Constitutional Review: The Ethiopian Perspective

Getachew, Efrem Tamirat (2015) Constitutional Review: The Ethiopian Perspective. Masters thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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For a given state to be a constitutionally democratic one in which constitutional values and principles sought to be realized through fostering limited and self-government ingredients, an institutional mechanism of enforcing constitutional supremacy must be there. These ingredients amongst others include the provision of basic rights and freedoms, division of governmental powers between the two levels of government or separation of powers between and among the three arms of government, a representative government, extra-ordinary amendment procedures of provisions in constitution, and recognition of the constitution as the higher law of the land. Experiences around the world have been telling us that in nations whereby stable constitutional democracy has been built, basic rights and freedoms are protected and enforced in a better manner, governmental processes are limited, Popular sovereignty Political freedoms, and rule of law...etc. have been flourished. In contrary to this, in states who failed to build a stable constitutional democracy, there have been instabilities and it has been a reason for the birth of dissident groups, as well as the coming in to power and dethrone of a number of governments. Popular revolutions in USA and France in the last quarter of eighteenth century are instances of the latter case. The post revolution eras in these countries and in post-world war two eras of other countries (e.g. Germany) where by constitutional democracy had been built successfully over periods of time through their effective system of constitutional review are indicators of the first instance. The central issue of this study focuses on, whether or not our constitutions, since the adoption of the 1931 constitution of Ethiopia, had been recognizing these important means of constitutional democracy and facilitated their practicability through a system of an independent and effective constitutional review. The writer‟s investigation of this issue reveals that the pre- 1991 Ethiopia, except the 1975 draft constitution of Ethiopia, the essence of constitutional democracy had not been built. Reasons are either limited recognition of the ingredients of constitutional democracy or the absence or ineffective institutional means of guarding these constitutional values. The ineffectiveness reason has to do with those constitutions failure to empower courts the power to review legislative and executive acts. A look in to the 1995 FDRE constitution reveal that these ingredients are there; but, the institution empowered to guard these values is not the judiciary. The writer on the basis of historical and practical reasons calls the empowerment of the ordinary courts or constitutional court to this power. As the last option, given technical and independence reasons he calls the need to readjust the existing system of constitutional review.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Emmanuel Ndorimana
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 09:23
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 09:23

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