Ethiopia: Policy document sets transitional justice start date, calls for new courts

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Council of Ministers has recently ratified a transitional justice policy with retroactive application dating back to 1995, coinciding with the ratification of Ethiopia’s constitution. 

Among its key features is the extradition and trial of individuals residing abroad accused of crimes in Ethiopia, with rewards offered to whistleblowers. Those providing testimony against alleged wrongdoers will receive government protection.

The policy, outlined in a document encompasses various provisions, including the establishment of specialized courts and attorney general’s offices to tack many of the transitional justice needs of Ethiopia.

Implementation of this policy is expected to demand significant financial, human, and institutional resources, with plans for a special attorney general’s office to lead the process.

Special courts will be established for human rights cases, with judges selected based on merit and expertise in relevant fields.

A Truth Finding Commission will also be formed, comprising representatives from civil society, elders, religious leaders, and experts. This commission will fan out across the country seeking counsel form local representatives and citizens.

Additionally, the federal government as well non-government structures plan to seek forgiveness from victims and establish a special fund for recovery and support.

Regional administrations will be involved in returning internally displaced persons (IDPs) and implementing reforms to address past violations.

The Ministry of Finance is tasked with budget allocation, while the Civil Service Commission will manage salaries and workforce requirements.

The Federal Court and Central Statistics Service will collaborate on data compilation, and the Justice Ministry will devise an implementation roadmap.

This would be the biggest and most complex transitional justice mechanism undertaken by Ethiopia, a country that has been ailing form growing divisions and fractures to the social fabric. Many in Ethiopians also hold diametrically opposing views on the merits of the current constitution and system of governance. If implemented successful, the transitional justice could mark a paradigm shift in Ethiopia’s biopolitics. 

Related Posts