JUDICIAL REFERRAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL DISPUTES IN ETHIOPIA: FROM PRACTICE TO THEORY
TAKELE SOBOKA BULTO
Legal systems have long known the pressure exerted by the executive or the legislative branches on their judicial counterparts in the battle for more operative legal space, or alternatively, to constrain judicial oversight of the respective activities of the other two branches of a state. Likewise, jurisdictional competitions for adjudications of constitutional issues have reached heightened proportions in some countries, due mainly to ordinary courts’ reluctance to cede cases to the stand-alone constitutional courts or other similar tribunals In Ethiopia, the trend appears to depict the polar opposite: regular courts seem to have thrown in the towel long before the jurisdictional battle begins. The trend of judicial referral of constitutional issues from and by the regular judiciary to the House of the Federation (HoF) via the Council of Constitutional Inquiry (CCI) shows that the regular courts have been too willing to relinquish their jurisdiction over constitutional disputes readily into the hands of the CCI/HoF. In some instances, such as the Coalition for Unity and Democracy v Prime Minister Meles Zenaw Asre case (the CUD case), the judiciary channels cases to the CCI/HoF without specifying the speciﬁc provision which it deems needs interpretation, and against the will and open opposition of the complainant parties before them.
COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES ON EUTHANASIA IN NIGERIA AND ETHIOPIA
ANTHONY O. NWAFOR
Discussions on euthanasia usually revolve around medical, legal and moral issues geared at determining the extent to which a physician may feel obliged to accede to the request of the terminally ill patient to bring to a graceful end his or her pain and suffering by assisting the patient to die. In some jurisdictions, physicians are statutorily conceded such rights in spite of the Hippocratic Oath. But the conservatively religious would have none of such as life is seen as sacred which only the Creator could terminate at the chosen time. This paper examines various views on euthanasia, zeroing in on criminal law regimes of two countries in Africa, namely Nigeria and Ethiopia. It is discovered that while the statutes and judicial decisions in these countries (especially in Nigeria) appear favourably disposed to the idea of passive euthanasia, active euthanasia is still criminalised whatever may be the intention of the doctor, and even at the request of the patient. A strong case is made for the need for these countries to borrow a leaf from some European countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium, which have legalised euthanasia as a mark of respect to the right of the terminally ill to choose the most honourable way of passage to the Creator while putting an end to unceasing pain and suffering associated with the ailment.
SUBSIDIARY CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS UNDER ETHIOPIAN PROPERTY LAW: A COMMENTARY
The Civil Code of Ethiopia (the Code) classifies goods into corporeals and incorporeals1. Corporeal goods, in turn, are divided into movables and im-movables2. The classification of corporeal goods into movables and immovables in the Code can appropriately be termed as the primary classification of goods. Numerous other classifications complement such primary classification of corporeal goods. These other classification of things can collectively be termed as subsidiary (complementary or secondary) classification of goods. The subsidiary classification of things includes corporeals and incorporeals, consumable and non-consumable, fungible and non-fungible, divisible and indivisible, principals and fruits, things in public domain and private domain, collective and personal assets, and ordinary and special movables.
Legal institutional hierarchies, justice and social order in Gurage area of Ethiopia
Getinet Assefa Gadena
(In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, ed. by Svein Ege, Harald Aspen, Birhanu Teferra and Shiferaw Bekele, Trondheim 2009)
Extrapolation of figures from the 1994 census and growth rate reports of the National Statistical Office show that the people referred to as the Gurage make up an estimated 3.5 million out of the total national population of around 75 million now. The Gurage consists of various linguistic sub-groups found in the central South-western part of Ethiopia. Among three main sub-groups this paper deals with the Sebat-bet Gurage found in the western part of Gurageland – the two other sub-groups being the Northern Kistane cluster and the Eastern Silte-speaking cluster (cf. Leslau, 1952, Bahru, 2002:1920). The Silte have recently asserted their own non-Gurage identity and set-up a new politico-administrative unit at equal status with the Gurage Zone in the Southern Region. The majority agriculturalist Gurage live in the rural Gurageland, settled in kin-group villages, while a number of them are engaged in various petty-trade and small to large business ventures in other parts of the country.
Indigenous legal tradition as a supplement to African transitional justice initiatives
This article interrogates the role of indigenous legal tradition (ILT) in contemporary African transitional justice initiatives. It departs from the assumption that most African cultures put emphasis on communality and the interdependence of the members of a community. Indigenous legal traditions, which include mechanisms for acknowledgement, truth telling, accountability, healing and reparations, continue to assume a prominent role in the lives of African societies and individuals. However, little attention has been given to the role of African indigenous legal tradition in terms of its contribution to post-conflict transformation. Several African societies have deeply rooted social and communal values of conflict resolution which can serve as a reservoir of wisdom in future transitional justice initiatives. In furtherance of the main theme the article discusses an example of ILT from Eritrea, and calls for a continued engagement and critical assessment of these values in promoting peace and justice in Africa.
Political Finance in Africa: Ethiopia as a Case Study
Wondwosen Teshome B.
(International Journal of Human and Social Sciences 4:6 2009)
Abstract—Since 1991 Ethiopia has officially adopted multi-party democracy. At present, there are 89 registered political parties in the country. Though political parties play an important role in the functioning of a democratic government, how to fund them is an issue of major concern. Political parties and individual candidates running for political office have to raise funds for election campaigns, and to survive as political candidates. The aim of this paper is to examine party funding problems in Africa by taking the case of Ethiopia as an example. The paper also evaluates the motives of local and international donors in giving financial and material support to political parties in emerging democracies and assesses the merits and de-merits of their donations.
A Test of Democracy: Ethiopia’s Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation
Tracy J. Ross
(Penn State Law Review)
David Ben-Gurion once said, “The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.” Freedom of criticism has long been recognized as an essential, inalienable human right; a right that is thought to transcend political and geographical borders and applies regardless of culture, language, and national origin. In Ethiopia, as democracy begins to grow despite a history of corruption and totalitarianism, freedom of expression has proven to be an unsteady notion. In fact, while Ethiopia gains respect in other aspects of the international political scene, the government struggles to justify its draconian control over the media.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN ETHIOPIA: THE JURISPRUDENTIAL DEARTH
It is almost a decade and half since freedom of expression has been proclaimed as one of the fundamental rights and freedoms recognized in the FDRE Constitution. However, there is hardly any Ethiopian jurisprudence on freedom of expression to speak of at the moment. Although numerous cases (that clearly gave rise to issues implicating freedom of expression) have been entertained in our courts, we have yet to develop a body of standards, tests and doctrines pertaining to the scope, content and legitimate limitations of freedom of expression. This void of constitutional jurisprudence can indeed undermine freedom of expression
THE ETHIOPIAN REFUGEE LAW & PLACE OF WOMEN IN IT
The history of refugees dates back as long as the history of mankind itself.
According to the Bible Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden and became thereby the first refugees . Mary and Joseph had to seek refuge in Egypt with the child Jesus Christ . Up through the ages human beings have fled from their homelands to escape the wrath of tyrants conquerors and other oppressors.
History is full of samples of persons in a position of power who used to abuse their power to persecute their fellow men for diversity of reasons. Members of ethnic , Linguistic or religious groups were made the scapegoats for alleged or real hazards or injuries to the public good . Members of different social groups have in different times been targets of accusation and attacks by authorities (governments ) and were subjected to measures of different kinds .3 As a result individuals on their own or by way of mass exodus used to flee their beloved countries .
CIVIL LIABILITY FOR VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW: THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE ERITREA-ETHIOPIA CLAIMS COMMISSION IN THE HAGUE
Violations of international humanitarian law are compensable by a state causing the violations. The roots of this obligation can be traced to Article 3 of Hague Convention IV, which states that a party to the conflict “which violates the provisions of [international humanitarian law] shall . . . be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.” A similar rule is also contained in Protocol I Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions
“Regulatory Space” in the Treatment of Foreign Investment in Ethiopian Investment Laws
Investment is, without doubt, one of the primary engines of growth in all economies. Though foreign investment could contribute its share in the process of extricating developing countries (including least-developed countries) from their vicious circle of abject poverty, the international community has thus far failed, in spite of several attempts, to strike a deal at the multilateral level to give effective legal protection to foreign investment. To reduce the implications of this legal gap at the international level, however, countries started concluding bilateral investment promotion and protection treaties (commonly called “BITs”). This resulted in the proliferation of BITs as the main instruments of promotion and comprehensive legal protection of foreign investment. By the end of 2004 the total number of BITs concluded was about 2,392 among which about 35% were concluded between developing countries. This indisputably makes BITs the main sources of international law on foreign investment.