Ethiopian Legal System

It was on December of the year 1994 when the FDRE (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia) Constitution was ratified by the then newly elected federal parliament. From this, a comprehensive description of Ethiopian legal system will be discussed and put into focus.

Ethiopian Legal System Related to Institutions

  • There are two houses under the FDRE      Constitution that is concerned with the country’s legislative functions.      These are the House of Federation or the HOF and the House of Peoples’      Representatives or the HPR, the first one exercising a more important      power that is bestowed to better serve the interests of the people. On the      other hand, the HOF is composed of representatives of different nation and      nationalities. There are also specialized types of institutions that deal      with crimes, law enforcement and research among others.
  • The Ethiopian legal system has      three established levels of State courts which are the State Supreme Court,  High Courts, and First-Instance Courts, each differentiated through hierarchy and scope.

Ethiopian Legal System Related to Laws

  • The highest form of law in Ethiopia is the FDRE Constitution. It serves as the ultimate basis in the drafting of policies which are studied and passed for the betterment of the Ethiopian legal system.
  • Reforms were initiated in order to clarify and achieve coherence among existing codes and laws in the Ethiopian legal system.

Ethiopian Legal System Related to Enforcement

  • The public prosecutor service is the main institution that enforces the law. Under it is the police system which is composed of the Federal Police Service, national regional states and two councils of city administration.  
  • These work together, supporting and collaborating in coming up with decisions regarding police training and skills improvement. The Ethiopian legal system comes up with improved training programs and education for police to be able to perform their duties better and acquire the needed skills and knowledge to be an efficient enforcing body in the state.

An overall assessment of the current Ethiopian legal system showed that in order to achieve clarity in the current laws, a reassessment of the whole justice system is needed.