Derogation of the right to life and its Suspension during State of Emergency: Art 93 of FDRE Constitution



Various international, regional and domestic laws imposes obligation on the state to respect and protect fundamental human right and freedom. Stated otherwise, government has the duty respect and protect fundamental rights of its subject. Protecting and respecting these fundamental rights of its subject is internationally and regionally recognized principle.

The same principle hold true in domestic law including our country Ethiopia. FDRE constitution under its art 13(1) provides that “All Federal and State legislative, executive and judicial organs at all levels shall have the responsibility and duty to respect and enforce the provisions of this Chapter”.  As per this provision, all organs of the government be it federal and regional are duty bound to respect and enforce the provisions concerning fundamental right including the right to life. Moreover, they are under the duty to ensure the observance of the constitution and the duty to obey. In this respect, art 9(2) FDRE constitution stipulate that “state that all citizens, organ of the state, political organization, other association, as well as their official have the duty to ensure the observance of this constitution and obey it.”

However, none of these human rights are absolute and without limitation. Thus, none of human right may be applauded without limitation and absolutely and hence, be restricted.

In accordance with international human rights law there are essentially two ways in which the State put aside this international obligation. In other word, there are exceptional circumstance in which state restrict fundamental rights of its citizen. These are limitation and. Derogations.

Thus, this piece examines the status of the right to life as far as derogation of human rights is concerned under FDRE constitution. In doing so, the distinction between limitation and derogation will be put. Some international and regional human right instruments will also be dealt with.

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