Dr. Adem Kassie Abebe, Addis Standard
Addis Ababa, November 07/2018 – The Athens Reform, which has been astonished at Ethiopia and the world, has reached the shores of the judiciary when Meaza Ashenafi was appointed Supreme Court's first presidential nominee and a real-time character inspired by the award-winning film "Difret", in which a young lawyer faces the tradition of obscene marriage. When Ethiopia is divided into a new era of democratic controversy, the importance of an independent court in a democratic game can not be exaggerated. In an interview shortly after his formal appointment, he announced that his primary task was to "restore public confidence" to the judiciary. This is a commendable goal, even though the Ethiopian courts have never really enjoyed the confidence of the people who should be redeemed and his challenge is therefore to build and maintain new confidence in the judiciary. This is an exceptional challenge, and this paragraph proposes one possible measure that would help Meaza to make progress. Before I make this contribution to the core of the law – I would like to share my thoughts on the wider context of the reforms in order to emphasize the importance of complementing the good pace that has so far been the most solemn movement in Ethiopian politics and institutional safeguards.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has led and inspired the unprecedented rejuvenation and democratic opening of Ethiopia's history. Everyone is not happy, and most are cautiously optimistic; and the abolition of security and the relative degradation of law and order, which are often necessary in the circumstances of revolution, because what unraveling is more than just a slow evolution must be addressed with anticipation, skills and timeliness. Cautiousness is understandable in a country that knows the devastated short moments of relief and lack of pleasure that is promoted by the horror of darkness. Caution may not be bad or distracting. Slight dissatisfaction is the necessary oil that will continue to fuel and return the regenerative engine. Prime Minister Abiy and his core team are constantly challenged if they continue and develop their policies and approaches continuously. The encouraging signals towards democratic liberation hopefully channel their dissatisfaction with organized and rigorous but peaceful ideas.
From Individual Goodwill to Institutional Reform
Up to now, the reforms have been largely meant to appoint appointed new sides for critical tasks. The names of women in the new wave are particularly interested in the Ethiopian people and the Mantian and international observers of the Ethiopian politics. Ethiopia now has a balanced cabinet where women have taken up 50 percent of positions, including major ministries dealing with defense and security. We have also seen new and young faces. This turning towards women and young leadership positions is likely to have a structural impact on society's development. All these positions, however, are still political denominations based on the political loyal assumptions.
On the other hand, a better test of good governance for a new administration should be measured by the appointment of institutions that require independence from political machinations. In this regard, the Heads of State and the Presidents of the Supreme Court are important starting points. Instead of staying qualified women in important positions, these two denominations are disagreeing because there are people who are noticeably politically linked to each other. The Presidency, if it is relevant and united, must remain above the policy. The designation of Sahle-Work Zewde, a prominent missionary, the president of the country, is the test of this position. Similarly, the Ethiopian Women's Law Association, Meaza Ashenafi, who is the Supreme Court President, is for the first time a genuinely independent person. The reconstruction train has also dropped closer to home than I expected. A good friend and a qualified researcher, Dr. Gedion Timothewos, has been appointed as one of three Deputy Secretary General. Like the two mentioned above, he is one of the new group of politically disordered appointments. While I believe that the prosecution of the judge in the main proceedings should be distinguished and granted to an independent institution, it is now a welcome initiation for the appointment of a young expert to the office.
An advanced and robust test of commitment to the reform of democratic liberalization is the adoption of institutional reforms. All the good names that have risen to the ladder of power have been the result of a singular goodwill. Political goodwill is indispensable. Establishments and procedures must be based on the assumption that people who come to men are not necessarily angels, and are always inconsistent. We must therefore strive to establish procedures that are unlikely to lead to the identification of qualified applicants through the necessary honesty. This is particularly important for the independent institutions such as the Presidency, the judiciary, the electoral commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman, etc. The newly appointed Advisory Council on Legal and Legal Affairs is working on some of these issues, and I hope that over time the individual goodwill will be complemented by procedural and institutional safeguards.
Confidence in the judiciary: Finding a trial
Although many have expressed concern that Mesa does not have the necessary legal experience, it is likely to work for the benefit of the judiciary. From the outside, he should not be defeated by unprecedented assumptions and sticky working methods that hinder a day-to-day facility such as the Ethiopian justice system. The challenges that await him are enormous. He will lead the judiciary, which has once again failed for its national hope; a judicial system that has caused more tears than it has dried up. Simply, the judiciary is involved, if not an active and willing participant, over the past few decades. Even when independence from political institutions was not a matter of fact, the judiciary has often been violated by allegations of high levels of corruption, extreme incompetence and lack of professionalism. Courts are often seen more consistently than the executive itself. I hope that honesty, know-how, driving and vision of Meaza will be on the way. But to achieve this he would have to face the problem. One possible idea is judicial control.
Judicial control is essentially linked to the process through which judges must carry out competence and integrity tests to determine the validity of their persistent attitudes. At the heart of legal control is that a judiciary that failed to fail to protect freedom from fear and the will of ordinary people can not be trusted to respect Ethiopian constitutional, continental and international commitments. The unique view of responsibility processes is the public's ability to express their opinions and experiences on individual judges.
Since independence of the judiciary requires that judges be protected from unreasonable effects and threats, it may be controversial to enforce supervision by means of customary jurisdictions. Despite the existing legal protection, however, a dangerous precedent continues and can give the wrong signal that new power plants are trying to get steady and replace the "old" guards of judges on their own mines. However, legal independence must be balanced on the basis of legal responsibility. As such, insofar as the independence, honesty and integrity of the verification process is guaranteed, it is justified. In order to ensure independence and integrity, appropriate procedures should be defined in advance in consultation with the judicial authorities, including, where appropriate, changes in the constitution to protect the legality of the process. Although the reputation and status of individual judges may suffer as the inspection process opens, the long-term institutional interest of the judiciary is likely to flourish. Kenya exercised a similar control procedure after the adoption of the new constitution in 2010. Together with other measures aimed at improving remedies, the process marked a considerable success and the popular approval of the judiciary increased. However, maintaining one's credibility requires only one-time verification. It must relate to deliberate and persistent efforts to improve the accessibility, speed and quality of access to justice, as well as communication strategies that continue with citizens and other critical actors.
The new president of the Supreme Court has a historic opportunity to pursue the process of purging the judiciary and build and strengthen its relative credibility. Favorable support is the safest way for a sustainable judiciary to be independent. There is, of course, the danger that new power plants may undergo a monitoring process. Therefore, the independence of the process is critical. In Kenya one of the strategies was to ensure that three of the nine members of the inspection body were foreigners. Ethiopia may not necessarily be able to react to the Kenyan process, but could exploit the success and failures of Kenya and other similar experiences in developing a process that is conceivable and actually independent. Mainly, most Ethiopian judges serve at the state level, and Meaza has only a limited power to take the taxation process down. The federal government's problems are as huge and potentially worse than at state level. In this case, all monitoring tasks at federal level are likely to trigger similar processes at state level.
Editor's note: Dr. Adem Kassie Abebe works in the construction project of the International Democratic Institute and the International IDEA. He can be reached at [email protected] / [email protected] The views expressed in this paragraph do not necessarily represent the IDEA official position.