The Rule of Compromise versus Rule of Law: which is a Replicating Phenomenon in Non – Western societies? (A Specific Case Study)


The aim of this paper is to examine the key issues with regard rule of law in a narrower sense with the view and in comparable of rule of compromise in non-western societies where the latter focuses in African nation. The issues of Awramba’s is peculiar to this paper. Asserting that this phenomenon is replicable, the paper underpins the various arguments highlighting the incorporation extent of the rule of law on indigenous traditions under the broader umbrella of rule of compromise. Further, the paper addresses the necessity of reconciliation and restoration of harmony even in African continent when its children breach the laws than adjudicate by outsider’s law. In doing so, a little show on the Awramba’s experience of rule of compromise and its footages in promoting development and  stability will be reflected.


Recently, due to the new politico-legal order in Ethiopia, the federative arrangement emphasizes cultural and legal pluralism and accommodates diversity in a plural democratic federal setting. Relegating the history of Ethiopian legal system before 1930’s, along with the enactment of the criminal code of 1930 and the proclamation of Administrative Justice of 1942, the state courts were established (shack et al 1966:163). The law adopted a foreign system of justice and borrowed many elements from western legal system (Abera 1998). This prevents the new law from conducting a serious investigation of local customary laws and safeguards the traditional values and thereby attaches the profound sentiments of the peoples with the code (Allott et al 1969:32). As Rene (1963:193) noted in his article that Ethiopia tends to modify its structures completely to the way of life of the people and consequently the citizens didn’t expect the new code to be a work of consolidation, the methodological and clear statement of actual customary rules, they wish it to be a program envisaging a total transformation of a society and they demand that for the most part of it set out new rules appropriate for the society they wish to create.


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