhaul or repair of aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers or components or who serves in the capacity of air-traffic controller or aircraft dispatcher
Beekeeper (P660/09) means a person who is engaged in keeping of honeyhee [honeybee] colonies in hives
Commercial representative(P67/97) means any person who is not domeciled [domiciled] at the place where the head office of the business enterprise or business person he represents is situate, bound to such enterprise or business person by a contract of employment, and entrusted with the carrying out of only trade promotional activities on behalf and in the name of the business enterprise or the business person he represents without being a trader himself
Committee (R135/2007) means a property valuation committee established persuant [pursuant] to the Proclamation
Conciliation(P377/06) means the activity conduced [conducted] by a private person or person appointed by the Ministry at the joint request of the parties for the purpose of bringing the parties together and seeking to arrange between them voluntary settlement of a labour dispute which their own efforts alone do not produce to utilize a given State forest for a defined period of time
Conditions of work (P361/03) means the entire relations between the City Goverment [Government] and its officials and employees and shall include hours of work, salary, leaves, payments due to dissmissal, [dismissal] if any, health and safety, compensation to victims of employment injury, grievance procedure and other similar matters
Contraband (P60/97) shall mean the act or an attempt of or providing assistance of importing goods beyond the first or exporting beyond the last customs station in contravention of laws and regulations or possessing, selling or transfering [transferring] of such goods in a commercial level and it includes cooperation in such activities
Council of Inquiry (P250/01,) shall mean the Council of Constitutional Inquiry of the Federal Goverment [Government]
Customs Station (P60/97) shall mean any place designated as customs office at the port of entry or exit of goods, transit routs or at customs area for the controll [control] of import and export goods, collection of duties and taxes
Employer(R91/2003) means any government, private or non-governmental institution or international or regional orgnaization [organization] or person employing graduates of higher education institutions including self-employed graduate of the same
Fish (P315/03) means any fish species, crustanceans, [crustaceans] mollusks, including their eggs, spawn fries or fingerlings
International Animal Health Certificate (P267/02) means a certificate issued by the vererinary [veterinary] administration of the exporting country certifying the state of good health of animals, semen, embryo/ova, and hatching-eggs destined for export
Psychotropic Substance (P176/99) means any substance subject to control according to psychotropic Substances Convention of the United Nations ratified by Ethiopia. This shall also included [include] a substance that is categorized as psychotropic substance by the Authority
Public Private Partnership (P649/09) mean [means] investment through private sector participation by a contractual arrangement between a public body and a private sector enterprise, as the concessionnaire, [concessionaire] in which the concessionnaire [concessionaire]:
a) undertakes to perform or undertake any construction project or service or lease concession;
b) assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risks in connection with the performance of a public function or use of government property; and
c) receives consideration for performing a public function or utilizing government property, by way of fees from any public funds, user levies collected by the concessionnaire [concessionaire] from users or customers for a service provided by it, or a combination of such consideration
Restricted Seed (R16/97) means seed prohibited from being imported into Ethiopia or exported from Ethiopia or seed put under resetriction [restriction]
Road (P80/97) means highway or any other road classified and disignated [designated] as part of the national road network and includes bridge on those roads
Serious Ethical Violations (P433/05) means any ethical violation entailing dismissal as per appropriate code of conduet [conduct] regulation
PROCLAMATION No. 759/2012 DOWNLOAD (.pdf)
A PROCLAMATION ON ADVERTISEMENT
WHEREAS, advertisement plays a significant role in the economic, social and political development of the country, by influencing the activities of the public in commodity exchange or service rendering;
WHEREAS, advertisement makes a significant contribution in establishing healthy market competition in the market-led economic system of the country;
WHEREAS, advertisement, if not regulated, may harm the rights and interest of the people and the image of the country;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to clearly define the rights and obligations of advertising agents,
advertisement disseminators and advertisers;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows: Continue reading →
This is the last part of ‘some usual facts about repeal in Ethiopia.’ It discuses the power of the rime minister to repeal a law and the sudden action of parliament to repeal its ‘law-making law’
Power of the prime Minister to repeal a law
Article 74 of the F.D.R.E. Constitution grants wider powers to the prime minister of the country. Even though, the Constitution allows conferring more powers to the prime minister other than those indicated in article 74 by issuing a law to this effect, in practice almost all the proclamations that define the powers and duties of the executive organs, do not provide for additional powers. Usually there will be simply a reference to article 74 of the constitution.
“The powers and duties of the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall be as specified under Article 74 of the Constitution.” [Article 3 of Proclamation No. 691/2010 Definition of Powers and Duties of the Executive Organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Proclamation]
My intention here is not to discuss the extent and scope of the power of the Prime Minister, rather to raise a question about his power of repealing a law. Does the Prime Minister have a power to repeal a law? Surely he does not have any power to repeal a law issued by the highest law making organ (The House of People’s Representatives.) What about regulations issued by the Council of Ministers and directives of administrative agencies? Looking at article 74 of the Constitution, it in no way provides such power to the prime minister. This similarly holds true for the laws of Addis Ababa Administration even though the administration is accountable to the federal government. On the other hand, the House of People’s Representatives is not constitutionally authorized to make a law empowering the prime minister to repeal a law.
Now, it is time to read article 3 sub article 3 of Proclamation No. 87/1997 (Addis Ababa City Government Charter Proclamation)
“The regulations, Directives and Decisions of the Addis Ababa City Government may be suspended or repealed by the Prime Minister of the Federal Government where they are deemed to be Prejudicial to the National Interest”
The scope of this provision seems to be limited to subordinate legislation, since it only mentions regulations and directives. Hence, it may be argued that the provision applies only to subsidiary legislation of the City Council. However, a brief look at some of the regulations issued by Addis Ababa administration, does not suggest that the term ‘regulation’ is used to refer to a law issued through delegation by a body subordinate to the city council. For instance the Addis Ababa City governmental information provision and standardization regulation number 34/2010 is issued by the City Council, which is the legislative organ of the administration. Even assuming that ‘regulation’ is a delegated legislation does not justify the power of the prime minister. The House of People’s Representatives by granting a repeal power to the prime minister clearly goes beyond the limits of its law making power as provided in the constitution.
The good news is that Addis Ababa City Government Charter Proclamation No. 87/1997 is totally repealed by the Addis Ababa City Government Revised Charter Proclamation No. 311/2003 (The repealing law is also repealed by the Addis Ababa City Government Revised Charter Proclamation No. 361/2003.) The current law which repealed previous legislations (Proclamation No. 361/2003) including subsequent amending proclamation (Proclamation No. 408/2004 Addis Ababa City Government Revised charter (Amendment) Proclamation) does not provide any power of repeal to the prime minister.
Parliament repealed its own ‘law-making’ law
Until 2006, the House of Peoples’ Representatives regulated its own legislative procedure by issuing a law (i.e. a proclamation) to this effect. All of a sudden it repealed its own ‘law-making’ law. The title of the repealing law is:
Proclamation No. 503/2006 The Proclamation to Repeal the Amended Proclamation of the House of Peoples’ Representatives Working Procedure and Members’ Code of Conduct Proclamation
Article 2 of the proclamation reads:
“[Article] 2 Repealed Laws
The Amended Proclamation of the House of Peoples’ Representatives working procedures and members’ code of conduct proclamation No. 470/2005 is hereby repealed in full.”
The first law enacted by parliament regulating the legislative procedure is Proclamation No. 14-1995 House of Peoples’ Representatives legislative Procedure Proclamation. After a year it was amended by Proclamation No. 33-1996 House of Peoples’ Representatives Legislative (Amendment) Proclamation. Both Proclamations were repealed by Proclamation No. 271/2002 House of Peoples’ Representatives Legislative Procedure, Committees Structure and Working Proclamation. The repealing law was again repealed by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples’ Representatives Working Procedure and Members’ Code of Conduct (Amendment) Proclamation No. 470/2005. For the last time Proclamation No. 470/2005 is now ‘repealed in full’ by Proclamation No. 503-2006 (Repeal of the Amended HPR Working Procedure and Members Code of Conduct Proclamation)
So, why did parliament choose to abolish any law regulating the law making process? Actually, what parliament has done is substituting the proclamation governing the legislative procedure by its own internal regulations. In short, it decided that the legislative procedure should not be regulated by a proclamation published in the Negarit Gazeta, but by an internal regulation not accessible to the public. Be it a proclamation or a regulation, the contents of any legislative procedure will be adopted by a majority vote of the house. Practically, it seems it doesn’t make a difference. Yes it true, if it is a regulation it is not subject to the requirement of signature by the Nation’s President to be effective. It may also be said the regulation will be valid in the absence of publication in the Negarit Gazeta.
As indicated in the preamble of the repealing law, the sudden move by parliament seems to emanate from Article 59 sub article 2 of the constitution. The provision reads:
“The House shall adopt rules and procedures regarding the organization of its work and of its legislative process.”
It may be said that this provision of the constitution allows parliament to regulate the legislative procedure by its own internal regulations. However, this could not be submitted as a convincing ground justifying repeal of Proclamation No. 470/2005. Parliament is expected to provide a practical necessity or a goal to be achieved in choosing a regulation over a proclamation. The preamble part simply states ‘…it has become necessary…’ without providing a single instance of the necessity.
Here is the preamble part of Proclamation No. 503-1998
“WHEREAS, the House is expressly provided by Article 59(2) of the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to adopt rules and procedures regarding the organization of its work and of its legislative process;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary to issue regulation in accordance with the constitution regarding the working procedures of the House, as practiced in other countries;
WHEREAS, it has become necessary to repeal the Amended proclamation of the House of peoples’ Representatives working procedures and members’ code of conduct, and there by replace it by regulation”
If Article 59(2) of the constitution was the real justification, does it mean that the House of People’s Representatives was acting contrary to the constitution until the time it repealed Proclamation No. 470/2005? By the way I am so surprised by the fact it took more than 10 years for parliament to realize the existence of article 59 sub 2 of the constitution.
So, which regulation now regulates the legislative procedure? As I have said it before one of the problems of a regulation is its inaccessibility. Some lawyers may have knowledge that currently, the law making process of parliament is governed by regulation No. 3/2006 (The House of Peoples‟ Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Rules of Procedures and Members‟ Code of Conduct Regulation.) But I doubt whether they have access to it. Previously the regulation used to be on official web site of the HPR, now it could not be found.
I was lucky to get the English version of the regulation and you can also get it here.
Click HERE to read/download regulation No.3-2006
Double Repeal and repeal after indefinite period of time
It is difficult even for law makers to remember each and every law they have amended and repealed. With the ever increasing quantity of legislations issued by the law maker and subordinate organs, sometimes it may happen that a provision of the law be repealed twice. Here are two instances:
A.) Proclamation No. 287/2002 (Tax on Coffee Exported from Ethiopia (Amendment) Proclamation) is an amendment to Proclamation No.99/1998 (Tax on Coffee Exported from Ethiopia.) One of the provisions of the previous law which was amended by Proclamation No. 287/2002 is Article 4. This Article provides that the rate of Tax payable on Coffee exported from Ethiopia shall be 6.5% (six and point five per cent) of the FOB price. FOB is defined in the proclamation as selling price of coffee quoted at the port of loading, agreed between the Coffee exporter and his customer and approved by the National Bank of Ethiopia, from which freight and insurance costs are excluded.
Article 2(1) of Proclamation No. 287/2002 mainly amends the tax rate lowering it to zero. It reads:
Article 4 of the proclamation is deleted and replaced by the following new Article 4.
“4. The rate of the Tax which has been 6.5% (six and point five per cent) shall be zero”
However, the deletion and replacement to article 4 of Proclamation No.99/1998 is a double repeal as it has already been deleted by Council of Ministers Regulations No.73/2001(Tax Amendment on Exported Coffee Council of Ministers Regulations.)
Article 2 of the regulation reads:
Article 4 of the Tax on Coffee Exported from Ethiopia Proclamation No.99/1998 is deleted and replaced by the following new Article 4:
4. Rate of the Tax
1) The Rate of the Tax shall be 6.5% (six and point five per cent) of the FOB price.
2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Sub-Article (1) above, no tax shall be levied if the FOB price of the coffee exported is:
(a) Below 105 cents (one hundred five cents) per pound for washed coffee;
(b) Below 70 cents (seventy cents) per pound for unwashed coffee.
By way conclusion, it means that article 4 of Proclamation No.99/1998 was repealed by Proclamation No. 287/2002 after it [Proclamation No.99/1998] was repealed by Regulations No.73/2001.
B.) Article 17(1) of the Census Commission Establishment proclamation No. 84/1997 states that the Population and Housing Census Commission Establishment Proclamation No.32/1992 is repealed. However, Proclamation No.32/1992 was again repealed for the second time by article 18(1) of Proclamation No. 180/1999 (Census Commission Establishment Proclamation)
The problem seems to have been created due to failure of parliament to set exact expiry date for Proclamation No.32/1992. Even though it [Proclamation No.32/1992] was expressly repealed by Proclamation No. 180/1999, its applicability was extended for indefinite period of time. According to article 19 of proclamation No. 84/1997, the previous proclamation (32/1992) will remain applicable with respect to census undertakings not completed and until such time that the Secretariat (of the Census Commission) is properly organized. Hence, someone has to wait until he/she is told that the Secretariat (of the Census Commission) is properly organized to verify whether the proclamation is active or not. It is a subjective condition and no one could for sure know that it is actually repealed. When I say no one, it includes the House of People’s Representatives. That is why it repealed the same law twice.
What is more interesting is article 20 of Proclamation No. 180/1999. It reads:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 18 (l) of this proclamation, Proclamation No. 32/1992 shall remain applicable until such time that the Secretariat is properly organized.”
It may be confusing, but this article seems to suggest that Proclamation No. 32/1992 which was repealed twice is still active for some unknown time in the future… until such time that the Secretariat is properly organized! By the way, why was it so difficult to organize the secretariat of the Census Commission? [It took more than two years!]
Repeal for the unusual ground
Why is a law repealed? There may be so many convincing justifications to repeal a law, but definitely the following two cases are wrong [I mean may be unusual] answers to the question.
· National Lottery Administration Re-establishment Proclamation No.535/2007
[Article] 22 Repealed and Inapplicable Laws
1/ The National Lottery Administration Re-establishment Proclamation No. 510/2007 .having not been published as endorsed by the House, is hereby repealed
· Addis Ababa City Government Revised Charter Proclamation No. 361/2003
[Article] 67. Repealed Laws
1) The Addis Ababa City Government Revised Charter Proclamation No. 311/2003, having been published with its contents changed without following the Legislative Procedure, is hereby deleted and replaced by this Charter
I was writing an article under a general title ‘Some unusual facts about repeal in Ethiopia’ After writing the first topic I found it good to break it down in to a series of posts. Here is the first part
Repeal of a court decision by law (Legislative review of Court Decisions?)
According to the 1995 Ethiopian Constitution, the House of Federation has a power to interpret the constitution. Although the meaning and scope of the ‘constitutional adjudication’ in general is subject to controversy among some legal scholars, practically we all agree that ordinary courts do not have any power over questions of constitutionality of a proclamation issued by the House of People’s Representatives. The courts are even reluctant to exercise their power of review over the legality of subordinate legislations (regulations and directives) and administrative decisions.
So, as I have said there is no such thing as judicial review of legislation in Ethiopia. What about legislative review of judicial decisions? I mean what about giving power to the House of People’s Representatives to repeal or invalidate those court decisions which are manifestly erroneous or contrary to public interest. I guess most of you will strongly object to this odd ‘concept.’ Yes it is odd, but there is proof that parliament has repealed or invalidated existing court decisions after they were pronounced.
If you have doubt over the validity of this fact, just read Article 3 sub 2 of Civil Code As Amended Proclamation No. 639/2009. This law was issued in response to the position of courts (including the cassation bench) in giving meaning to article 1723 of the 1960 Ethiopian Civil Code. Sub article 1 of article 1723 provides that a contract creating or assigning rights of ownership or bare ownership on an immovable or an usufruct, servitude or mortgage on an immovable shall be writing and registered with a court or notary. To be honest this article is clear and does not need any interpretation. The problem is that it is applicable to mortgage contracts concluded with banks. In practice almost all bank mortgage contracts were not registered with a court or notary. Hence, the fate of such contracts were invalidation by court. This posed a great danger to banks, especially to the commercial Bank of Ethiopia as it results in the loss of huge amount of money not collected from borrowers.
Actually, it was a problem created by the banks, (as they have failed to comply with the requirement of registration) not by the courts. Any ways parliament thought it necessary to act immediately, to reverse the situation. Then it issued Civil Code As Amended Proclamation No. 639/2009. The title of the proclamation seems to suggest that it is amendment to article 1723 of the Civil Code. However, its content clearly goes beyond amendment.
The proclamation contains three important provisions.
1. Article 2 Amendment
The title of Article 2 talks about amendment, but practically it partially repeals article 1723 sub article 1 of the civil code. Article 2 of the proclamation makes the registration requirement of contract of mortgage concluded to provide security to a loan extended by a bank or a micro-financing institution unnecessary. In effect it makes mortgage contracts concluded with banks and micro-financing institutions valid even though not registered with a court or a public notary. This applies to mortgage contracts concluded after the proclamation became effective.
2. Article 3(1) Transitory Provisions (Retroactive measure to previous contracts)
Clearly Article 2 of the proclamation was not sufficient to avert the then existing danger posed to banks. What about mortgage contracts concluded before the issuance of the proclamation? This was dealt in Article 3 sub 1 which reads:
“The validity of any contract of mortgage concluded, prior to the effective date of this Proclamation, to provide security to a loan extended by a bank or a micro-financing institution, may not be challenged for not being registered by a court or notary in accordance with Article 1723 of the Civil Code.”
This will force courts to give effect to unregistered mortgage contracts concluded not only after the effective date of the proclamation, but also to those mortgage contracts concluded before the proclamation. You may say this is against the principle of non-retroactivity of laws, but thanks to the F.D.R.E. Constitution, it only provides for non-retroactivity of criminal laws not civil laws.
3. Article 3(2) Transitory Provisions (Retroactive measure to court decisions)
Even after amending article 1723 (1) and providing a solution to previous contracts, Parliament did not stop there. Before the issuance of the proclamation, courts have already started invalidating mortgage contracts for lack of registration. No one denies the decision of courts severely affected the interest of banks. So, what should be done? (if anything is possible to be done) What about invalidating (I mean repealing) the existing court decisions? That is too extreme and violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers. However, principle gave way to saving the banks and the House of People’s Representatives invalidated the existing court decisions, rendered prior to the effective date of this Proclamation.
Here is the full text of the article
Article 3(2) of Civil Code As Amended Proclamation No. 639/200
Any court decision, rendered prior to the effective date of this Proclamation, to invalidate a contract of mortgage concluded to provide security to a loan extended by a bank or a micro-financing institution, for not being registered by a court or notary in accordance with Article 1723 of the Civil Code shall have no effect.
Proclamation No.744/2012 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China
Proclamation No.745/2012 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of Korea Ratification
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 →