The Control of constitutionality of laws - a comparative analysis between Ethiopia and Nigeria

This essay examines the normative contemporary constitutional law question ‘how constitutionality of laws is controlled?’ under Ethiopian and Nigerian Federal Systems. In constitutional terms, both this question and federal systems require a written constitution that serve as a fundamental or basic law and placed hierarchically at the highest peak.

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Access to Justice under the International Human Rights Framework

This is a follow up on the post ‘Conceptions of Access to Justice’. It seeks to outline the international human rights framework on ‘the right to access to justice’ and briefly set out a monitoring framework capable of measuring the extent to which the right has been realized in a given national jurisdiction. Hopefully, this would lay the basis for consideration of the state of access to justice in the Ethiopian context in upcoming posts.

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Briefing Notes on Human Rights Education

This ‘Briefing Notes’ have been prepared to serve as an introductory orientation and awareness raising material targeting members of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission as well as sections of the general public. It is intended to introduce the conception and recognition of human rights education in the international and national human rights systems and the activities of the Commission in this important area forming part of its core mandate. Alas, it was never used (the fault being totally and wholly mine). Hopefully, someone could make some use of it.

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Assessment of National Response to Child Labor in Ethiopia

This post, which was originally part three of a larger report, seeks to assess the national response to child labour in Ethiopia in light of the international standards identified in the previous part of the report. The assessment principally focuses on the ratification of international instruments relevant to child labor and harmonization of legislation with their stipulations. Since Ethiopia does not yet have a comprehensive policy on child labour, the assessment does not directly cover issues that must be addressed through the policy framework.

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Rocks of Hope: Interrogating PM DR Abiy Ahmed’s Reform within the Boomerang Model of Human Rights

As I write this term paper, stream of demonstrations across Ethiopia has continued owing to human rights violations. Human rights and social movements have constitutive relationship. An Ethiopian scholar of human rights focuses on policy outcomes and legal decisions. Scholarship that examines this link in Ethiopia is relatively slow to develop.

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Conceptual and Methodological Framework for Human Rights Monitoring

This material was initially prepared in 2010 as part of a background document for developing a national human rights report for Ethiopia. Its publication here is intended to serve as an input for individuals and groups interested in preparing a human rights monitoring report as well as informing discussion on the assessment of existing or future human rights monitoring reports. God willing, I hope to follow it up with a brief assessment on implementing access to justice in Ethiopia as per this framework.

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The Right to Bail in Cases Involving Sexual Offences against Children

This post was originally prepared for use in the internal publications of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission in an effort to strengthen the engagement of the Commission in protecting and promoting the rights of victims of sexual offences while at the same time ensuring the due process rights of the accused. However, it never got to see the light of day for reasons unrelated to its content. Now that we are done with the adoption of a criminal justice administration policy and taking up the revision of the criminal procedure code, it may be time to give it another try.

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What is the 'good' in good governance?

This piece aims to highlight the link between good governance and democracy. Examining the key components of both argues that the two concepts are indeed one and the same: ‘good governance’ is but a sanitized name for ‘democratic governance’. (I have to admit a dislike for the term ‘good governance’, which, for me, suggests that it is an option rather than an obligation tied to a set of fundamental rights.)

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Access to Justice and Legal Aid in Ethiopia

I wrote This brief article for the internal newsletter of the EHRC; it never got published due to delays in the coming out of the newsletter. I have planned to update it with additional information on recent events such as the new mandate of the MoJ to assist ‘women and children’ in civil cases. The intensified criminal legal aid activities of the Public Defenders Office under the Federal Supreme Court should also be mentioned. Finally, one should be wary of the current status of CSO/NGO legal aid programs in light of the post-Charities and Societies Proclamation challenges. As far as I can tell, the only ones that have survived are those supported through the EHRC funding initiative. Anyway, I believe the original version could serve as a starting point until I (or someone else) can develop a revised version. So, here it is.

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Contemporary Violations of Human Rights in Ethiopia in light of Tripartite Human Rights Obligations

“The world can never be at peace unless people have security in their daily lives.”

UNDP. 1994. Human Development Report 1994.

When governments or non-state actors do horrible, cruel and unjust things to their citizens we are now likely to describe those actions as violations of human rights instead of simply saying that they are unjust, immoral, or barbaric. Human rights are not just illusions they are certain basic entitlements tied to all human beings irrespective of any status.

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