Draft Laws

ADVOCATES’ PROCLAMATION NO…/2019 (Draft)

Article 114

Reinstatement after Short Duration

A advocate who has been suspended for six months or less pursuant to disciplinary proceedings shall be reinstated at the end of the period of suspension by filling application with an affidavit stating that he has fully complied with the requirements of the suspension order and has paid any required fees and costs.

Article 115

Reinstatement after Long Duration

  • The Code of Conduct Bard shall issue rules for an advocate suspended for more than six months or a disbarred advocate to submit petition, service petition, criteria for reinstatement and readmission, review of petition, setting the time for hearing and decision to be made by the Disciplinary Tribunal and conditions of reinstatement or readmission for the reinstatement or readmission.
  • The decision of Disciplinary Tribunal is subject to a court review.
  • No advocate shall generally be permitted to reapply for reinstatement or readmission within one year following an adverse judgment upon a petition for reinstatement or readmission.

Article 116

Review by Court

The Federal High Court may, upon petition by the respondent, review questions of law or fact in 30 days following the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal.

Article 117

Notice

  • Within [ten] days after the date of the Disciplinary Tribunal‘s order imposing a disciplinary action, the respondent who is disbarred, placed on interim suspension, or suspended for more than [six months] shall notify or cause to be notified by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested:
  1. All clients being represented in pending matters;
  2. Any co-counsel in pending matters; and
  3. Any opposing counsel in pending matters, or in the absence of opposing counsel, the adverse parties, of the order of the Court and that the advocate is therefore disqualified to act as advocate after the effective date of the order. The notice to be given to the advocate(s) for an adverse party, or, in the absence of opposing counsel, the adverse parties, shall state the place of residence of the client of the respondent.
  • The Disciplinary Tribunal may direct the issuance of notice to such financial institutions or others as may be necessary to protect the interests of clients or other members of the public.
  • The respondent shall deliver to all clients being represented in pending matters any papers or other property to which they are entitled and shall notify them and any counsel representing them of a suitable time and place where the papers and other property may be obtained, calling attention to any urgency for obtaining the papers or other property.
  • Orders imposing disbarment, suspension, or transfers to disability inactive status are effective on a date [15] days after the date of the order, except where the Disciplinary Tribunal finds that immediate disbarment or suspension is necessary to protect the public.
  • The respondent shall refund within [ten] days after entry of the order any part of any fees paid in advance that has not been earned.
  • In the event the client does not obtain another advocate before the effective date of the disbarment or suspension, it shall be the responsibility of the respondent to move in the Board or agency in which the proceeding is pending for leave to withdraw. The respondent shall in that event file with the Board, agency or tribunal before which the litigation is pending a copy of the notice to opposing counsel or adverse parties

Sub-Section Seven – Fees and Costs in Proceedings

Article 118

Administrative Fees

The Federal Bar may charge administrative fees for official acts in order to cover costs of its administration, in particular for the processing of applications to the advocates’ profession.

Article 119

Costs of Disciplinary Proceedings

The disciplinary bodies mentioned in ‎this Seven of the Proclamation may charge costs as determined in their respective by-laws and procedural rules.

SECTION EIGHT

MISCELLEANOUS

                                                        Article 120

Subsidiary Laws

Without contradicting this Proclamation, the Federal Bar has the power to issue regulations and/or bylaws for the implementation of the rules of the Proclamation.

Article 121

Transitional Provision

The Federal Attorney General shall continue the regulation of advocates pursuant to the existing laws until the Federal Bar is established and assumes its powers and responsibilities provided in this Proclamation.

Article 122

Accreditation of Law Schools or Law Faculty

  • The Federal Bar shall not establish and maintain an accreditation of law schools scheme until December 31, 2023.
  • Until December 31, 2027, an applicant for admission to the advocates’ profession does not have to fulfill the requirement to hold a Bachelor of Laws degree from an accredited law school or law faculty.
  • Applicants who have not had a reasonable chance to acquire a Bachelor of Laws degree from an accredited law school or law faculty can be exempted from this requirement.

Article 123

Re-registration

An advocate who is licensed to practice law prior to the effective date of this Proclamation shall re-register within six months following the effective date of this Proclamation.

Article 124

Repealed and Inapplicable Laws

  • The following laws are hereby repealed by this Proclamation:
  1. Federal Courts Advocates’ Licensing and Registration Proclamation No. 199/2000;
  2. Federal Courts Advocates’ License, Exam. Registration and Registration of Law Firm Fees Council of Ministers Regulations No. 65/2000; and
  3. Federal Court Advocates’ Code of Conduct Council of Ministers Regulations No. 57/1999.
  • Any law inconsistent with the provisions of this Proclamation shall not be applicable to matters covered under this Proclamation.

Article 125

Effective Date

This Proclamation shall enter into force in 6 (six) months following the date of its publication in the Federal Negarit Gazeta.

 

DONE AT ADDIS ABEBA, ON …TH, DAY OF … 2019

 

SAHLEWORK ZEWDE

PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

OF ETHIOPIA

 

 

[1] An alternative to this Article has been thoroughly disused among the Working Group members. For your proper consideration of the matter, the following is the alternative provision suggested:

Article 3

Scope of Application

  • This Proclamation shall govern the provision of legal services throughout Ethiopia.
  • Regional states may by law create regulated quasi-legal-professionals licensed to provide specific legal services with a view to improving access to justice for rural communities.
  • Regional States may prescribe requirements relating to language proficiency for advocates appearing before courts of their respective region in regional matters.

On the basis of Articles 51(3) and 55(6) of the Constitution, it could be claimed that the Federal Government has jurisdiction to pass this Proclamation and make it applicable throughout Ethiopia. This approach has the advantage of having a uniform standard for the regulation of the advocates’ profession. It will also help attain one of the Constitution’s objectives of creating one economic and political community in Ethiopia.

[2] In this regard, the members of the Working Group debated on whether this requirments is necessary or appropriate. On the one hand, it was claimed that the fact that a person has a good moral character should be presumed based on the Constitutionally-protected right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, hence, an applicant should not be required to show that he has a good moral character. The subjectivity and vagueness of the requirement of “a good moral character” and the resultant risk of abuse by the Federal Bar has also been raised as an additional ground for not inserting it as an admission requirement. On the other hand, it was argued that the requirement should be there to protect the reputation of the profession.

[3] Ibid.

[4] An alternative to this approach is to specifically oblige the federal government to allot a specific amount of budget to the Federal Bar annually for a specific period of time or permanently. These options must be assessed. In this regard, the government’s stance taken with respect to supporting the National Academy of Sciences and the Red Cross could be examined.

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