The Right to Self-Determination: Its Scopes, Faces and Constraints of Its Enforcement Under the FDRE Constitution, Ethiopia

20 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016

Date Written: September 1, 2015

Abstract

From history and practice some nations acted as the oppressors and others were the oppressed. Some cultures, languages and religions have got recognition from the state and developed while other cultures, languages and religions have degraded and under developed. Ethiopia is not out of this fact. Amhara’s hegemony in culture, language and religion is still prevailing in Ethiopia. After disastrous civil wars were fought for many years between the central government and various ethno-liberation fronts, federal system was introduced in Ethiopia under its 1995 FDRE Constitution. Pursuant to the 1995 FDRE Constitution, right to self-determination is recognized as a constitutive principle. Hence the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia used the right to self determination including secession as their guarantee not to be subjected to the violation of their human and democratic rights again. To approve this covenant, right to self-determination is recognized as the best mechanism to check historical unjust relationship among the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia (FDRE Constitution, Preamble and Article 39). Accordingly the main objective of this study is to determine the scope of the right to self-determination, the beneficiaries, duty bearer, and addressee of the right to self-determination under the FDRE Constitution. In addition to this, the study is emphasis on the extent to which the right to self-determination is exercisable now days in Ethiopia. Furthermore, it tries to explore the legal and practical constraints to enforce the right to self-determination under the 1995 FDRE Constitution. But it is too difficult to cover all the contents of right to self-determination under this short term paper. For this reason, this study covers only some part of right to self-determination under the FDRE Constitution granted as per its Article 39. It deals only with the issue of secession, linguistic rights and the right to self-government pursuant to Article 39(1-3) of this constitution. In conclusion the right to self-determination is constrained both legally and practically though it is allowed unconditionally under the 1995 FDRE Constitution.

Keywords: Right to Self-determination, FDRE Constitution, Ethiopia

JEL Classification: Legal Scholarship Network

Suggested Citation

Gutema, Solomon, The Right to Self-Determination: Its Scopes, Faces and Constraints of Its Enforcement Under the FDRE Constitution, Ethiopia (September 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2725846 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2725846

Solomon Gutema (Contact Author)

Wollega University ( email )

395
Nekemte
Ethiopia
Ethiopia

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