Civil Procedure


Generally, summary procedure refers to a procedure by which the plaintiff may prosecute his claim without the necessity of instituting a full-scale suit. Similarly, accelerated procedure provides for the immediate hearing of certain kinds of cases speedily and without a full-scale suit, because the nature of the case requires and renders suitable an immediate disposition. Although the procedures are different and applicable in different kinds of cases, they are related in the sense that the questions involved in both kinds of cases may be determined without full-scale suit.


On the basis of Art 273, we are coming closer to the culmination of the life of a civil suit. That is, once we address issues with regard to the pre-trial stage and trial stage; now we will embark on the final section which deals with judgment and decree.

According to Art 180 of the Civil Procedure Code, the court shall pronounce judgment in open court either at once or, as soon after as may be practicable, on some future day to be fixed by the court. Once the court renders judgment, the judgment shall be reduced to writing, signed by the member or members of the court, and be pronounced by the judger or, where there is more than one judge, by the presiding judge.

Under the adversarial system of litigation, which our system of litigation has adopted, the role of the court is minimal with regard to the examination of witnesses. This role in the adversarial system is said to be minimal only when it is compared with the inquisitorial system of litigation. However, the Ethiopian Civil Procedure Code has given the courts broad power with respect to the examination of witnesses and the production of documents at the trial. Although Ethiopia has adopted the adversarial system of litigation and the principle of party presentation, this is modified by giving the judge a potential degree of control over the conduct of the litigation.

Conduct of The Trial

As we have seen before, at the trial each party introduces the oral and documentary evidence necessary to support his side of the issue. In this section, we will consider the rules governing how this evidence is to be introduced.


All that has gone at the first hearing culminates in the trial. At the trial stage, the issues developed at the first hearing would be resolved, and then judgment and decree would be passed. To this effect, the trial essentially involves the introduction of evidence and the consideration of that evidence by the trier of fact. The Civil Procedure Code regulates:


Under this Section, we will discuss the disposition of cases after issues have been formed and before building a full-scale trial. One of the purposes in requiring clear and precise pleading and holding the first hearing is, whenever possible, to decide the case, in whole or in part, without holding a trial.

As you can remember from the previous discussions, we have already discussed instances where the court disposes of a case before requiring a full-scale trial or without sometimes even requiring the opposite party to respond.  Some of those are where the court examines the legal sufficiency of the statement of claim and the statement of defense.

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