Ethiopia’s Constitution of 1994
Article 78. 1. An independent judiciary is established by this Constitution. 2. Supreme Federal judicial authority is vested in the Federal Supreme Court. The House of Peoples’ Representatives may, by two-thirds majority vote, establish nationwide, or in some parts of the country only, the Federal High Court and First-Instance Courts it deems necessary. Unless decided in this manner, the jurisdictions of the Federal High Court and of the First-Instance Courts are hereby delegated to the State courts. 3. States shall establish State Supreme, High and First-Instance Courts. Particulars shall be determined by law. 4. Special or ad hoc courts which take judicial powers away from the regular courts or institutions legally empowered to exercise judicial functions and which do not follow legally prescribed procedures shall not be established. 5. Pursuant to sub-Article 5 of Article 34 the House of Peoples’ Representatives and State Councils can establish or give official recognition to religious and customary courts. Religious and customary courts that had state recognition and functioned prior to the adoption of the Constitution shall be organized on the basis of recognition accorded to them by this Constitution.
Judicial Council or Parallel Institution
Article 79. 1. Judicial powers, both at Federal and State levels, are vested in the courts. 2. Courts of any level shall be free from any interference of influence of any governmental body, government official or from any other source. 3. Judges shall exercise their functions in full independence and shall be directed solely by the law. 4. No judge shall be removed from his duties before he reaches the retirement age determined by law except under the following conditions: a. When the Judicial Administration Council decides to remove him for violation of disciplinary rules or on grounds of gross incompetence or inefficiency; or b. When the Judicial Administration Council decides that a judge can no longer carry out his responsibilities on account of illness; and c. When the House of Peoples’ Representatives or the concerned State Council approves by a majority vote the decisions of the Judicial Administration Council. 5. The retirement of judges may not be extended beyond the retirement age determined by law. The Federal Supreme Court shall draw up and submit to the House of Peoples’ Representatives for approval the budget of the Federal courts, and upon approval administer the budget. 7. Budgets of State courts shall be determined by the respective State Council. The House of Peoples’ Representatives shall allocate compensatory budgets for States whose Supreme and High courts concurrently exercise the jurisdictions of the Federal High Court and Federal First-Instance Courts.
Article 81. 1. The President and Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court shall, upon recommendation by the Prime Minister, be appointed by the House of People’s Representatives. 2. Regarding other Federal judges, the Prime Minister shall submit to the House of Peoples’ Representatives for appointment candidates selected by the Federal Judicial Administration Council. 3. The State Council shall, upon recommendation by the Chief Executive of the State, appoint the President and Vice-President of the State Supreme Court. 4. State Supreme and High Court judges shall, upon recommendation by the State Judicial Administration Council, be appointed by the State Council. The State Judicial Administration Council, before submitting nominations to the State Council, has the responsibility to solicit and obtain the views of the Federal Judicial Administration Council on the nominees and to forward those views along with its recommendations. If the Federal Judicial Administration Council does not submit its views within three months, the State Council may grant the appointments. 5. Judges of State First-Instance Courts shall, upon recommendation by the State Judicial Administration Council, be appointed by the State Council. 6. Matters of code of professional conduct and discipline as well as transfer of judges of any court shall be determined by the concerned Judicial Administration Council.