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Where Formal and Informal Justice Meet: Ethiopia's Justice Pluralism

Where Formal and Informal Justice Meet: Ethiopia's Justice Pluralism I. INTRODUCTION Ethiopia is a federal republic of 82 million, where the former victorious Tigrean rebels, under the auspices of the political party known as the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), hold a firm grip on power. In 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 parliamentary seats, ensuring a fourth consecutive five-year term. In the concurrent elections for regional parliaments, the EPRDF and its affiliates won 1,903 of 1,904 seats.1 Two years earlier in 2008, the EPRDF and its affiliates had won all but four of 3.4 million local and by-elections, helped by the fact that the opposition parties abstained from the process. The ambitions of an authoritarian government that as part of its ideology of revolutionary democracy desires to maintain its authority at every level2 and yet is conscious of its political insecurity,3 inevitably mean that the State's formal justice system is subject to significant political intervention and influence. This is Professor of African Security and Director of the African Studies Centre at Coventry University, UK. His published articles and books cover African democratisation, governance, policing, security and justice reform, and local justice (see http://www.africanpolicing.org, accessed 5 March 2013). His last book, Security http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

Where Formal and Informal Justice Meet: Ethiopia's Justice Pluralism

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2013
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2013.0059
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I. INTRODUCTION Ethiopia is a federal republic of 82 million, where the former victorious Tigrean rebels, under the auspices of the political party known as the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), hold a firm grip on power. In 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 parliamentary seats, ensuring a fourth consecutive five-year term. In the concurrent elections for regional parliaments, the EPRDF and its affiliates won 1,903 of 1,904 seats.1 Two years earlier in 2008, the EPRDF and its affiliates had won all but four of 3.4 million local and by-elections, helped by the fact that the opposition parties abstained from the process. The ambitions of an authoritarian government that as part of its ideology of revolutionary democracy desires to maintain its authority at every level2 and yet is conscious of its political insecurity,3 inevitably mean that the State's formal justice system is subject to significant political intervention and influence. This is Professor of African Security and Director of the African Studies Centre at Coventry University, UK. His published articles and books cover African democratisation, governance, policing, security and justice reform, and local justice (see http://www.africanpolicing.org, accessed 5 March 2013). His last book, Security

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2013

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