Ethiopia is the home to more than 80 ethnic communities with different languages, cultural and religious diversity. Except in a few urban areas such as the capital city, most of Ethiopia's ethnic communities predominantly live in their respective distinct geographic areas of habitation. There is no ethnic community in Ethiopia a majority that comprises a population of more than 50% of the total population of Ethiopia. But there are relatively significant majority ethnic communities such as the Oromo and Amhara. Most of Ethiopia's ethnic communities are divided along mainly two religious cleavage lines: Islam and Orthodox Christianity. By crosscutting Ethiopia's ethnic cleavage lines, religion plays a moderating role in limiting the intensity of the ethnic factor in politics, giving rise to overarching loyalty.
In his viewpoint article headlined, “Unconstitutional Declaration of Unconstitutionality” (Volume 14, Number 719, February 9, 2014) posted at addis fortune, Mulugeta Argawi argued that the latest constitutional interpretation of Melaku Fenta’s case is unconstitutional, in and of itself. His argument rests on Article 84 (2) of the Constitution. I believe that it is important to counter his argument by focusing on the laws themselves.
In the previous post, I argued that legal form cannot and should not be used to allocate governmental powers and responsibilities between the federal government on the one hand and constituent units of the federation, i.e., regional states, on the other. On such basis I argued that criminal law as a form of law cannot be said to belong to the federal or regional level of government. Hence, I have cautioned against the literal and independent reading of article 55(5) of the constitution which says that the House of Peoples’ Representatives shall enact a criminal code and regional states shall enact criminal law on matters not covered by the federal criminal legislation.
ዓለም አቀፍ የሲቪልና የፖለቲካ መብቶች ቃል ኪዳን ስምምነት& ዓለም አቀፍ የሰብዓዊ መብት ሕግጋት እና በኢፌዲሪ ሕገ መንግሥት የተካተቱት ሥነ ሥርዓታዊ መብቶች መሠረታዊ ዓላማ መርማሪ አካላት ያለበቂ ምክንያትና ሕጋዊ ሥርዓት የአንድን ሰው የነጻነት መብት እንዳይጥሱ ዋስትና እና ጥበቃ መስጠት ነው፡፡ የብዙ አገሮች ሕገ መንግሥት የአንድ ሰው በሕይወት የመኖር& የአካል ደህንነትና የነፃነት መብት ከሰው ልጅ ተፈጥሯዊ ክቡርነት የመነጩ ሊደፈሩና ሊገሰሱ የማይችሉ መብቶች መሆናቸውን ያረጋገጣሉ@ መሠረታዊ መብቶቹ ተግባር ላይ እንዲውሉ ጥረት የሚደረግ መሆኑ የሚታወቅ ነው፡፡ በሌላ በኩል የእነዚህን መብቶች አፈፃፀም የሚሸረሽሩ ወይም ዋጋ የሚያሳጡ የተለያዩ የወንጀል ድርጌቶች በዓለም ውስጥ በየደረጃው በስፋት ሲፈፀም ማየትና መስማት የተለመደ ሆኗል፡፡ ይህ የማይጣጣም ሁኔታ ከልዩ ልዩ የጥቅም ግጭቶች& ከአመለካከት ልዩነት& ካለመቻቻልና ከመሣሰሉት መንስዔዎች የሚመነጭ ሊሆን ይችላል፡፡
The following is an extract from a monograph that I am developing on Ethiopian criminal law. I posted it here with a view to soliciting views from readers. Ethiopia is a federal state. Hence, the first question that should be raised is as to how trial jurisdiction is allocated between federal courts on the one hand and courts of regional states on the other.
“The great American word is freedom, and in particular freedom of thought, speech and assembly.” Robert M. Hutchins
All freedoms are a single freedom- one and indivisible, although people consider one freedom as more important than the others. The above quote from Robert Hutchins is the sole spirit of the First Amendment to the American constitution. This First Amendment lumps together the freedom of religion, of speech and the press, of assembly, and of petition.
Ethiopia, embracing Federal system of governmental structure to create a country of equal Nations, Nationalities and peoples and to put an end to authoritarian rule by democratizing the Ethiopian state and society as a whole, this being a precondition for durable peace and development. The constitution of Ethiopia explicitly acknowledges that the federal government and the states shall have the three governmental organ of legislative, executive and judiciary (Article 50(2)).
Save the constitutions of Oromia and Tigray, the remaining seven sub-national constitutions were adopted after the promulgation of the federal constitution. Accordingly, the first SNNPR constitution was adopted in 1995 as per the authorization it gets from Art 50(5) and Art 52(2) (b) of the federal constitution. This constitution was active until it was finally replaced by the revised SNPPR constitution of 2001. As it holds true for other regional constitutions, the revision was the need to constitutional zed principles of separation of power, accountability and transparency in government acts, to organize the structure and administration of state in a way that can facilitate local government, and to create a situation that eases socio-economic development in the region. At the same time, it should also be noted that there are scholars who argue that the reason for the revision of sub-national constitutions is the internal problem of EPRDF. Whatever the case, starting from the inception of a federal system in Ethiopia SNNPR adopted only two constitutions.
Over the past year we have witnessed a lot of political turmoil in the Arab world and the rest of Africa. Particularly, in Maghreb Region including Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, there are unprecedented changes that swept the North Africa States in a very short time. Now in these countries, there is a shift from, at least, one man rule to rule by some people. Although situations seem to be better than ever, nobody still certainly knows where the revolution ends up and how far the positive changes could sustain. This uncertainty is created by, among other things, the coming of allegedly extremist religious political parties, specifically in Egypt, into power.
በሀገራችን ህዝባዊ አመጽን ተከትሎ በሰኔ 2010 ዓ.ም ብትረ መንግሥቱን የሚዘውረው የብልጽግና ፓርቲ ለአመጹ ምክንያት የሆኑትን የዲሞክራሲ ጥያቄዎች ለመመለስ የተቋም ግንባታ እና የህግ ለውጦችን እያደረገ ነው፡፡ በተጨማሪም ገዢው የብልጽግና ፓርቲ ከኦሮሚያ እና አማራ ብሔር ፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ጋር በመሆን በቅርቡ በተፈራረሙት የመግባቢያ ሰነድ ሕገ-መንግሥቱን በጋራ እንዲሻሻል ለማድረግ የሚሰሩ ስለመሆኑ ተፈራርመዋል፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ እንዲሚሻሻሉ በጋራ የተስማሙባቸው የሕገ-መንግሥት የአንቀጾች ዝርዝር ላይ ስምምነት ላይ አልደረሱም(ወይም ለህዝብ ሊገልጹት አልፈለጉም)፡፡