Notes: Public Consultation toward Ethiopia's Family Law Reform and the Revised Code's Response

Author:Mandefrot Belay
Position:Mandefrot Belay (LL.B, LL.M), Consultant and Researcher. Formerly: Country Director, American Bar Association Rule of Initative, Ethiopia Legal Education Capacity Building Program; Directror of the National Justce Sector Reform program, Ministry of Capacity Building; Head of the Law Reform Bureau, at the Justice & Legal Systems Research Institute.
Pages:244-264
 
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244
Public Consultation toward Ethiopia’s Family
Law Reform and the Revised Code’s Response
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mlr.v10i1.8
Mandefrot Belay
Summary
A comprehensive and open public consultation was conducted during the revision
process of the Ethiopian family law (in 1998-2000) which attracted active
participation from different sections of the Ethiopian society.Various issues were
raised by members of the public in the process of reforming Ethiopia’s family law.
This note provides the historical context and background of the reform initiative and
the outcome thereof. The note identifies the issues that were subject of discourse
and shows how the current law has addressed them. It can indeed inspire further
research in the field by putting in perspective the fundamental values and principles
in Ethiopia which are expected to guide any legal reform process so that the
intervention of the law can address societal problems.
The core controversial issues raised in the various consultation forums were
presented for final discussion at the concluding July 1999 conference held in Addis
Ababa before the final draft was submitted. Such public participation in the
legislative process was unprecedented. This note provides brief analysis of the main
issues raised by the public, the views of the main stakeholders about the existing
law, the way in which public consultation forums were organized, and the roles
played by different sections of the society in advancing the respective values which
they believe must be incorporated in the new family law.
The note lists down specific questions and the arguments raised by the public as
to why the new family law should or should not be framed in a particular way, and
it also shows the ultimate option adopted by the legislature in the final enacted
version of the law. The core issues discussed in the note, inter alia, include the pros
and cons of having a uniform family law, the various forms and impediments to
marriage, the desirability of maintaining irregular union in the new code, betrothal,
the institution of family arbitration and grounds of divorce. We believe this note
will help researchers, law students and the general public in understanding the
background and legislative intent behind the various provisions of the current
revised family code, i.e. the 2000 Revised Family Code of Ethiopia.
Mandefrot Belay (LL.B, LL.M), Consultant and Researcher. Formerly: Country Director,
American Bar Association Rule of Initative, Ethiopia Legal Education Capacity Building
Program; Directror of the National Justce Sector Reform program, Ministry of Capacity
Building;Head of the Law Reform Bureau, at the Justice & Legal Systems Research Institute.
N
L I
NOTES ON LEGISLATIVE INTENT 245
I
ማ ጧ
A 1952  ሐሔ ሕ Aጩ   ሕ መሠ
 A    E  A Aመጤ
E ጩ  ጹጹ E  ሕ  ጤ  A
ሙጥ  ጤ  ማጤ ጩጹ ሕ መ ጧማ  Eሁጹ
Aሁ ጤ ሞ A   E  A
መጤ ማጩ Aጧ መጣ  ሕ ሏጩ
 ሕ ጤማጩ  መመ    ጤ A 
ሕ መ  (Code) መጩ ማ ጩጩ   ሐሔ ሕ
ጧ ማ ማ ሚጩ  ህ  ጤመመጤ ሚጩ  ሕ ሕ
 ጹጹ I መ   ጡ ጧ Aማ ሓ
    ሐሔ ሕ ጧ ማ A ማ ጩ  ጤ
A  ሕ  መጩ  Eሚጩ  ህጹ መሠ 1952 .
 ሐሔ ሕ Aጩ   ሕ ጤ  ሎ E
ጤማ ማጩ   ሕ   ሁ ጩ1
ህ ሁ ጧማ ሕ ማጥ ሂ  ሕ  E E
ሕ መ ሕ ጤሙ ጨሎ ማህ  ጹሁ ማህ
ጨሎ ጩ ጩ  ሎ   A  ጹ
E መ ሎ A መጩ  ጩ  ሕ 
ጹጧ A ማ  ሕ መ ሂ ጩ ጩ ሕ A ጧ
ጦ ጤሚጥ ጤ  መ መ (background) ጹ E ማ
 ጤሚጡ  ጹጹ መ A Eጣ ማ 
A
   መሠ መ መጣ  መ 
E ማ መ Eጤ ሕመ  መጣ ጩ
መጹ ህ ጠጧ ጤመ ጧ  መ ጤማ ጤ
ጧ Aጧ ሕ ማ ማጩ Aጹ ጩ መ መ
Eጤ ጩ  ጤጹ A ሚ  ሕ  መ
A ሚ  ጧ ሀማ ህጧ E ሚ
ህ ሁ A 1990-1994 . ሕ ሕ  ጹጹ I ሕ 
ጹጹ ማ  ጧ መጣ  ሕ ጹ ጨሎ   ጩ ሕ ማጩ
 ጧ መ ጣ ሎጹ 1994-1999) ጩ መ  A A ሕ
 ማ ጹ  መጣ ሠ  Aሁ  ጩ Aማ መማ

1 ጩ E ጩጩ ጤ ሕ ሎ ማ ሀ A ማ 
 ጤጹ  ጡ ጣ ህጹ A ጹ   ጩ ጩ መጩ
ጹ ጩጹ ህ ሎ  ማ  ማጤ ጧጩ

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