Period of Limitation, Lapse of a Morgage Vs Art 3058 of the Civil code

In 2002, when I was doing my undergraduate degree, our contract law teacher started talking about period of limitation and its effect. I neither had a concept nor an argument about period of limitation under art 1845 of the civil code. I attended the whole class, tried to understand arguments, justifications and ration d’être of the period of limitation. Mulugeta Mengist, in his monograph says that period of limitation is used to ensure certainty and predictability in transactions.

Now, with some years of working experience and exposure, I feel like I have understood what period of limitation in a private contractual relationship. To restate what Mulugeta wrote unless there is a time limit after the lapse of which the right cannot be enforced, people do not feel secure to do whatever they like with respect to their property.

A limitation period is the period of time within which a party to a contract must bring a claim. Limitation period starts counting when the contract is breached, or when the damage is suffered. Period of limitation is a period of time, the expiry of which extinguishes parties’ legal remedies and also parties’ legal right. This is an absolute defense beneficial to the debtor but the burden of proof of the statute of limitation is with the debtor.

However, one court decision still perplexes me: Development Bank of Ethiopia v. Mr. Tigabu Teferra, Cassation No 78444/2005, found in vol 14. In order to give a glimpse of the case, the respondent, Mr Tigabu, borrowed money from the bank against collateral, in which the immovable property was registered in Megabit 23, 1989 E.C. After 14 years, it renewed the registration of the immovable property in the local registrar office, Merab Wolega Registration Office. The respondent argued that the renewal of the registration is against article 3058(2) of the civil code. On the other hand, the bank said that it had already given notice based on article 3 of proclamation 97/90.

At last, the cassation decided that art 3058(1) & (2) are not concerned with period of limitation but lapse of mortgage. Citing a precedent, Cassation Decision 44800/2002, Vol 10, it concluded that

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Sources of Ethiopian Privacy Law

Note: This piece is an excerpt from an upcoming law review article titled “The Dark Future of Privacy in Ethiopia, And How to Stop It”


Ethiopia doesn't have laws that are specifically designed to deal with privacy and data protection issues except a few set of rules contained in various pieces of legislation that guarantee right to privacy rather in a very indirect fashion. The major sources of Ethiopian law dealing with issues of privacy and data protection can generally be grouped into four categories. These are: (1) the constitution, (2) international human rights instruments, (3) subsidiary laws and (4) case law. This piece briefly highlights these sources of Ethiopian privacy law. In so doing, it aims at providing a synopsis of operational privacy rules in Ethiopia.

 A.   Constitution

Ethiopia recognized right to privacy throughout its brief constitutional history, albeit to a different degree. The first written constitution of 1931 explicitly recognized the right of Ethiopian subjects not to be subjected to domiciliary searches and the right to confidentiality of correspondences except in cases provided by law. These rights were also incorporated with a more amplified tone in the revised constitution of 1955. The 1987 constitution of the Dergue also did guarantee Ethiopians the right to the inviolability of their persons and home along with secrecy of correspondences. The transitional government charter didn’t make a specific reference to privacy safeguards; but it did state that all rights provided for under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) shall be fully respected, and without any limitation whatsoever.

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ስለ እንደራሴ (ውክልና) ሕግ አንዳንድ ነጥቦች


 ውክልናን የተመለከተው ሕግ በአገራችን በብዛት ስራ ላይ ከሚውሉ የሕግ ክፍሎች አንዱ ነው፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ የፍትህብሄር ሕግ ቁጥር 2199 ውክልናን እንደተረጐመው “ውክልና ማለት ተወካይ የተባለ አንድ ሰው ወካይ ለተባለው ሰው እንደራሴ ሆኖ አንድ ወይም ብዙ ህጋዊ ሥራዎች በወካዩ ሥም ለማከናወን ግዴታ የሚገባበት ውል ማለት ነው” ይላል፡፡ ከትርጉሙ ለመረዳት እንደምንችለው ውክልና የሚደረገው በወካይና በተወካይ መካከል ሲሆን በውክልናው የሚከናወኑት ስራዎች ህጋዊ መሆን አንዳለባቸው ነው፡፡ ይህ ማለት ደግሞ ህጋዊ ባልሆኑ ነገሮች ላይ የሚደረግ ውክልና ተቀባይነት የለውም  ማለት ነው፡፡ በሰፊው ስንመለከት ሁለት አይነት ውክልናዎችን እናገኛለን፡፡ እነሱም በፍተሃብሄር ሕግ ቁጥር 2189 ላይ የተቀመጠው ፍፁም የሆነ እንደራሴነት /disclosed or complete  agency/ እና በዚሁ ሕግ ቁጥር 2197 ላይ የተቀመጠው እንደራሴው በራሱ ስም ተግባሮችን የሚፈፅምባቸው የውክልና አይነት/undisclosed agency/ ናቸው:: ለዚህ ፅሁፍ አላማ ግን  የመጀመሪያው አይነት ውክልና ማለትም ፍፁም የሆነውን የእንደራሴነት አይነት እንመለከታለን፡፡ ይህም በፍትሃብሄር ህጉ ቁጥር 2199-2233 ድረስ ያሉትን የህጉን አንቀጾች የተመለከተ ይሆናል፡፡ በአጠቃላይ በዚህ ፅሁፍ ውስጥየውክልና አስፈላጊነት፣ የውክልና ምንጮች ፣ የውክልና አመሰራረት፣ የውክልና አይነቶች፣ የውክልና ግብ ፣ የተወካይና የወካይ ግዴታዎች፣ ውክልና የሚቋረጥበት ሁኔታ፣ ከውክልና መመሰረት ጀምሮ በውክልና አማካኝነት የሚከናወኑ ተግባሮችና ውጤቶቻቸው ድረስ ወካይ፣ ተወካይና የውክልና ማስረጃውን የሚሰጡ አካሎች ሊያደርጓቸው የሚገባቸው ጥንቃቄዎች የሚዳሰሱ ይሆናል፡፡


1.  ውክልና ለምን ያስፈልጋል?

አንድ ሰው አንዳንድ ተግባሮችን በራሱ ከማድረግ ይልቅ ሌላን ሰው በመወከል ተግባሮቹ እንዲከናወኑለት ይፈልጋል፡፡ ለዚህም ምክንያቱ የጊዜ ጥበት፣ የቦታ ርቀት ወይም የሁኔታዎች አለመመቻቸት፣ የእውቀት ወይም የክህሎት አለመኖርና የችሎታ ማነስ ዋናዋናዎቹ ሲሆኑ ሌሎችም በምክንያትነት ሊጠቀሱ ይችላሉ፡፡ 

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