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Historical Background

The current Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Justice. Prior to taking its new appellation, it had been known in undertaking several formations and arrangements with its different appellation. The arrangement at different time reflected the social and structural form of government thus. Until recent time, it shows the correlation of the judiciary system with the régime. The development of the Ministry of Justice since its inception, systems that implemented through its courses and current position stated as follows briefly.


A. Ministry of Justice, till dawn fall of Military rule 1991


For the first time in the history of the country. Ethiopia the Ministry of Justice. As institution, was formed on October 25, 1907, during the reign of Emperor MenelikII. Out of the Emperor formed, 12 Ministry offices, the Ministry of Judiciary was one. According to the record of "Zekre Neger" page 68 the power and responsibilities of the Ministry was performed in accordance with "Fetha Negest" and it was expected to record all the necessary verdicts.


Post 1921 the former Ministry of Judiciary named since its foundation changed in to Ministry of verdict and led the Judiciary system. According to the establishment proclamation of the Ministry, more of the verdicts and judiciary proceedings and system were make by the good will of the emperor.


After the emperor Haileselassie took its throne, 1930, the system had never been changed at large. The main attention was to extend the strong administration system and centralized the rule. To make this effective, the government tool several measures. Among the measures, the judiciary system was re-arranged aimed at to assist the new regulations in implementing as smooth as it could. Hence proclamation No.2/1941 and No.29/1941 enacted to lead the proceeding system and the Ministry had given the mandate to rule the courts and prosecutors office c9llectively.


By then, though did not change the name, in order No.1/1942, the Ministry organized exclusively as new and it listed out powers and duties. Based on the order. The appointed say on pardon or capital punishment, formation of additional courts and advocacy licensing were approved by the emperor. What made the ministry peculiar was beyond working on in legal interpretation, it had been prohibited to worm as judge and this shows that the commencement of divisions of labour. Nevertheless the Ministry was not completely free from influence.


During this time the prosecutors were assigned to respect and enforce the general public security by law, until 1961. The criminal penal code of enacted, except crimes in charges of complaint, it had been responsible to litigate for proper decision by representing the state.


However there were not clearly stated regarding the civil law cases follow up to prosecutors under the civil law enacted in 1960. There after the following duties were


   To correct particular on the civil status(Article 122)

  To present complaint of repealing the guardian or tutor to the court for a person who hasn’t

√  To present the relevant complaint to the jury for insane people(No.351/1)

  Regards on insane or severely sick people, on the order of prohibition of court presenting the relevant complaint to repeat or amend the verdict given( as provisions of No.355 and 377/1)

  To present complaint of judgment, where a person prohibited by law used his powers over than allowed to change and repeat its result found in accordance with as stated(no.384/2) and

  To present complaint on illegal marriage to court in accordance with (No.592/2)


Besides, if had been given responsibility to present complaint on the loose of business person man as stated in commercial code No.975(6)/1960. In 1962 enacting of criminal procedural law, it has widen the authority on the prosecution complaint including criminal affiances presenting on charges of complaint.

After the ends of the reign of emperor Hailesellasse though the military rule seize the power the name of the ministry still continued until October 1976. Then changed in to the Ministry of law and Justice as duties and responsibilities stated in proclamation NO.127/79 were being performed and courts and prosecution offices stayed under the Ministry.


In 1987, after the formation of peoples of Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE)   in proclamation No.8/1988 the name, Ministry of Law and Justice, Is substituted by Ministry of Justice. According to the new structure the Federal Court and Attorney General Offices are separated and the higher and Regional courts are existed under the Ministry.


B. Ministry of Justice post downfall of the Military Rule.


After the downfall of Military rule, the translational government took supportive measures in regards to the independence of judiciary system with the executive organ bases on the current structure of Federalism first court, courts were arranged government and recognized by the constitution.

Thus, the Ministry of Justice separated from courts by the proclamation No.4/1987 and the detailed duties and responsibilities as specified in Article 23 changed in to practice. Then, in accordance with the amended proclamation No.47/2005 the power and duties of the Ministry of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE) are operating performed and now in accordance with proclamation No.691/2010, as stated under Article 16 and Article 10 FDRE executive original the common powers and duties of this proclamation are operating.