The Legal and Institutional Frameworks for Prosecution Office in Ethiopia: The Case of Oromia National Regional State Justice Bureau

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Addis Ababa University


The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopian constitution in General and state constitution in particular recognize the fundamental human and democratic rights of the citizens in comprehensive way. For its full realization and observance, the constitution established an independent judiciary and contemplates the establishment of police institution. The office of attorney general /prosecution office/ which is an indispensible corollary to an independent judiciary in the enforcement of human rights missed from the ambit of constitutional framework both at Federal and state level and established as executive organ of the government through ordinary act of the parliament under the minister of Justice at Federal level and state Justice Bureau at Regional level. Because of lack of constitutional framework, prosecution office in the ONRS is subject to both institutional and leadership instability through the ordinary act of council of state or “Caffee”. As prosecution institution is part of executive organ of the government, there is a conflict of interest between the judicial and political function of justice Bureau as the head of justice bureau is frequently appointed on the basis of partisan political affiliation rather than on merit based, but takes precedence over the decision of prosecutors in the administration of criminal justice. Therefore, this study examines institutional and legal framework of prosecution office in ONRS. The study discloses that prosecution office in the ONRS is failed to secure an appropriate institutional and legal frameworks for its independent and autonomous function in the democratic era. The key recommendation that is presented in detail is to establish institutionally separate autonomous constitutional officer of the office of the attorney general that is accountable to the House of Peoples Representative. This move would constitute a major reform in one of the most prominent and crucial aspects of rule of law and good governance which would noticeably strengthen the office of the prosecutor in Ethiopia in general and the Oromia National Regional state in particular.



The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopian constitution in General