Ghent University Academic Bibliography

Advanced

Legal pluralism vs. Human Rights issues: Sharia Courts and Human Rights concerns in the light of the federal constitution of Ethiopia

Mohammed Abdo (2010) The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings. p.1-15
abstract
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Constitution (FDRE constitution) has taken a bold step in recognizing and promoting ethno-linguistic and religious divert in the country. To this effect, it has specifically granted mandate to customary and religious system in settlement of disputes on matters affecting personal status of individuals. The legal pluralism recognized by the constitution gives rise to plurality of sources of normative ordering that could potentially conflict with state laws, and especially with the supremacy clause of the constitution and human rights provisions enshrined under the constitution. This is the case with matters falling within the competence of sharia courts that are to be resolved by the application of Islamic law, which has a different conception and approach towards the rights of women in general and gender equality in divorce, inheritance, sharing of estate upon divorce, etc. The decisions rendered by sharia courts using Islamic rules could conflict with rules human rights norms in general and rules on gender equality, protection of against discrimination on any ground, etc that are enunciated under the Constitution. This paper examines mechanisms, if any, adopted by the FDRE Constitution to manage the potential clash between state laws on the one hand and religious laws and decisions on the other as related to the jurisdiction of sharia courts. Whether or not final judgments pronounced by sharia courts are supposed to be compatible with the constitutional standards (such as the supremacy clause and human rights provisions) are examined. Before doing so, some important issues that serve as a framework to put things in context that are related to sharia courts such as their brief history in the country, their jurisdiction,, structure, administration, and place in the legal system will be discussed. In addition, few cases decided by sharia courts that shed light on practice of exercising their jurisdiction and relationships with courts of law and an organ in charge with the task of interpreting the Constitution are reviewed. The discussions on issues raised in the paper are based on the analysis of the relevant provisions of the FDRE constitution and laws related to the jurisdiction of sharia courts, such as the Sharia Courts Establishment Proclamation, the Civil Code, the Federal Courts Establishment Proclamation, etc, and review of few cases decided on by sharia courts along with consultation of relevant literature. Sharia courts are set up both the Federal and each nine units of the Ethiopian federation and the focus here is on the Federal sharia courts and not the Regional ones.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keyword
Legal Pluralism and Human Rights
in
The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings
pages
1 - 15
conference name
The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law
conference location
Brussels, Belgium
conference start
2010-09-13
conference end
2010-09-14
project
BOF
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C1
additional info
The paper has significantly been revised and published in Mizan Law Review, Ethiopia.
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
3160168
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-3160168
date created
2013-03-08 12:26:04
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:37:35
@inproceedings{3160168,
  abstract     = {The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Constitution (FDRE constitution) has taken a bold step in recognizing and promoting ethno-linguistic and religious divert in the country. To this effect, it has specifically granted mandate to customary and religious system in settlement of disputes on matters affecting personal status of individuals.  The legal pluralism recognized by the constitution gives rise to plurality of sources of normative ordering that could potentially conflict with state laws, and especially with the supremacy clause of the constitution and human rights provisions enshrined under the constitution. This is the case with matters falling within the competence of sharia courts that are to be resolved by the application of Islamic law, which has a different conception and approach towards the rights of women in general and gender equality in divorce, inheritance, sharing of estate upon divorce, etc. The decisions rendered by sharia courts using Islamic rules could conflict with rules human rights norms in general and rules on gender equality, protection of against discrimination on any ground, etc that are enunciated under the Constitution.  This paper examines mechanisms, if any, adopted by the FDRE Constitution to manage the potential clash between state laws on the one hand and religious laws and decisions on the other as related to the jurisdiction of sharia courts. Whether or not final judgments pronounced by sharia courts are supposed to be compatible with the constitutional standards (such as the supremacy clause and human rights provisions) are examined. Before doing so, some important issues that serve as a framework to put things in context that are related to sharia courts such as their brief history in the country, their jurisdiction,, structure, administration, and  place in the legal system will be discussed. In addition, few cases decided by sharia courts that shed light on practice of exercising their jurisdiction and relationships with courts of law and an organ in charge with the task of interpreting the Constitution are reviewed.  The discussions on issues raised in the paper are based on the analysis of the relevant provisions of the FDRE constitution and laws related to the jurisdiction of sharia courts, such as the Sharia Courts Establishment Proclamation, the Civil Code, the Federal Courts Establishment Proclamation, etc, and review of few cases decided on by sharia courts along with consultation of relevant literature. Sharia courts are set up both the Federal and each nine units of the Ethiopian federation and the focus here is on the Federal sharia courts and not the Regional ones.},
  author       = {Abdo, Mohammed},
  booktitle    = {The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings},
  keyword      = {Legal Pluralism and Human Rights},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Brussels, Belgium},
  pages        = {1--15},
  title        = {Legal pluralism vs. Human Rights issues: Sharia Courts and Human Rights concerns in the light of the federal constitution of Ethiopia},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Abdo, Mohammed. 2010. “Legal Pluralism Vs. Human Rights Issues: Sharia Courts and Human Rights Concerns in the Light of the Federal Constitution of Ethiopia.” In The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings, 1–15.
APA
Abdo, M. (2010). Legal pluralism vs. Human Rights issues: Sharia Courts and Human Rights concerns in the light of the federal constitution of Ethiopia. The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings (pp. 1–15). Presented at the The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law.
Vancouver
1.
Abdo M. Legal pluralism vs. Human Rights issues: Sharia Courts and Human Rights concerns in the light of the federal constitution of Ethiopia. The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings. 2010. p. 1–15.
MLA
Abdo, Mohammed. “Legal Pluralism Vs. Human Rights Issues: Sharia Courts and Human Rights Concerns in the Light of the Federal Constitution of Ethiopia.” The Contribution of Non-western Law to the Development of International Human Rights Law, Proceedings. 2010. 1–15. Print.