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Part III The Relationship Between the Judiciary and the Political Branches, 11 Relations Between the Legislature and the Judiciary in Ethiopia

Assefa Fiseha

From: Separation of Powers in African Constitutionalism

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 January 2021

This chapter examines the relationship between the judiciary and the legislature in Ethiopia. The country has adopted a parliamentary system of government, but by contemporary standards, it has some unusual features. Its governments have historically blended judicial and executive functions, leaving the position of the judiciary somewhat unclear, and the Supreme Court has not tended to assert its power. There are signs of the use of legislative overrides to reverse individual decisions, and of ouster clauses to transfer jurisdiction on various issues from the courts to administrative tribunals within the executive. Although lower courts have attempted to review decisions of these tribunals, the Supreme Court has overruled them on the basis that it lacks jurisdiction. The highest ranks of the judiciary therefore seem to be accepting of a vision of the separation of powers in which other branches define the judicial role.

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