Sub-National Constitutional Review System and the Basic Rules of Fair Trial in Ethiopia: The Case of Oromia and Tigray Regional States

Muluken Kassahun Amid


Ethiopia has ratified several human rights instruments that guarantee the right to fair trial. The federal and regional government organs in the country are bound by the provisions of these instruments. This article examines the compatibility of the constitutional review systems in Oromia and Tigray Regional States with the basic rules of fair trial such as the right to a public hearing before a competent, independent and impartial court or tribunal. Both Oromia and Tigray Regional States empower their respective Constitutional Interpretation Commissions (CIC) and Councils of Constitutional Inquiry (CCI) to entertain constitutional disputes. Each organ in both regional states is characterized by a centralized non-judicial model of review system. There are several factors that make each reviewing institution less compatible with the elements of basic rules of fair trial. A careful redesigning of the institutions and recognizing the guarantees of relevant human right instruments adopted by the country is primarily recommended.

Keywords: Fair Trial, Tigray, Oromia, CIC, CCI, Human Rights Instruments

DOI: 10.7176/JCSD/53-02

Publication date: November 30th 2019

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