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Uniform Application of Law in Ethiopia: Effects of Cassation Decisions of the Federal Supreme Court

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image of African Journal of Legal Studies

The Ethiopian legal system has transplanted substantial elements from both Continental Law and Common Law legal systems. While the legal system is characterized by its reception of substantial rules from the Continental Law Legal System, there are some concepts transplanted from the Common Law legal system particularly incorporated in the procedural laws. Moreover, under Proclamation No. 454/2005, the interpretation of laws by the Cassation Division of the Federal Supreme Court (hereinafter Cassation Division) is made to have binding authority on all lower courts at all levels in the entire country. Although the Proclamation seems to introduce the doctrine of precedent, there is a debate as to whether what is introduced under the Proclamation amounts to a precedent system or not. Moreover, it is not expressly given whether judicial organs other than regular courts such as administrative agencies or tribunals, religious and customary courts are bound by the decision of the Cassation Division. The Proclamation also does not provide for the effects of overruling and preconditions to overrule previous decisions of the Cassation Division. The purpose of this article is to critically analyze the legal effects of the binding interpretation of law given at cassation by the Federal Supreme Court in the Ethiopian legal system.

Affiliations: 1: Ambo University, School of LawAmboEthiopia


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