MOTOR VEHICLE LESSORS’ LIABILITY FOR
DAMAGES TO THIRD PARTIES: A COMMENT
Abrar Sabir v W/ro Alemtsehay Wesene & Tibebu Construction PLC
Hailegabriel G. Feyissa ♣
Amidst deteriorating road safety and increased motor vehicle accidents,
litigations involving Article 2081 et seq. of the Ethiopian Civil Code appear to
have increased in the last few years. Interesting court decisions involving,
among other things, the scope of the strict liability rules of the Ethiopian extra-
contractual liability law, are now coming into sight. While the black letters of
the law are not necessarily clear on the specific scope of Article 2081 et seq. of
the Civil Code, courts1 and academics2 have been reflecting on the tricky subject
of defining the scope of application of the Ethiopian law on liability for
damages caused by motor vehicles.
In entertaining issues related to Article 2081, the Cassation Division of the
Federal Supreme Court in a recent case has rendered a decision that allows
♣ LLB (Bahir Dar University), LLM (University of Groningen), PhD Student (The
University of Melbourne). Formerly, the author was assistant professor of law at Law
School, Bahir Dar University.
1 E.g., Negist Makonnen et al. v Ethiopian Airlines et al., Addis Ababa High Court Civil
Case No. 701/55 E.C.
2 See, e.g.,Krzeczunowicz, G. (1970) The Ethiopian Law of Extra-Contractual
Liability. Addis Ababa, Haile Selassie I University, p.166 [hereinafter
Krzeczunowicz]; Krzeczunowicz, G. (1977)The Ethiopian Law of Compensation for
Damage. Addis Ababa, Commercial Printing Enterprise, pp. 170 and 238 [hereinafter
Krzeczunowicz on Compensation]; (1996 .ም.)
ል ጧ Aጧ
A A A ማሚ pp.107-108 [hereinafter ]. Also, for a
recent reflection on the scope of Article 2081 of the Ethiopian Civil Code see
HailegabrielF. (2011) “The Scope of Article 2081 of the Civil Code: A Comment on
Negist Makonnen et al v. Ethiopian Airlines, Inc.”Bahir Dar University Journal of
Law, 2(1), pp.153-158 (Also indexed in Public International Law eJournal, Vol. 7,
No. 59, May 7, 2012) [hereinafter Hailegabriel].