Journal Articles and Materials on Ethiopian Land Law and Land Tenure System

Assessing the Certification Process of Ethiopia’s rural Lands

Etablissement de la procédure de certification de terres rurales en Éthiopie

 Klaus Deiningera, Jaap Zevenbergenb, Daniel Ayalew Ali


 Contracting for Land: Lessons from Litigation in a Communal Tenure Area of Ethiopia

Sandra Fullerton Joireman


Human Rights Approach to Land Rights in Ethiopia

Belachew Mekuria



  Harrison C. Dunning


Land Tenure in Ethiopia Continuity and Change, Shifting Rulers, and the Quest for State Control

Wibke Crewett, Ayalneh Bogale and Benedikt Korf


Land Valuation for Expropriation in Ethiopia: Valuation Methods and Adequacy of Compensation

Daniel Weldegebriel AMBAYE


Property Rights in a Very Poor Country:  Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Ethiopia

Daniel Ayalew,  Stefan Dercon  and Madhur Gautam


Rural land certification in Ethiopia: Process, initial impact, and implications for other African countries

Klaus Deininger, Daniel Ayalew Ali, Stein Holden, and Jaap Zevenbergen



 Klaus Deininger, Songqing Jin, Berhanu Adenew, Samuel Gebre-Selassie and Berhanu Nega


Land scarcity, tenure change and public policy in the African case of Ethiopia: Evidence on efficacy and unmet demands for land rights

Tesfaye Tekelu


The Legal Status of the Communal Land Holding System in Ethiopia: The Case of Pastoral Communities

 Mohammud Abdulahi


The protection of land rights in Ethiopia

Montgomery Wray Witten


Urban Land Lease Policy of Ethiopia Case study on Addis Ababa and Lease towns of the Amhara National Regional state

Belachew Yirsaw

WOMEN AND LAND RIGHTS IN ETHIOPIA: A Comparative Study of Two Communities in Tigray and Oromiya Regional States

Hadera Tesfa

Federations and Second Chambers

Federations and Second Chambers

[Taken from   FEDERALIAM TEACHING MATERIAL( JLSRI)  by Dr. Assefa Fissha]

…It  is  argued  that  a  second chamber based on a different composition and representing the interests of states, more specifically  less populous states, is an  institution that reflects the normative diversity  inherent  in  federalism.  It  is  also suggested  that  second  chambers reflecting  the  entrenched  representation  of  the  states  distinguishes  federations from  other  types  of  polities.  This  chapter,  comparative  in  its  approach, commences by considering  the underlying  rationale  for having second chambers and then proceeds to their manner of composition, election and more importantly,
the powers entrusted upon them by their respective constitutions. The main point that the author develops is the idea that the Ethiopian Constitution, by establishing a  non-legislative  upper  house,  runs  the  risk  of  concentration  of  power  at  the center, to the exclusion of the states, and consequently leaves the states alone. The Constitution fails to ensure the constituent units‟ proper place in the institutions of power sharing as well as  in  the process of policy-making at  federal  level and  by doing so it betrays the federal idea significantly..

READ FULL TEXT OF Federations and Second Chambers


pre-1995 Ethiopian legislations

Now it seems relatively easy to get acess to the soft copy of Ethiopian legislations on the internet. There are some local and foreign sites maintaing a database of ethiopian laws. The federal Supereme court for instance, has uploaded ethiopian laws on its web site. Unfortunately you will not get laws issued in the past two years. They simply uploaded the collection of laws and codes that was first released through a CD. A very good place to look for ethiopian laws is the official site of the House of Peoples Representatives. But still there are some unfortunate news about the parliament’s web sites. Firstly the site is limited to providing laws issued by parliament i.e. Proclamations. Therefore it is not an option to find Regulations, Codes and Directives. Secondly, most of the time it is difficult to acess the website.

You can also acess all proclamation, directives, Codes and regulations on this blog (Ethiopian Legal Brief) just go to the Federal Laws page and click on any of the items of your choice. ( Click here to the laws page)

One problem generally applicable to all sites is that there is no single source providing a comprehensive and compele list of all ethiopian laws starting from the Imperial era. All the ethiopian laws available on a CD or on the internet start from Proclamation no. 1/1995. In some cases it is even difficult to get the hard copy of these laws.

For those of you who are in need of pre -proc no.1/95 ethiopian legislations, you can view, download or print some of them by following the links below.



The difficult task of defining “person”

“Definition is an attempt to state in precise terms the meaning of a word or of an expression. In legislation it should be used only as an aid to clarity and to reduce vagueness as much as possible. It should be used only when necessary and should be as complete as possible.”


If you join a law school, the first thing they will tell you on the first day of class is this: “you are not the only person in this world!” They will tel you that there are also other persons having rights and duties just like you. You may be confused for the time being, but at the end of the first class, you will realize that these so called “other persons” are not natural or physical persons. They are simply fictions of the law and are assigned names like artificial persons, juridical persons legal persons etc.. After 5 or more years the whole concept of law of persons seems easy to comprehend. That may be true. But, imagine someone asking you the definition of a person years after your graduation from law school. How do you define it? Just before making any attempt  you should see how “person” is defined by different drafters.  Personally I am not concerned with content of the specific definition. But I am highly critical of the lack of uniformity which may ultimately lead to ambiguity and confusion.

So, what is “person?”

Definition One

“Person” means a natural or juridical person.

This is more or less the standard definition in most of the statutes.  For instance, you may see Article 2(32) of Federal Government of Ethiopia Financial Administration Proclamation No. 648/2009, Article of 2(3) of both Employment Exchange Services Proclamation No. 632/2009 and  Flag Proclamation No. 654/2009.

Definition Two

“Person” mean a physical or juridical person ( Article 2(19) of Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation No. 590/2008)

Compare definition one and two. Is there any difference between ” a natural” and ” a physical”?

Definition Three

“Person” means any natural or juridical person

Person is defined in this way in article 2(16) of Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia Establishment Proclamation No. 102/1998 and article 2(23) of Ethiopian National Archives and Library Proclamation No. 179/1999.

What does the word “any” signify here? is “a natural” the same “any natural?”

Definition Four

“Person” means any physical or juridical person ( article 2(22) of  Drug Administration and Control Proclamation No. 176/1999.)

any physical? Now I am totally confused. I need to to take law of persons ( or may be the law of “any persons!” ) class again.

Definition Five

“Person” means any natural person or juridical organization (article 2(3)  of Fertilizer Manufacturing and Trade Proclamation No.137/1998.)

Here juridical person is substituted by  juridical organization.

Definition Six

“Person” means any physical or legal person. (Article 2(13) of Health Proclamation No. 200/2000.)

It seems there is no end. Is legal person different from juridical person or juridical organization?

Definition Seven

“Person” means any natural person or any organization irrespective of having juridical personality

( 2(8) Stamp Duty Proclamation No. 110/1998)

What type of person is this definition referring to? is it even a person?

More Definitions: no Comment!

  • “Book” means any published document which contains non-current news and consisting of not less than
    forty nine pages
  • “Publisher” means any publisher in the country
  • “Printing Press” means any entity in the country carrying on printing activities;

(  Ethiopian  National Archives and Library Proclamation  No. 179/1999)

  • “motor vehicle” means any type of wheeled vehicle moving by mechanical or electrical power for use on road
  • “road” means any road, street, highway, rural road or any other travel route, customarily used by vehicles other than private roads not open to all traffic

( Driver’s Qualification Certification License Proclamation No. 600/2008)

  • “worker” means shall have the meaning as defined in the Labour Proclamation No. 377/2003, and includes job seekers as appropriate
  • “employer” means shall have the meaning as defined in the Labour Proclamation No. .377/2003

(Employment Exchange Services Proclamation No. 632/2009)