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Sharia courts as dispute resolution mechanism in Ethiopia

Mohammed Abdo (2012) Customary dispute resolution mechanisms in Ethiopia. In Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanism 2. p.261-290
abstract
Courts of law play an important role in actualizing the need for justice. A host of problems and challenges to meet justice means that no single state institution or process can shoulder the quest for justice alone, both substantive and procedural, and safeguard rights, privileges, entitlements, and expectation of both the individuals and the public. Litigation is only one of the options amongst the available routes for seeking justice. Thus, the search for justice and ways to resolve disputes outside the formal justice system is a universal phenomenon (ICHRP, 2009: 43). This is especially more evident in multicultural societies where there are different sources of norms. Settlement of disputes can be realized through alternative dispute resolution schemes or mechanisms based on customary or religious systems. Many studies suggest that non-formal systems handle a very large share of cases, especially in developing countries (ICHRP, 2009: 43). This is ascribed, among others, to the fact that they have an inherent nature that appeal to the would-be parties that rely on them (cultural and physical proximity, expediency, and procedures that suit the need of the users, making them closer to the users than the formal state institutions). The state needs to adopt policies to reckon with such system. The state’s approach to non- state dispute settlement means varies and ranges from a degree of tolerance to suppression. In Ethiopia, sharia courts have been in operation for long, although their de jure recognition materialized in early 1940s, which was cast into doubt in 1960s and revived in 1990s. In this chapter, attempt will be made to discuss about sharia courts and their role in the settlement of disputes involving the concern of Muslims. Background information on Islam and sharia courts is offered before delving into details regarding the jurisdiction, administration and interaction of sharia courts with formal state justice system. Finally, the practice of some sharia courts ( that of the Federal, Afar and Oromiya) and challenges facing them are reviewed. Discussion in this chapter is based on the relevant literature and interview with some personnel of sharia courts, especially judges thereto. The interview is used for the purpose of highlighting the practice of sharia courts in the settlement of disputes and to identify challenges they encounter. It is suggested that Sharia Courts play an important role in addressing the concern of Muslims to have family and personal issues controlled and resolved by Islamic law, and in relieving the burden of regular courts.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
bookChapter
publication status
published
subject
keyword
and relationship between formal ad none formal systems, dispute resolution, Sharia courts
book title
Customary dispute resolution mechanisms in Ethiopia
editor
Assefa Fiseha, Gebre Yentiso and Fekade Azeze
series title
Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanism
volume
2
pages
261 - 290
publisher
Eclipse
place of publication
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ISBN
9789994498895
project
The Ethiopian Arbitration and Conciliation center
language
English
UGent publication?
no
classification
B2
id
3160156
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-3160156
date created
2013-03-08 12:15:02
date last changed
2017-01-02 09:54:04
@incollection{3160156,
  abstract     = {Courts of law play an important role in actualizing the need for justice. A host of problems and challenges to meet justice means that no single state institution or process can shoulder the quest for justice alone, both substantive and procedural, and safeguard rights, privileges, entitlements, and expectation of both the individuals and the public. Litigation is only one of the options amongst the available routes for seeking justice. Thus, the search for justice and ways to resolve disputes outside the formal justice system is a universal phenomenon (ICHRP, 2009: 43). This is especially more evident in multicultural societies where there are different sources of norms. Settlement of disputes can be realized through alternative dispute resolution schemes or mechanisms based on customary or religious systems. Many studies suggest that non-formal systems handle a very large share of cases, especially in developing countries (ICHRP, 2009: 43). This is ascribed, among others, to the fact that they have an inherent nature that appeal to the would-be parties that rely on them (cultural and physical proximity, expediency, and procedures that suit the need of the users, making them closer to the users than the formal state institutions). The state needs to adopt policies to reckon with such system. The state{\textquoteright}s approach to non- state dispute settlement means varies and ranges from a degree of tolerance to suppression. In Ethiopia, sharia courts have been in operation for long, although their de jure recognition materialized in early 1940s, which was cast into doubt in 1960s and revived in 1990s. In this chapter, attempt will be made to discuss about sharia courts and their role in the settlement of disputes involving the concern of Muslims. Background information on Islam and sharia courts is offered before delving into details regarding the jurisdiction, administration and interaction of sharia courts with formal state justice system. Finally, the practice of some sharia courts ( that of the Federal, Afar and Oromiya) and challenges facing them are reviewed. Discussion in this chapter is based on the relevant literature and interview with some personnel of sharia courts, especially judges thereto. The interview is used for the purpose of highlighting the practice of sharia courts in the settlement of disputes and to identify challenges they encounter. It is suggested that Sharia Courts play an important role in addressing the concern of Muslims to have family and personal issues controlled and resolved by Islamic law, and in relieving the burden of regular courts.},
  author       = {Abdo, Mohammed},
  booktitle    = {Customary dispute resolution mechanisms in Ethiopia},
  editor       = {Fiseha, Assefa and Yentiso, Gebre and  Azeze, Fekade},
  isbn         = {9789994498895},
  keyword      = {and relationship between formal ad none formal systems,dispute resolution,Sharia courts},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {261--290},
  publisher    = {Eclipse},
  series       = {Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanism},
  title        = {Sharia courts as dispute resolution mechanism in Ethiopia},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Abdo, Mohammed. 2012. “Sharia Courts as Dispute Resolution Mechanism in Ethiopia.” In Customary Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Ethiopia, ed. Assefa Fiseha, Gebre Yentiso, and Fekade Azeze, 2:261–290. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Eclipse.
APA
Abdo, M. (2012). Sharia courts as dispute resolution mechanism in Ethiopia. In A. Fiseha, G. Yentiso, & F. Azeze (Eds.), Customary dispute resolution mechanisms in Ethiopia (Vol. 2, pp. 261–290). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Eclipse.
Vancouver
1.
Abdo M. Sharia courts as dispute resolution mechanism in Ethiopia. In: Fiseha A, Yentiso G, Azeze F, editors. Customary dispute resolution mechanisms in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Eclipse; 2012. p. 261–90.
MLA
Abdo, Mohammed. “Sharia Courts as Dispute Resolution Mechanism in Ethiopia.” Customary Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Ethiopia. Ed. Assefa Fiseha, Gebre Yentiso, & Fekade Azeze. Vol. 2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Eclipse, 2012. 261–290. Print.