Promoting a Culture of Research in Ethiopia’s Legal System
Research into the Ethiopian justice system is receiving a revival through collaboration between the Government of Ethiopia and the United Nations Development Programme.
Proceedings 13 papers presented at a national conference were published under the title ‘Law and Development, Legal Pluralism, Traditional Justice Systems and the Role of Legal Actors in Ethiopia’’, which was jointly launched to the public by the Justice and Legal Systems Research Institute (JSLRI) and the UNDP on 19 December 2013.
The book provides a platform for people to engage, and forwards proposals to government that can be built on to strengthen the governance system. 13 papers were presented at the workshop, and these make up the book.
Dr. Menberetsehai Tadesse, Director of JSLRI noted that ‘problems in content of law or in enforcement can greatly hamper development of a country’ and called on active stakeholder participation and contribution to this new approach which will enhance the Ethiopian legal system as well as the work of practitioners.
Mr Samuel Bwalya, UNDP Country Director added that for UNDP human progress can only be accelerated through an effective and efficient legal system.
Participants at the launching ceremony noted that themes selected are critical and have far reaching impact on overall development of Ethiopia’s jurisprudence. The book was also said to pose a further platform for research, which can help contribute to the country’s overall development, he also observed.
Appeals were also made to the legal community to further researching Ethiopia’s commercial justice system with warnings made that failure to do so may pose a serious threat to the ongoing economic development gains being witnessed across the country.
Reflections were also made of the historically unfavorable attitude towards Africa’s customary laws that led to their non-inclusion into the modern legal systems. The newly launched book was said to have paid more attention to customary laws that existed in Ethiopia.
Due to the success of the first workshop, a second national conference is to be organized under the title ‘enforcement of contracts’.