I am interested in using comparative, economic, and legal approaches and insights to understand, explain and assess institutional, policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks governing various activities. In the past, I was a research fellow in the United Nations, working on climate governance and regulatory affairs, and a lecturer of law at Mekelle University and University of Surrey. I studied comparative law and economics at Addis Ababa University (LLB, 2001); Ghent University (LLM, 2004); Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Ghent University and University of Manchester (EMLE, 2009); and University of Surrey (Ph.D., 2011).

ተጨማሪ ማስታወሻ፡‘መንግስት ወይም ለሕዝብ አገልግሎት የቆመ መስሪያ ቤት ላይ’ ግዴታ የሚጥሉ ዉሎች በምን አይነት ቅርጽ መሆን አለባቸዉ?

ሰበር ችሎቱ በመዝገብ ቁጥር 11270 የሚቀራረብ ጭብጥ አጋጥሞት ነበር፡፡ በዚህ መዝገብ የሚሟገቱት የትምህርት መሳሪያዎች ማምረቻና ማከፋፈያ ድርጅት እና አንድ የቀድሞ ሰራተኛዉ ናቸዉ፡፡ ጥያቄዉ ጉዳዩ በአዋጅ ቁጥር 42/83 ይሸፈናል ወይ የሚል ነበር፡፡ ይህን የተመለከተዉ ሰበር ችሎቱ በመጋቢት 23 ቀን 1997 በሰጠዉ ዉሳኔ እንዲህ ብሏል፡፡

ለዚህ ጉዳይ አግባብነት ያለዉና የአመልካች መስሪያ ቤትን ያቋቋመዉ አዋጅ ቁ.266/76 በአንቀጽ ንኡስ አንቀጽ 1 ላይ መስሪያ ቤቱ የመንግስት መስሪያ ቤት እንደሆነ ደንግጓል፡፡ ይህም ማለት በመርህ ደረጃ አመልካች መስሪያ ቤት አስተዳደራዊ ስራዎችን የሚሰራ ሆኖ በአጋጣሚ ግን ከምርት ዉጤቶቹና ከአገልግሎት ዋጋ ገቢ ያገኛል፡፡ የመስሪያ ቤቱን በጀትም የተመለከትን እንደሆነ በአብዛኛዉ ከመንግስት ከሚሰጥ አመታዊ ድጋፍ እንደሚገኝ የማቋቋሚያዉ አዋጅ አንቀጽ ንኡስ አንቀጽ 1 ይገልጻል፡፡ ከዚህም በተጨማሪ መስሪያ ቤት በትምህርት ሚኒስቴር ስር ሆኖ በመቋቋሙ አስተዳደራዊ ስራዎችን ከመስራት በቀር በትርፍ ስራ ላይ ሊሰማራ እንደማይችል እንረዳለን፡፡ በመጨረሻም በአንቀጽ 9 ንኡስ ቁጥር 2/ሀ/ ላይ እንደተመለከተዉ መስሪያ ቤቱ ሰራተኞችን የሚቀጥረዉ፤ የሚያስተዳደረዉም ሆነ የሚያባርረዉ በመንግስት ሰራተኞች ሕግ ነዉ፡፡

በአጠቃላይ መስሪያ ቤቱ ተጠሪ በተሰናበተበት ጊዜ በዋናነት አስተዳደራዊ ስራዎችን የሚሰራ በመሆኑ እና በጀቱንም በዋናነት ለመንግስት በየአመቱ የሚያገኝ በመሆኑ አመልካች መስሪያ ቤት በአዋጅ ቁ.42/85 የሚሸፈን አልነበረም፡፡

በመሆኑም ይህ ችሎት በአመልካች እና በተጠሪ መካከል ያለዉን ግንኙነት የሚገዛዉ አዋጅ ቁ.42/85 አይደለም ሲል ወስኗል፡፡ በዚህም አቤቱታ የቀረበባቸዉን የስር ፍ/ቤቶች ዉሳኔ በፍ/ብ/ሥ/ሥ/ሕግ ቁ.348(1) መሰረት ሽሮታል፡፡

የትምህርት መሳሪያዎች ማምረቻና ማከፋፈያ ድርጅት በኋላ ላይ እንደ ልማት ድርጅት መልሶ ተደራጅቷል፡፡ በፊት ግን የራሱ የሕግ ሰዉነት ያለዉ ድርጅት ሲሆን የሚተዳደረዉ በትምህርት ሚኒስቴር ስር ሲሆን እንቅስቃሴዎቹን በየአመቱ በሚወሰን በጀት ይሸፍናል፡፡ ሰበር ችሎቱም ድርጀቱ በትምህርት ሚኒስቴር ስር የሚተዳደርና በአመታዊ በጀት የሚደገፍና ምንም እንኳ ገቢ ቢያመጣም የአስተዳደር ስራ የሚሰራ መስሪያ ቤት በሚል ወስኗል፡፡

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Update: When can regulation be used to amend provisions of a proclamation? አዋጅን በደንብ ወይም በመመሪያ ማሻሻል ይቻላል?

Since posting this few days ago my attention were brought to a Comment that was posted on facebook. Since I have deactivated my account, the editor of the website copied and sent me the Comment. The Comment is by Abadir Ibrahim who wrote:

This is an interesting but incomplete work. The author does not try that hard to find counterarguments. Simple examples of counterarguments could be – 

1.         such practice increases the risks of authoritarianism by giving an already powerful executive more powers & risks pulling down democratic progress of the country;

2.         the HPR cannot delegate the power to make proclamations since what is being suggested here is in effect giving the COM the power to make proclamations (you can’t escape by calling ‘regulation’ what is in reality a proclamation);

3.         the regulation power of the COM cannot affect rights and duties of citizens and groups (for ex the regulation cannot increase the age requirement) because only parliament can pass laws that limit rights;

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‘መንግስት ወይም ለሕዝብ አገልግሎት የቆመ መስሪያ ቤት ላይ’ ግዴታ የሚጥሉ ዉሎች በምን አይነት ቅርጽ መሆን አለባቸዉ?

መግቢያ

የፍትሐ ብሔር ሕግ ቁጥር 1724 እንዲህ ይነበባል፤ መንግስት ወይም ለሕዝብ አገልግሎት የቆሙ መስሪያ ቤቶች ግዴታ የሚዋዋሉባቸዉ ዉሎች ሁሉ በጽሁፍና በሚገባ አኳኋን በፍርድ ቤት መዝገብ ወይም ባንድ ባስተዳደር ክፍል መስሪያ ቤት መዝገብ ወይም ዉል ለማዋዋል ስልጣን በተሰጠዉ ሰዉ ፊት መሰራት አለባቸዉ፡፡ እንግሊዘኛዉ ደግሞ እንዲህ ይነበባል፤ Any contract binding the Government or a public administration shall be in writing and registered with a court, public administration or notary. የኪራይ ቤቶች አስተዳደር ድርጅት የሚዋዋላቸዉ ዉሎች በዚህ የፍ/ብ/ሕ/ቁ.1724 የሚወድቁ ናቸዉ ወይ የሚለዉን ጥያቄ ለመመለስ እሞክራለሁ፡፡ ለዚህ ጽሁፍ መነሻ የሆነዉ የፌዴራል ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ሰበር ችሎት በሰ/መ/ቁ.14285 በመጋቢት 15 1997 የሰጠዉ ዉሳኔ ነዉ፡፡

ጉዳዩ የተጀመረዉ የኪራይ ቤቶች አስተዳደር ድርጅት በፌዴራል መጀመሪያ ደረጃ ፍርድ ቤት በአንድ ግለሰብ ላይ በመሰረተዉ ክስ ዉዝፍ የቤት ኪራይ ባለመክፈላቸዉ እንዲከፍሉ ይወሰንልኝ በማለት ነዉ፡፡ ግለሰቡም ዉሉ ላይ የኪራይ ቤቶች አስተዳደር ድርጅት ሃላፊ ሆነ እራሱ አልፈረሙበትም፤፤ ኪራይ ክፈልበት በተባልኩበት ቤት ዉስጥም አልኖርኩም፤ የተከራየዉ ሌላ ቤት ሲሆን በዚያም የሚጠበቅበትን ክፍያ እንደፈጸመ በመግለጽ ተከራክሯል፡፡ 

የፌዴራል መጀመሪያ ደረጃ ፍርድ ቤት

የፌዴራል መጀመሪያ ደረጃ ፍርድ ቤት በዉሳኔዉ ኪቤአድ የመንግስት መስሪያ ቤት ነዉ፡፡ በፍ/ብ/ሕ/ቁ. 1724 መሰረት ደግሞ የመንግስት መስሪያ ቤቶች ዉል በጽሁፍ መሆን አለበት፡፡ በፍ/ብ/ሕ/ቁ. 1727(1) እና (2) መሰረት ደግሞ በጽሁፍ የሚደረገዉ ዉል በሁለት ምስክሮች መረጋገጥ አለበት፤ ይህ ካልሆነ ዉሉ አይጸናም፡፡ ለጉዳዩ መነሻ የሆነዉ ዉል በሁለት ምስክሮች ያልተረጋገጠ በመሆኑ አይጸናም በሚል ወስኗል፡፡ ይህም ዉሳኔ በፌዴራል ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት በመጽናቱ የሰበር አቤቱታ ለጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ቀርቧል፡፡

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When can regulation be used to amend provisions of a proclamation? አዋጅን በደንብ ወይም በመመሪያ ማሻሻል ይቻላል?

Looking for a file in my computer, I stumbled upon this that I wrote a year or so ago, in relation to a debate/conversation that I was having with friends on facebook. Now I said why not and posted it here.

The thesis

The thesis is: regulation can be used to amend provisions of a proclamation provided that there is clear substantive basis in the proclamation which the regulation is meant to amend. To illustrate this we can take the following hypothetical proclamation and regulation. 

Hypothetical Proclamation

Whereas the government has responsibility to protect and promote the safety of its citizens;

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ያልተመለሰ የገንዘብ ብድር ያለስምምነትና ያለማስታወቂያ/ያለማስጠንቀቂያ ወለድ ይቆጥራል?

የጉዳዩ መነሻ

ለዚህ አጭር ጽሁፍ መነሻ የሆነኝ የፌዴራሉ ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት ሰበር ችሎት በሰበር መዝገብ ቁጥር 74950 የሰጠዉ ዉሳኔ ነዉ፡፡ ጉዳዩ የገንዘብ ብድርን ይመለከታል፡፡ ተበዳሪ ከአበዳሪ በታሕሳስ 26 ቀን 1995 የተወሰደዉን ብር 237000.00 በጥር 30 ቀን 1995 ለመመለስ ቃል ገብቷል፡፡ ነገር ግን ገንዘቡን ሳይመልስ በመቅረቱ የአበዳሪ ወራሾች በተበዳሪ ላይ ሐምሌ 21 ቀን 2002 ባስገቡት ክስ ተበዳሪ ዋናዉን ገንዘብ እንዲመልስና ከየካቲት 01 ቀን 1995 መሰረት የሚታሰብ ወለድም እንዲከፍል ዳኝነት ይጠይቃሉ፡፡ ተበዳሪ በበኩሉ በዉላቸዉ ዉስጥ ወለድ ይከፍላል የሚል ቃል እንደሌለና ማስታወቂያ/ማስጠንቀቂያ ስላልተሰጠዉ ወለዱን መክፈል እንደማይገደድ ይከራከራል፡፡ በዚህ ሙግት የተነሳዉና ይህ ጽሁፍ የሚዳስሰዉ ጥያቄም ይኸዉ ነዉ፤ ያልተመለሰ የገንዘብ ብድር ያለስምምነትና ያለማስታወቂያ/ያለማስጠንቀቂያ ወለድ ይቆጥራል?

ከፍተኛዉ ፍርድ ቤት

ጉዳዩን ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ የተመለከተዉ የፌዴራሉ ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት፤ የብድር መመለሻ ጊዜዉ ቁርጥ (ጥር 30) ባለመልኩ ስለተቀመጠ በፍ/ብ/ሕ/ቁጥር 1775(ለ) መሰረት ይህ ጊዜ ካለፈ በኋላ ገንዘብ ጠያቂዉ ማስጠንቀቂያ መስጠት አያስፈልገዉም፡፡ ስለሆነም ማስጠንቀቂያ ስላልተሰጠኝ ወለድ ልከፍል አይገባም የሚለዉ ክርክር ተቀባይነት ስለሌለዉ ተበዳሪ ከየካቲት 01 ቀን ጀምሮ ገንዘቡ ተከፍሎ እስከሚያልቅ ድረስ ከሚታሰብ ሕጋዊ ወለድ ጋር ዋናዉን የብድር ገንዘብ ይክፈሉ ሲል ወስኗል፡፡

ጠቅላይ ፍርድ ቤት

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On the power of the federal government to develop and enforce criminal laws

The following is an extract from a monograph that I am developing on Ethiopian criminal law. I posted it here with a view to soliciting views from readers.

Ethiopia is a federal state. Hence, the first question that should be raised is as to how  trial jurisdiction is allocated between federal courts on the one hand and courts of regional states on the other.

Related to the jurisdiction to try criminal cases is the respective roles of federal and regional governments in the development of criminal laws. Article 51 of the Constitution enumerates the powers of the federal government. Since the federal government consists of legislative, executive and judicial arms, it can be assumed that, on these enumerated matters, the federal government will generally have legislative, executive and judicial powers. For example, the federal government is mandated to ‘determine matters relating to nationality’. On this basis, it may be submitted that, the federal government possesses legislative, judicial and executive powers over matters relating to nationality.

An exception is only with respect to certain matters. For example, the constitution authorizes the federal government to enact laws for the utilization and conservation of land and other natural resources. And regional states are entitled to administer land and other natural resources in accordance with federal laws. From these it follows that the federal government has only legislative power regarding utilization and conservation of natural resources. The power to administer such resources is left to regional states, except in relation to international rivers and waters or those crossing or linking two or more regional states. It can, therefore, be concluded that except in those cases where its power is specifically restricted, like in the case of natural resources, the federal government exercises legislative, judicial and executive powers over those matters enumerated in Article 51.

The Constitution goes further and explicitly deals with the powers of the House of Peoples’ Representatives, the legislative arm of the federal government. The House of Peoples’ Representatives is said have the power of legislation in all matters assigned by the constitution to federal jurisdiction. This is a reference to the twenty-one items enumerated in Article 51. Therefore, on these twenty-one items the House of Peoples’ Representatives exercises legislative power.

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If the doctrine of precedent did not exist, it would have to be invented

A law that that has been in force since 2005 (Federal Courts Proclamation 454/2005) declares that interpretations of law, rendered by the Cassation Division of the Federal Supreme Court (hereinafter referred to as CDFSC), are binding on all federal and state courts. However, according to the same law, this does not prevent the CDFSC from providing a different interpretation in the future.

The binding nature of precedents is a fascinating topic. After learning that this was raised in one of the electoral debates in 2010, I have decided to put my thoughts in writing. Several questions should be addressed if one is to have a clear position on the matter.

Should interpretations of law provided by higher courts be binding on lower courts? If so, should lower courts be obliged to follow only interpretations of the CDFSC or should they also follow the interpretation of law given by the ordinary appellate divisions of the federal supreme and high courts? If at all it is desirable that courts follow interpretations of law provided by higher courts, how do you make sure that that is so--is it by passing a proclamation which declares precedents to be legally binding? Is it desirable that the CDFSC is not bound by its previous interpretation?

There is one characterization of law which has already become a cliché: that in law two plus two is not necessarily four. To a large extent it is a characteristic which is unfortunate, particularly in the area of commerce. To a limited extent, however, the ambiguity, uncertainty which this characterization is meant to portray is desirable and unavoidable. To the extent that it is undesirable, therefore, attempts should be made to ensure that legal consequences of alternate courses of actions are predictable; that the sum of two and two is predictable whether it is 4 or 999.9. The question is: how do you ensure that the sum of two and two is the same whether it is Mekelle or Hawassa. Obviously having the same text of law is not the solution.

That is where the system of appellate review and the hierarchical structure of courts play important roles. One self-evident purpose of appeal is to correct errors made by lower courts. If that was the sole objective of the system we would have many federal supreme courts.

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