Tuesday , March 2 2021

OP: ED: Establishing confidence in the judiciary: Why Meaza Ashenafi should lead to a judicial betting process



Dr Adem Kassie Abebe, For Adding Standard

Addis Ababa, November 07/2018 – The tone of Ethiopia and world terrorist reforms has reached the banks of the judicial sector, with the appointment of Meaza Ashenafi as the First President of the Supreme Court, and the real character that inspired the winning winner of the Movie Prize & Difference; where a young lawyer matches the tradition of enforced holdings into a marriage. With Ethiopia tied to the edge of a new era of democratic competition, the importance of an independent judicial leader of the democratic game can not be overstated. In an interview shortly after his formal appointment, he stated that the main priority would be to restore public trust & # 39; in the judiciary. This is a commendable goal, although Ethiopia courts have never enjoyed the public confidence that it should be restated, and so its challenge will build and build new confidence in the judiciary. This is an incredible challenge and this piece suggests one possible measure that could help Meaza make progress. But before reaching the core focus of this contribution – judicial examination, I would like to share my thoughts on the wider context of reforms with the intention underlining the importance of supporting goodwill, which has so far been the source of most Celebrations in Ethiopia politics, with organizational protection measures.

Abiy Ahmed's Prime Minister has led and inspired an unprecedented democratic renewal and opening in the history of Ethiopia. Not everyone is happy, and most are very optimistic; and that the security expires and the relative analysis of the law and the order, which can often be avoided in revolution circumstances, for what is disclosed more than just evolution is slow, Getting started with anticipation, skills and time. The intelligence of wonder in a country is quickly familiar with short moments of relief and finish expected from spring periods. The caution is not necessarily bad or disruptive. There is a slight amount of dissatisfaction in oil that will need to continue the fuel and fire of the reform engine. Abiy's First Minister and a core team must be constantly challenged if they want to pursue and refine their policy agenda and their attitudes. I hope that the encouraging signs of democratic leakage will be dissatisfied with the competition of organized and thorough but peaceful ideas.

From individual goodwill to institutional reform

So far, the reforms have been taken mainly in the form of new face appointments to critical posts. The new appointment of women has enamored especially the Ethiopian public, and the continental and international observers of Ethiopia politics. Ethiopia now has a balanced cabinet where women have taken 50% of jobs, including notable ministries dealing with protection and security sector. We have also seen new and junior faces. This will be likely to have structural effects in the way that society evolves at this point towards involving women and youth in leadership roles. However, all of these posts remain political appointments, based on assumptions of political loyalty.

Instead, a better test of goodwill and the new administration should be measured based on appointments to organizations that require the independence of political machines. And in this regard the appointments to the head of state and the president of the Supreme Court are notable beginnings. In addition to waiting for the course of raising qualified women to prominent posts, these two appointments are different as they include non-political individuals. The presidency, if it is relevant and unite, must remain higher than politics. And the appointment of Sahle-Work Zewde, a prominent diplomat, as the President of the country, is still a proof of the situation. Similarly, the appointment of Meaza Ashenafi, a leading advocate and founder of the Association of Ethiopian Women's Solicitors, is the President of the Supreme Court and the first time that a real independent figure occupies the post. The train reform has also hit closer to home than I expected. A good friend and qualified scholar, Dr Gedion Timothewos, has been appointed one of the three deputies to the Attorney General. Like the above, one of the new squad of political appointments is unconnected. Although I believe that the Attorney General's prosecutorial functions should be separated and given to an independent organization, now appointing a young person to the office is a welcome start.

An even better and sustainable test of the commitment to reform towards democratic leakage adopts organizational reforms. All the good names that have climbed the schools of power have been the result of individual goodwill. Political goodwill, when necessary, is tired. Institutions and procedures must be established with the assumption that the people who occupy them are not necessarily a necessity, and they are always negligible. Therefore, we should work towards establishing procedures which, more often than not, are likely to lead to the appointment of eligible candidates with the necessary integrity. This is particularly indispensable for the independent organizations, including the presidency, the judiciary, the electoral board, the human rights commission, the ombudsman, etc. The recently appointed Law and Justice Revised Advisory Council has been working on some of these issues and is hopeful, with time, the individual goodwill will be complemented by procedural and organizational safeguards.

Establish confidence in the judiciary: Make the case for judicial fittings

Although many have expressed concern that Meaza has the necessary judicial experience, this is likely to work to the benefit of the judiciary. Like someone else, it will not be prevented by the assumptions that are not proven and adhesive working practices that prevent any prey organization, such as the Ethiopia judiciary. The challenges that wait for it are huge. She will preside on a failed judiciary and again fail the nation's hopes; Judgment that has caused more tears than it has dried. In simple terms, there was a complex judiciary, if not an active and willing participant, in the many decades. Even in cases where independence from the political institutions was not a problem, the judiciary has often been killed by a claim of constant pollution, extreme disqualification and lack of professionalism. It is often considered that the courts are more active than the executive itself. I'm hopeful that Meaza has the integrity, competence, drive and vision to pick up the occasion. But to achieve this, she would have to face the problem so on. One possible idea is judicial testing.

Basically, judicial vetting involves a process that requires standing judges to stand competence and honesty tests to determine the integrity of their ongoing positions. In the midst of the idea of ​​judicial fittings is that the judiciary that has failed to defend the freedom in case of want and want the co-ordinary can not be trusted, to maintain the sentences that subscribe to constitutional commitments , continental and international Ethiopia. A unique aspect of vetting processes is the opportunity for the public to express their opinions and their experiences about individual judges.

Because judicial independence requires judges to be protected from excessive influence and threats, vetting may be controversial to act through normal judicial disciplinary procedures. However, the avoidance of the current legal defenses would continue to be a dangerous precedent and can send the wrong signal that the new power holders try to get even and replace the protection of old & and the critics with their own ideas. Nonetheless, judicial independence must be offset by judicial accountability. As such, the extent to which the independence, fairness and integrity of the vetting process is guaranteed can be justified. In order to ensure independence and integrity of this nature, the appropriate procedures should be decided in advance in consultation with judicial officers, including, if necessary, by constitutional amendments to safeguard the legality of the process. Although the reputation and position of individual judges could suffer as the vetting process develops, the long-term organizational interest of the judiciary is likely to flourish. Kenya undertook a similar fetting process after adopting a new constitution in 2010. In conjunction with other measures to improve access to justice, the significant success process recorded, with the popular approval of the judiciary rising. Nevertheless, maintaining judicial credibility requires more than one-off check. It has to work with deliberate and incredible efforts to improve accessibility, speed and quality of justice, as well as communication strategies to engage continuously with the public and other critical actors.

The new President of the Supreme Court has an historical opportunity to take forward a procedure to clean up the judiciary and build and strengthen its relative credibility. Popular help is the most likely way of sustainable judicial independence. Of course, there is a danger that new power holders could start the vetting process. That is why the independence of the process is essential. In Kenya, one strategy was to ensure that three of the nine members of the audit body were foreigners. Ethiopia does not necessarily repeat the Kenya process, but can draw on the success and failures of Kenya's experiences and other similar experiences, in formulating a process that, in perception and reality, will be independent. Crucially, most Ethiopia critics serve at state level and Meaza will have a limited power to take down the vetting process. The problems at federal level are as fast as, and possibly worse than, at state level. However, any betting effort at a federal level is likely to inspire similar processes at state level.


Editor's Note: Dr Adem Kassie Abebe works for the Construction Program and the Constitution of the International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA International). It can be reached at [email protected] / [email protected] The opinion expressed in this piece does not necessarily represent the official position of IDEA.



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