The Justiciability of Human Rights in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
African Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2008
23 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2010
Date Written: September 15, 2008
Making human rights domestically justiciable by clearly defining their content and subjecting them to judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms of enforcement is important for their effective protection. Although a legal framework for the justiciability of human rights exists in Ethiopia, the judicial practice exhibits some problems. Lawyers and courts tend to avoid invoking and applying human rights provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and ratified international human rights treaties which form part of the law of the land. There is confusion regarding the mandate of the House of the Federation to ‘interpret’ the Constitution. Procedurally, the basic laws of the country limit ‘standing’ in human rights litigation to those with vested interest, failing to make public interest litigation possible and hence limiting the justiciability of rights. The article examines the justiciability of human rights in Ethiopia from substantive, jurisdictional and procedural perspectives. It juxtaposes law and practice in an attempt to show the extent to which rights are justiciable in the Ethiopian legal system.
While this article was published on the African Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2 (2008), by some mistake, it was the penultimate edit of the article that was finally printed on the volume. This is the final version of the piece with additions and corrections relating to the power of the President of Ethiopia, under article 71(2) of the Constitution, to proclaim international agreements approved by the country’s parliament on the official federal gazette.
Keywords: Ethiopa, federal, human rights, justiciability
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