Judicial a legitimate law on the given competence areas.

Judicial federalism in
Ethiopia: Jurisdictional tension between federal verses state judicial
competence on the matters that are constitutionally delegated to state courts
(with special emphasis on Anti-corruption proclamation.)

 

Following
the introduction of federal arrangement in Ethiopian in 1994, the court
structure and its jurisdiction is totally changed from the previous forms of
arrangement it had. The FDRE constitution appears to apply the dual judicial
principle in the establishment of judicial system in the country. Obviously,
the court jurisdiction follows the power of legislative organs that has
entitled to make a legitimate law on the given competence areas. Issue of
distribution of powers between the Federal Government and the states in general
and the adjudicative jurisdiction between the Federal courts and state courts
in particular has become a controversial point. This controversy has resulted
in due to the fact that the Constitution has established a dual court structure.
On the one hand, the dualism of the court structure presupposes that the
federal courts adjudicate federal matters based on federal laws, whereas state
courts adjudicate state matters based on state laws. However, this principle is
accompanied by an exception that the state courts can adjudicate the federal
matters by delegation power until the HPR is decide to establish the federal
first instant court and High court in the regional states by 2/3 majority, when
it believe that it is necessary to do that. Based on this delegation power, the
state courts have a judicial jurisdiction on the federal matters which has
purely reserved to the federal government, with some exceptional. On the other
hand, the federal government, in particular the legislature enacted different
federal laws which are mainly affects the judicial jurisdiction of the state. Anti-
terrorism is the law which deprives the State Courts jurisdiction as a whole
not to entertain such kind of cases. Terrorism cases are directly entertained
by the Federal High and Supreme Courts by setting aside the constitutionally
delegated power of state court on adjudicating the federal matters in according
to the federal law.

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Based
upon these facts, before looking about jurisdictional problem arise between the
two tiers of courts, firstly I would like to analyze the issues of the
structure of Ethiopian judicial federalism and try to identifies which approach
of judicial structure it is following- either it represents a commitment to
plural or interconnected systems of adjudication. Under this thesis I singled
out that the role that would be played by state courts and other state justice
organs in building and promoting the principle of federation by
applying and enforcing the federal law- which is the result of shared rule
principle in federalism.

 After putting the general idea on the judicial
federalism of Ethiopia what it look like; I will focus on the issues of
jurisdiction controversies of federal verses state court jurisdiction, if any,
by giving attention on the laws which has restricted the state courts
jurisdiction power and try to assessing the practical aspects of cases how the
federal and state courts are currently practicing and applying such laws with
conformity of the constitution provisions in related to power division
principle in addressing the question of jurisdiction when the party resisting
the courts’ jurisdiction.

Connecting
with jurisdictional tension, I quest whether it can possible for the federal
government to take back the constitutionally delegated  power to state courts just by enacting the
law which restricts the jurisdiction of state courts without following the procedural
requirements that have been laid down in the constitution or without amending
the constitution will be analyzed. By doing this what are the consequences it
have on the right of getting speedy trial on side of party, because in realty
there is caseload on federal court than state courts. How do issues of Federal
Court jurisdiction verses State Court jurisdiction is going to be resolved and
which organs of government that has power to resolve such kind of problem is also
another issue that is going to deal by this thesis.