Silencing the Ethiopian Courts: Non-Judicial Constitutional Review and its Impact on Human Rights
34 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2010
Date Written: 2008
This Report culminates a semester-long project undertaken by the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic at Fordham Law School, in partnership with faculty and students at Ethiopia's Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law, to study Ethiopia's system of non-judicial constitutional review and to investigate its impact on the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms. The 1995 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (“FDRE”) provides broad human rights protections in conformity with international human rights laws and principles. Nonetheless, the House of Federation (“HOF”), a parliamentary political organ that represents the political interests of Ethiopia's ethnic groups, is mandated to interpret the Constitution at the exclusion of the judiciary. While in Ethiopia, the Leitner Clinic-Addis Ababa Law School delegation met with Ethiopian lawyers, judges, human rights defenders, constitutional law scholars, and representatives from the Ministry of Justice, HOF, and Prime Minister's Office. This Report presents the findings of this research effort.
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