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- Year: 2006
- Country: Ethiopia
- Language: English
- Document Type: Domestic Law or Regulation
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** The following English Translation of the Ethiopian Draft Constitution is an unofficial
draft that has been released to enable members of the International community follow the
discussions and forthcoming el ections, pending publication of the official translation.
We, the nations, nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia:
Determined to build by the exercise of our ri ght to self -determination, for ourselves and
of our own free will, a single political comm unity which is based on our common consent
and the rule of law so as to ensure lasting peace, an irreversible and thriving democracy
and an accelerated economic and social development for our country Ethiopia;
Strongly convinced of the necessity of respect for the fundamental rights of individuals
and of the nations and nationalities as well as the even development of the various
cultures and religions for the at tainment of these objectives;
Convinced that we, the nations, nationalitie s and people, with our own individual and
admirable culture, territories and modes of life have, by virtue of the fact that our country
Ethiopia has been and still is our common home in which we have formed a common
bond of relationships in vari ous fields and in varying degrees, developed a common
interest and outlook;
Recognising that our common destiny needs to be based upon the rectification of
historically distorted relationships and promoting common interests;
Convinced of the necessity of building a single economic community so as to promote
our common rights, freedoms and interests;
Determined to ensure the maintenance of the peace and democracy we have achieved
through our struggle and sacrifice;
Now, therefore, in order to consolidate th ese aims and beliefs, do hereby adopt this
Constitution through our representatives in the Constitutional Assembly on this
___________________ of 1994.
Article 1 The Name of the Ethiopian State
This Constitution establishes a federal and democratic state structure. Accordingly, the
Ethiopian State shall be called the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Article 2 Territory of Ethiopia
The territory of Ethiopia shall, as determined by international agreements, comprise of
the borders of the member states of the Federation.
Article 3 The Ethiopian Flag
1. The Ethiopian flag consists of three hor izontal bands of equal size, the uppermost
green, the middle yellow and the nethermost red.
2. The national emblem on the flag shall reflect the equality of the nations, nationalities,
peoples and religions in Ethiopia and their aspirati ons to live in unity.
3. Each member state of the Federation may have its own flag and emblem. Particulars
shall be determined by their respective parliaments.
Article 4 The National Anthem
The national anthem of Ethiopia shall be determined by law so as to reflect the objectives
of this Constitution, the Ethiopian people’s reso lve to live in unity within a democratic
system and their common future.
Article 5 Language
1. The official language of the Federa l Government shall be Amharic.
2. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.
3. The member states of the Federation shall determine their respective official
Article 6 Citizenship
1. Any person with one or both parents of Ethiopian citizenship is an Ethiopian.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
2. Foreigners may acquire Ethiopian citizenship.
3. Particulars relating to citizenship shall be determined by law.
Article 7 Gender
In this Constitution, provisions enacted in the masculine gender shall be deemed to
include the feminine gender.
FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTI ONAL PRINCIPLES
Article 8 Sovereignty
1. Sovereignty resides in the nations, na tionalities and peoples of Ethiopia.
2. This Constitution is an expression of their sovereignty.
3. Sovereignty shall be expressed through the pe oples’ representatives, elected by them in
accordance with this Constitution, and through their direct democratic participation.
Article 9 Supremacy of the Constitution
1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the land. All laws, customary practices, and
decisions made by state organs or public officials inconsistent therewith, shall be null and
2. All citizens, state organs, political organiza tions, other associations and their officials,
have the duty to comply with this Constitution and abide by it.
3. Assuming power in any manner other than as provided by this Constitution is
4. International agreements ratified by Ethiopia are an integr al part of the law of the land.
Article 10 Human and Democratic Rights.
1. Human rights and freedoms as inherent rights of man are inalienable and inviolable.
2. The human and democratic rights of pe oples and citizens shall be protected.
Article 11 Separation of State and Religion
1. The Ethiopian State is a secular state.
2. There shall be no state religion.
3. The State shall not interfere in religious a ffairs; neither shall religion interfere in the
affairs of the State.
Article 12 Functions and Acc ountability of Government.
1. The activities of government shall be undertaken in a manner which is open and
transparent to the public.
2. The people may recall any one of their representatives whenever they lose confidence
in him. Particulars shall be determined by law.
3. Any public official or elected representative shall be made accountable for breach of
his official duties.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Article 13 Scope and Interpretation
1. The provisions of this Chapter shall, at all levels, apply to the federal and state
legislative, executive and judici al branches of government.
2. The fundamental rights and freedoms enumerated in this Chapter shall be interpreted in
a manner consistent with the Universal D eclaration of Human Rights, international
human rights covenants and conventions ratified by Ethiopia.
Article 14 The Right to Life, Li berty and Security of Person.
Everyone by virtue of being human, has the ina lienable and inviolable right to life, liberty
and security of person.
Article 15 The Right to Life.
Every human being has the right to life. No one shall be deprived of his life except by
reason of his conviction in accordance with the law for a serious crime committed by
Article 16 The Right to Security of Person
Every one shall have the right to security of person.
Article 17 Liberty
1. No one shall be deprived of his liberty ex cept in accordance with such procedures as
are laid down by law.
2. No one shall be arrested or detained w ithout being charged or convicted of a crime
except in accordance with such proc edures as are laid down by law.
Article 18 Prohibition of Inhuman Treatment
1. Everyone shall have the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
2. No one shall be held in slavery or servit ude; trafficking in human beings, for whatever
purpose it might be, is prohibited.
3. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
4. For the purpose of this ar ticle, the term “forced or compulsory labour” shall not
a) Any labour which is, in accordance with the law, required of a prisoner while in
detention, or of a person during conditi onal release from such detention:
b) Any service required of a person who is a conscientious objector in lieu of military
c) Any service exacted in cases of emergenc y or calamity threatening the life or well-
being of the community.
d) Any voluntary economic or social devel opmental activity undertaken by the people of
the community concerned.
Article 19 Rights of Persons under Arrest
1. Anyone arrested on criminal charges shall have the right to be informed promptly and
in detail, in a language which he understands, of the nature and cause of the charge
2. Everyone shall have the right to keep silent and be warned promptly, in a language
which he understands, that any statement he may make may be used in evidence against
3. Everyone shall have the right to be brought before a court of law within 48 hours after
his arrest. This shall not include a reasonable time taken in the journey to a court of law.
He shall have the right to be specifically in formed that there is sufficient cause for his
arrest as soon as he appears in court.
4. Everyone shall be entitled to an inaliena ble right of habeas corpus where the police
officers or the public prosecutor fails to bri ng the accused to court within the time limit
provided by law. Where the inte rest of justice so requires, or where remand has been
requested for further investigation, the court may order the accused to be kept in custody
for a duration as is deemed necessary. Remand granted by a court shall be such as to
enable the responsible officials of the public prosecution to investigate and speedily bring
the case to a court of law.
5. Everyone shall have the right not to be fo rced to make any confessions or admissions
of any evidence that may be brought against hi m during the trial. No evidence obtained in
such a manner shall be legally admissible.
6. Anyone arrested shall have the right to be released on bail. The courts may however,
for reasons specified by law, reject the appli cation for bail, allow a conditional release or
demand the production of sufficient sureties.
Article 20 Rights of the Accused.
1. Everyone charged with an offence shall be entitled to a public hearing before an
ordinary court of law wit hout undue delay; the trial ma y, however, be conducted in
camera only for the purposes of protecting the pr ivate lives of the parties, public morals
and moral security.
2. Everyone charged with an offence shall be adequately informed in writing of the
charges brought against him.
3. Everyone charged with an offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a
court of law and not to be compe lled to testify against himself.
4. Everyone charged with an offence shall be entitled to inspect any evidence brought
against him, examine witnesses testifying against him, present or obtain the production of
any evidence or obtain the attendance of witnesses in their defence.
5. Everyone charged with an offence shall ha ve the right to defend himself through legal
assistance of his own choosing and to have free legal assistance assigned to him by the
government where the interests of justice so require and he does not have sufficient
means to pay for it.
6. Everyone charged with an offence shall have the right to his conviction or sentence
being reviewed on appeal by a competent court of law.
7. Everyone charged with an offence shall have the right to be provided with an
interpreter by the government, where the tria l is conducted in a language which he does
Article 21 Right of Persons in Cu stody and Convicted Prisoners
1. Any person in custody or a convicted prisone r shall have the right to humane treatment
which accords with his human dignity.
2. Any person in custody or a convicted prisoner shall have the right to communicate
with and be visited by spouse(s) , close relatives and friends, medical attendants, religious
and legal counselors.
Article 22 Non-retroactivity of Criminal Laws
1. No one shall be held guilty of any crimin al offence on account of any act or omission
which did not constitute a criminal offe nce under the law at the time when it was
committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the
time when the criminal offence was committed.
2. The provisions of sub-Article 1 of this ar ticle notwithstanding, laws enacted after the
commission of the offence shall apply before or after sentence where they are favourable
to the accused.
Article 23 Prohibition of Double Jeopardy
No one shall be liable to be tried or submitted again for an offence for which he has been
finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the criminal laws and procedure.
Article 24 Right to Human Dignity and Good Reputation
1. Everyone shall have the right to his human dignity and good reputation.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freely de velop his personality in a manner consistent
with the rights of others.
3. Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 25 The Right to Equality
All persons shall be equal before the law and shall be entitled to equal protection of the
law without any discrimination whatsoever. All persons shall be entitled to equal and
adequate guarantees without distinction of any kind such as race, nation, nationality,
colour, sex, language, religion, poli tical or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article 26 Right to Privacy
1. Everyone shall have the right to his privacy and physical integr ity. This right shall
include protection from searches of his person, his home, his property and protection
from seizure of property under his possession.
2. Private postal corresponde nce as well as other communi cations through the telephone,
telecommunications and other electron ic devices shall be inviolable.
3. Government officials shall have the duty to respect and enforce these rights. Exercise
of these rights may only be restricted by laws enacted for purposes of prevention of
crimes, protection of national security, public peace, public health and morality, rights
and freedoms of others or in periods of emergency.
Article 27 Freedom of Religi on, Conscience and Thought
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This
right shall include freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and
freedom, either individually or in community w ith others and in public or in private, to
manifest his religion or belief in wors hip, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion by force or any other means, which would impair
his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Parents and legal guardians shal l have the right, in accordance with their belief, to give
their children religious or moral instruction.
4. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief s may be subject only to such limitations as
are prescribed by law and are necessary to prot ect public safety, order, health or morals
or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others and to ensure the secular nature of the
Article 28 Crimes Against Humanity
There shall be no period of limitation on persons charged with crimes against humanity
as provided by international conventions ratified by Ethiopia and othe r laws of Ethiopia.
The legislature or any other organ of state sh all have no power to pardon or give amnesty
with regard to such offences.
Article 29 Right to Hold Opini ons, Thoughts and Free Expressions
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without any interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression without interference. This right
shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds,
regardless of frontiers, either ora lly, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through
other media of his choice.
3. Freedom of the press and mass media as well as freedom of artistic creation is
guaranteed. Press freedom shall, in particular, include the rights enumerated hereunder: a)
that censorship in any form is prohibited. b) the opportunity to have access to information
of interest to the public.
4. The press shall be granted institutional independence and legal protection to enable it
to accommodate different opinions and ensure the free flow of information, ideas and
opinions that are necessary in a democratic society.
5. Any media financed or controlled by the government shall be organized in a manner
suitable for the accommodation of differences of opinion.
6. Nothing in the foregoing shall absolve anyone of liability arising from laws enacted to
protect public morals, peace, human dignity and democratic rights of citizens.
Article 30 Freedom of Assembly, Public demonstration and the Right to Petition.
1. Everyone shall have the freedom, in association with others, to peaceably assemble
without arms, engage in public demonstra tion and the right to petition. Appropriate
procedure may be enacted to ensure that public meetings and demonstrations do not
disrupt public activities, or th at such meetings and demonstrations do not violate public
morals, peace and democratic rights.
2. This right shall not absolve anyone of liability arising from the laws enacted to protect
public morals, peace, human dignity and democratic rights of citizens.
Article 31 Right to Association
Everyone shall have the right to form associ ations for whatever purpose. Associations
formed in violation of the appropriate laws or associations formed with the objective of
overthrowing the constitu tional order or associations carry ing out these activities shall be
Article 32 Freedom of Movement
1. Every Ethiopian or any other person lawfully within Ethiopia shall have the freedom to
freely move and establish his residence within Ethiopia as well as to travel abroad.
2. Every Ethiopian shall have the ri ght to return to his country.
Article 33 Rights of Citizenship
1. No Ethiopian of either sex shall lose his/he r Ethiopian citizenship against his/her will.
2. Every Ethiopian shall be entitled to the rights, protections, and benefits deriving, in
accordance with the law, from Et hiopian citizenship. Marriage of an Ethiopian citizen of
either sex to a foreign citizen shall not re sult in the loss of Ethiopian citizenship. 3.
Ethiopians shall have the right to change their citizenship.
4. Ethiopian citizenship may be granted to foreigners in accordance with laws and
procedures enacted in a manner not inconsiste nt with international agreements ratified by
Article 34 Rights Relating to Marriage, the Individual and the Family
1. All men and women attaining the legal ag e of marriage, shall have, without any
distinction as to race, nation, nationality or religion, the right to marry and found a
family. They shall have equal rights in th e process of contracting the marriage, its
duration and dissolution. Regulations shall be en acted to protect the rights and interests of
children in the even t of dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be based on the free a nd full consent of the intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental basis of society and hence is entitled to
protection from society and the state.
4. Particulars relating to the recognition of religious and customary marriages may be
determined by law.
5. This Constitution shall not preclude the right of parties to voluntarily submit their
dispute for adjudication in accordance with re ligious or customary laws. Particulars shall
be determined by law.
Article 35 The Rights of Women
1. Women shall have equal rights with men in the enjoyment of the rights and protections
guaranteed by this Constitution to all Ethiopians.
2. Women shall, as prescribed by this Constitu tion, have equal rights with men in respect
3. Considering that women have traditionally been viewed with inferiority and are
discriminated against, they have the right to the benefit of affirmative actions undertaken
for the purpose of introducing corrective ch anges to such heritage. The aim of such
measures is to ensure that special attention is given to enabling women to participate and
compete equally with men in the political, ec onomic and social fields both within public
and private organisations.
4. The State has the duty to guarantee the right of women to be free from the influence of
harmful customary practices. All laws, st ereotyped ideas and customs which oppress
women or otherwise adversely affect their phys ical and mental well-being are prohibited.
5. (a) Women shall have the right to maternity leave with full remuneration. The duration
of maternity leave shall be determined by law having regard to the nature of the work, the
woman’s health and the welfare of the child and its family.
(b) Maternity leave may, by law, be made to include pregnancy leave with full
6. Women shall have the right to demand that their opinions be heard on matters of
national development policies, on plan and pr oject implementation, and in particular, on
projects affecting their interests.
7. Women shall have the right to acquire, ad minister, control, enjoy and dispose of
property. They shall, in particular, have equal rights with men regarding the use, transfer,
administration and control of land. They shall enjoy the same rights with men with
respect to inheritance.
8. Women shall have the right of access to education and information on family planning
and the capability to benefit thereby so as to protect their good health and prevent health
hazards resulting from child birth.
Article 36 The Rights of the Child
1. Every child shall be entitled to the rights enumerated hereunder:-
(a) the right to life;
(b) the right to a name and nationality;
(c) the right to know and be cared for by its parents or other legal guardians;
(d) the right to be protected against exploi tative practices, and not to be permitted to
engage in any employment which would prejudi ce its health, education or well-being;
(e) the right to be protected from crue l and inhuman punishment being inflicted upon
him/her in schools or child welfare institutions.
2. In all actions concerning children, whethe r undertaken by public or private social
welfare institutions, courts of law, administra tive authorities or legislative bodies, the best
interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
3. Juvenile offenders, children in correction or rehabilitation institutions, youth, children
under government fostership, and children in public or private orphanages shall be kept
separate from adults.
4. Children born out of wedlock shall have equal rights with those born in wedlock.
Article 37 The Right to Justice
1. Everyone shall have the right to submit his justiciable grievances to and obtain a
decree or judgment from a court of law or any other tribunal given by law the power of
2. The following are entitled to the right to obtain the decree or judgment referred to
under Sub-Article (1) of this Article:
(a) any association with respect to the priv ate or common interests of its members.
(b) an individual or a member of a group representing any group or persons having
Article 38 The Right to Vote and to be Elected
1. Every citizen, without distin ction on the basis of race, colour, nation, nationality, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, or discrimination based on any other status
shall have the right:
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen
(b) to vote and to be elected at genuine peri odic elections which shall be by universal and
equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ba llot; guaranteeing the free expression of the
will of the electors.
2. Subject to the general and special rules of membership of the organization concerned,
the right of everyone to join political pa rties, trade unions, chambers of commerce,
employer’s and professional associations is guaranteed.
3. Elections to positions of re sponsibility within the organi sations referred to under Sub-
Article (2) of this Article shall be conducted in a free and democratic manner.
4. The provisions of Sub-Articles (2) and (3) of this Article shall, in so far as they
considerably affect public interest , apply to public institutions.
Article 39 The Right of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples
1. Every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia shall have the unrestricted right to self
determination up to secession.
2. Every nation, nationality and people shall ha ve the right to speak, write and develop its
language and to promote its cultu re, help it grow and flourish, and preserve its historical
3. Every nation, nationality or people in Ethi opia shall have the unrestricted right to
administer itself; and this shall include the right to establish government institutions
within the territory it inhabits and the right to fair representation in the federal and state
4. The right to self determination up to s ecession of nation, nationality and peoples may
(a) where the demand for secession is approved by a two thirds (2/3rds) majority of the
legislature of the nation, nati onality or people concerned.
(b) where the Federal Government within th ree years upon receipt of the decision of the
legislature of the nation, nationality or people demanding secession, organises a
referendum for the nation, national ity or people demanding secession.
(c) where the demand for secession is suppor ted by a simple majority vote in the
(d) where the Federal Govern ment transfers power to the parliament of the nation,
nationality or people which has opted for secession.
(e) where propert is partitioned in accordance with the law.
5. The term “nation, nationality and peopl e” shall mean a community having the
following characteristics: People having a common culture reflecting considerable
uniformity or similarity of custom, a common language, belief in a common bond and
identity, and a common consciousness the majority of whom live within a common
territory. An alternat ive supported by a minority of the Council.
1. Every nationality in Ethiopia shall have the right to speak and write in its own
language, and express, promote and develop it.
2. Every nationality in Ethiopia shall have the full right to administer itself .This right
shall include the right to establish government institutions within the territory it inhabits
and the right to fair representation in the federal and state governments.
3. Nationalities shall have, on the basis of the free choice of their peoples, the right to
organise on a larger territor y a self- administrative struct ure for running their internal
affairs and establish governmental institutions for common self-administration.
4. Nationalities shall also have, on the basis of the free choice of their peoples, the right
to establish regional self-administration, and such regional self-administrative unit shall
be a member of the Federation.
5. For the purposes of this constitution, th e term “nationality” shall mean a community
having the following characteristics: pe ople with a common culture reflecting
considerable uniformity and a similarity of custom, a common language or (minority)
languages of communication, a belief in a common bond and identity, the majority of
whom live in a common territory.
6. Affiliated nationalities who share common characteristics but exhibiting varying
cultures, common political and economic inte rests and believe in establishing, on the
basis of the free choice of thei r peoples, a common administration may together decide to
be recognized as a single nation or as one people.
7. In the event where the rights enumerated in th is Article are violated, or by virtue of an
unjust distribution of social wealth or an unfair distribution of the products of
development, a sector of the population which has obtained recogni tion as a nation in
accordance with Sub-Article (6 ) of this Article raises the demand for secession, the
causes for which the demand was made sh all be made to find solutions.
(a) any question arising out of the causes indi cated herein above shall be submitted to the
Constitutional Court for its consideration. Wh ere the Constitutional Court subsequently
finds that these causes reflect the views of the majority of the population, it may further
investigate the causes and deci de upon various solutions, including that of compensation
or submit other recommendations for conciliation.
(b) The decision made, or the recomm endation for conciliation made by the
Constitutional Court shall be submitted to a joint meeting of the two Chambers of the
Council, and the joint meeting may accept, reject or amend the decision or
recommendation for conciliation.
(c) The decision passed by the jo int meeting shall be submitted to the parliament of the
self-administration of the nation concerned.
(d) Where the parliament of the nation con cerned rejects the joint meeting’s decision, it
may, by two-thirds majority vote submit an alternative recommendation for conciliation
to the Council of the Federation or decide fo r a referendum on the secession issue to be
(e) The referendum shall be held three years after the nation’s parliaments approval of the
demand for secession in accordance with S ub-Article 1(d) of this Article.
(f) The decision for secession shall come into effect where it is supported by two-thirds
majority vote of the populati on of the nation concerned.
Article 40 The Right to Property
1. The right of every Ethiopian citizen to own private property is guaranteed. Unless the
law provides otherwise in the publ ic interest, this right shall include th e right to use and
enjoy property, and, in so far as it does not viol ate the rights of others, to sell, transfer by
succession or by any other means.
2. For the purposes of this Article the term “private property” shall mean any property,
both corporeal and incorporeal, produced by the labour, creativity or capital of an
Ethiopian citizen, associations of Ethiopian nationals endowed with legal personality by
law, or associations who under appropriate conditions are allowed by special laws to
jointly own property.
3. The right to own rural and urban land as we ll as natural resources belongs only to the
state and the people. Land is an inalienable common property of the nations, nationalities
and peoples of Ethiopia.
4. The right of Ethiopian peas ants to free allotment of land and not to be evicted
therefrom is guaranteed. Particulars for its im plementation shall be determined by law.
5. Without prejudice to the right of ownership of land by the nations, nationalities and
peoples of Ethiopia, the state shall guarantee the right of private investors to the use of
land upon payment of money, the amount of which is to be determined by law.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
6. Every Ethiopian shall have the full right to the immovable property he builds on the
land and to the improvements he brings about on the land by his la bor or capital. This
right shall include the right to alienate, and where right of use expires, to remove his
property, transfer his title, or claim compensation for it. Particulars shall be determined
7. Without prejudice to the right to privat e property, the state may expropriate private
property for public use with the prior payment of adequate compensation.
Alternative supported by th e minority of the Council
1. Every Ethiopian citizen of either sex shall have the right to own property, including the
ownership of both urban and rural land. This right includes the right to acquire, use,
mortgage, sell, transfer by succession or by other means.
2. For the purposes of this article the term “property” shall mean any property, both
corporeal and incorporeal, produced by the labo r, creativity or capital of an Ethiopian
citizen, associations of Ethi opian nationals endowed with legal personality by law, or
associations who under appropria te conditions are allowed by special laws to jointly own
3. The State may, in the public interest and in pa rticular, to ensure that Ethiopian citizens
shall have an equal opportunity to gain a living and an equal access to housing, determine
the size of ownership of bot h rural and urban land.
4. The State may, without making any distinct ion whatsoever, lease out land to private
5. (a) The State may expropriate property in the public interest in accordance with
procedures that are laid down by law. Such procedure must, as a minimum requirement,
ensure that the parties concer ned are given an open forum in which whether the proposed
expropriation satisfies the purposes of the propos ed public interest and that such interest
cannot be satisfied by other means.
(b) Expropriation may be made only upon prio r payment of compensation by the State.
Where compensation is to by made in mone y, the amount must be determined according
to the market price prevailing at the moment of expropriation. Where the compensation is
to be made in kind or by other means, the compensation must be estimated in a manner
commensurate to the market price then prevailing.
6. The manner by which foreign nationals may own property shall be determined by law.
Article 41 Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1. Every Ethiopian shall have the right to e ngage in any economic activity and gain his
living by work which he freely chooses.
2. Every Ethiopian shall have the right to choose his vocation, work and profession.
3. Every Ethiopian citizen shall have the right to equal access to social services run with
4. The State shall allocate progr essively increasing funds for the purposes of promoting
the people’s access to health, education and other social services.
5. The State shall, within the limits permitted by the economic capability of the country,
care for and rehabilitate the physically and mentally handicapped, the aged, and children
deprived of their parents or guardians.
6. The State shall devise policies designed to create employment of the poor and
unemployed; issue programmes designed to open up work opportunities in the public
sector and undertake projects.
7. The State shall take necessary measures to expand the opportunities of citizens to
engage in gainful employment. 8. Peasants shall have the right to be paid a fair
recompense for their produce which would en able them to progressively attain an
improved standard of living and in proporti on to their productive contribution to the
national wealth. The State shall be guided by this objective in determining its economic
and social development policies.
9. The State shall have the responsibility to preserve the cultural and historical heritage
and contribute to the promotion of the development of the Arts.
Article 42 Workers’ Rights
1. (a) Factory and service sector employees, peasants, agricultural workers, other rural
workers, government employees below a certain level of responsibility and the nature of
whose employment so requires, shall have the right to form associations for the purpose
of improving their economic and employment conditions. This right shall include the
right to form trade union and other associations, and to negotiate with their employers
and other organizations affecting their interests.
(b) The category of workers referr ed to in paragraph (a) of this Article shall have the right
to express their grievances, which sh all include the right to strike.
(c) Government employees who may benefit from the rights recognized under paragraphs
(a) and (b) of this Article shall be determined by law.
(d) The right of women workers to equal pa y for equal work is guaranteed. 2. Workers
shall have the right to appropr iately defined working hours, br eaks, leisure, periodic leave
with pay, paid public holidays, and a sa fe and healthy working environment.
3. Laws issued for the implementation of thes e rights shall, without derogating from the
rights recognized under Sub- Ar ticle (1) of this Article, lay down procedures for the
establishment of the said trade unions and the manner of conducting collective
Article 43 The Right to Development
1. The right of the peoples of Ethiopia coll ectively, or the nations, nationalities and
peoples in Ethiopia, individuall y, to improve their standard of living and to sustainable
development is guaranteed.
2. Citizens shall have the right to participate in national development, and in particular, to
demand that their opinions be heard on matters of policies and of projects pertaining to
the community of which they are members.
3. International agreements ente red into or relations formed by the State shall be such as
to guarantee the right to the sust ainable development of Ethiopia.
4. The main objectives of development activi ties shall be the citizens development and
the fulfillment of their basic needs.
Article 44 Right to the Protec tion of the Environment.
1. Everyone has the right to a cl ean and healthy environment.
2. Everyone who is uprooted from the place of his residence by virtue of programmes
undertaken by the Government, or one whose liv elihood has been affected shall have the
right to receive adequate mone tary or other alternative compensation, including transfer,
with assistance, to another locality.
Article 45 Form of Government
The form of government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall be
Article 46 States in the Federation
1. The Federation shall co mprise of states.
2. States shall be structured on the basis of settlement patterns, language, identity and
consent of the people.
Article 47 States in the Federation
1. Members of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia are the following.
1. Tigrai State 2. Afar State 3. Amara St ate 4. Oromia State 5. Somali State 6.
Benshangul/Gumaz/ State 7. Southern Peoples’ State* 8. Gambela Peoples’ State 9.
Harari Peoples’ State
*The Nations, Nationalities and peoples of the Southern Peoples’ State are the following:
Hadiya Hamer Melon Mursi Minit
Surma Sidama Shekoch Sheko Busa
Besketo Burji Bencho Bodi Nao
Kembata Keficho Kore (Amaro) Konso Konta
Aide Ori Wolaita Zeise Zelmam
Dime Disenech Dawro Dizi Gaweda
Gurage Gidicha Gidole Gamo Gedeo
Gobeze Gofa Tenbaro Chara Tsemay
2. The nations, nationalities and peoples within the states provided under Sub Article (1)
of this Article shall have the right to es tablish, at any time, a state of their own.
3. Member States of the Federal Democra tic Republic of Ethiopia shall have equal
powers and rights.
Article 48 Border Changes
1. Where a problem arises regarding a state border it shall be settled in accordance with
an agreement reached between the states c oncerned. Where the states cannot reach an
agreement, the Council of the Federation shal l render a decision taking into account the
settlement patterns and interests of the people.
2. Matters submitted to the Council of the Fede ration pursuant to Sub-Article (1) of this
Article shall be decided within a tim e of not more than two years.
Article 49 Capital City
1. Addis Ababa shall be the capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
2. The city of Addis Ababa shall have complete powers of self- administration.
Particulars shall be determined by law.
3. The administration of the city of Addis Ababa shall be accountable to the Federal
4. The special interest of the state of Oromia with respect to supply of services or the
utilization of resources or administrative matte rs arising from the presence of the city of
Addis Ababa within the stat e of Oromia shall be protected. Particulars shall be
determined by law.
5. Residents of the city of Addis Ababa shal l be represented in the Council of Peoples’
Representatives of the Federation in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
THE STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC
REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA
Article 50 Organs of State Power
1. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopi a shall comprise of the Federal and State
2. The Federal Government and the States shal l have legislative, executive and judicial
3. Supreme power of the Federal Government shall reside in the Council of Peoples’
Representatives which shall be accountable to the Ethiopian people. Supreme power of
states shall reside in the St ate Parliament which shall be accountable to the people of the
state which elected it.
4. States shall be organized at the state and Woreda level. State Parliament, may, while
organizing its administration, include other admi nistrative hierarchies. Sufficient power
shall be given to organs at a lower level to allow for direct popular participation.
5. The State Parliament shall be the legislature of the State with regard to matters falling
within its powers. It shall prepare, adopt or amend the Constitution of the State.
6. The Government of the State shall be th e highest executive organ of the State.
7. Judicial powers of states shall reside only in the courts.
8. The respective powers of the Federal Governme nt and the States is determined by this
Constitution. Powers of the Federal Governme nt shall be respected by the States and
powers of the States shall be resp ected by the Federal Government.
9. The Federal Government, may, when it deem s it necessary, delegate to the States,
some of the powers given to it under Article 51 of this C onstitution. States may also
delegate some of their pow ers and responsibilities to the Federal Government.
Article 51 Powers and Duties of the Federal Government.
1. Prepares and implements general economic, so cial development policies, strategies and
plans of the country.
2. Prepares and implements fiscal and moneta ry as well as foreign investment policies
3. Prepares and implements, national standard and policy measures with respect to health,
education, culture, historical heri tage and science and technology.
4. Determines foreign policy and implements the same. Enters into and ratifies
5. Organizes and guides public safety and natio nal defence as well as the police force of
the Federal Government.
6. Directs and controls inter-state commerce and foreign trade.
7. Determines and controls matters relating to immigration, passport, entry and exit visas,
refugees and political asylum.
8. Determines on the granting of nationality.
9. Levies and administers taxes and duties on those sources of revenue reserved to the
Federal Government. Prepares, approves a nd administers the budget of the Federal
10. Promotes, administers and controls air, rail and sea transport; postal,
telecommunication services as well as highways linking more than two states.
11. Administers the National Bank, issues cu rrency, borrows money, controls foreign
exchange and circulation of money. Enacts la ws and regulations regarding borrowings by
states from local sources.
12. Permits and protects artistic and intellectual property. 13. Adopts uniform
measurement and time standards.
14. Declares and lifts state of emergency in the whole or part of the country.
15. Deploys Federal defence forces when a State requests, in case of danger to public
security beyond the control of the State concerned.
16. Enacts laws relating to the utilization and protection of land, natural resources and
17. Determines and administers utilization of rivers and lakes that cross borders of the
country or link two or more states.
18. Enacts laws relating to political organiza tions and elections necessary to implement
political rights recognized by this Constitution.
19. Safeguards and defends the Constitution.
20. Enacts laws on the carrying of arms.
21. Administers and promotes service inst itutions established through the Federal
Article 52 Powers and Duties of States.
1. Powers not exclusively reserved to the Fe deral Government or concurrently given both
to the Federal Government and State Gove rnments by this Constitution, shall belong to
2. Without prejudice to the provi sions of Sub-Article (1) of this Article, powers of the
State shall include the following:-
(a) Prepare and implement economic and so cial development policies, plans and
(b) Enact and implement state constitution and other laws.
(c) Administer land and natural resources in accordance with laws enacted by the Federal
(d) establish state administration aimed at se lf- administration; establish a democratic
order where rule of law reigns. Safeguard and defend this Constitution.
(e) Levy taxes and duties on those sources of re venue reserved for the States; prepare and
implement its own budget;
(f) Enact and implement laws regulating admi nistration and working conditions of civil
servants of the State. It shall however, have the responsibility to ensure that standards of
education, training and experien ce for a given job category are comparable to the general
standards adopted in the country.
(g) Organise and direct the police force of the state; ensure la w and order within the state.
FEDERAL CHAMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
Article 53 The Federal Chambers
The Federal Parliament shall be composed of two chambers, namely the Council of
Peoples’ Representatives and th e Council of the Federation.
Article 54 Members of the Council of Peoples’ Representatives
1. The members of the Council of Peoples’ Repr esentatives shall be elected every five
years in a direct, free and fair election by uni versal suffrage which shall be held by secret
2. The members of the Council of Peoples Repr esentatives shall be elected from among
candidates within one electoral district in an electoral process where the winner shall be
the candidate with the highest number of vot es. Minority nationalities and peoples that
are believed to deserve special representati on shall become, through election, members of
the Council of Peoples’ Representatives. Pa rticulars shall be determined by law.
3. Members of the Council represent the whole people and shall be responsible only to
a) the Constitution b) the People, and c) their conscience
4. No action or charge may be brought or an administrative measure be taken against any
member of the Council for a vote cast or statement made in the Council.
5. No member of the Council may be arrested or prosecuted without the permission of the
Council except when caught in flagrant e delicto for a serious offence.
6. The number of members of the Council shall be determined on the basis of population
in each electoral district and the populat ion of minority nationalities and peoples
endowed with special repres entation. Particulars shall be determined by law.
7. Any member of the Council shall, in acco rdance with the law, be removed from
membership of the Council where the elec torate loses confidence in him.
Article 55 Powers and Duties of the Council of Peoples’ Representatives
1. The Council of Peoples’ Representatives sh all, in accordance with this constitution,
enact laws on matters falling within the powers of the Federal Government.
2. Without prejudice to the generality of th e provisions under Sub- Article (1) of this
Article, the Council of Peoples’ Representatives shall enact laws with respect to the
a) Nationality, immigration, passport, entry and exit visas, refugee and matters relating to
b) Utilization of land, natura l resources, rivers and lakes crossing the border of the
country or linking two or more states.
c) Inter-state commerce and foreign trade.
d) Air, rail, sea transport, postal and telecommunication services and highways linking
two or more states.
e) Artistic and intelle ctual property rights.
f) Uniform time and measurement standards.
g) Election and exercise of political rights in accordance with the provisions of this
h) Carrying of arms.
3. Enact labour laws.
4. Enact commercial laws /codes
5. Enact a Penal Code. Without prejudice to the foregoing, the States shall have the
power to enact penal laws on matters not covered by the Penal Code of the Federal
6. Enact laws on areas of private law where the interest of creating a single economic
community requires that such laws be enacted on a federal level.
7. Decide upon the organization of public defence and police force of the Federal
8. Declare state of emergency in accordance wi th the provisions of Article 95 of this
Constitution. Approve the declaration of state of emergency made by the executive
9. Declare war based on draft laws submitte d to it by the Council of Ministers.
10. Approve general economic, social devel opment policies and strategies, fiscal and
monetary policies of the country, enacts laws on currency, ad ministration of the National
Bank, foreign exchange and circulation of money.
11. Levy taxes and duties on the sources of reve nue reserved for the Federal Government.
Approve the budget of the Federal Government.
12. Ratify international agreements signed by the executive branch.
13. Approve appointment of judges of the Federal Courts, members of the Council of
Ministers, General Auditor, and other offi cials whose appointment shall be approved by
the Council. 14. Establish a Human Rights Commission and determine its powers and
15. Establish an Ombudsman, elect and appoint members that shall lead it; determine its
powers and duties.
16. Request, on its own initiative and without th e consent of the State concerned, a joint
meeting of the Council of Peoples’ Representa tives and the Council of the Federation for
the adoption of appropriate measures where hum an rights are violated in a state and the
state persists in its violation, and give directives to the stat e for the implementation of the
decisions that are adopted.
17. The Council shall have the power to ca ll the Prime Minister and Ministers for
questioning and inspect the activit ies of the executive branch.
18. Deliberate on any item within the powers of the executive where one third of the
members of the Council so request. The Council shall have the power to deliberate and
take any measure it deems appropriate.
19. Elect the Speaker of the Council and the deputy speaker of the Council; establish
committees necessary to carry out its activities.
Article 56 Political power
A Political party or a coalition of political parties obtaining the highest number of seats in
the Council shall have the power to form and lead the executive branch of the Federal
Article 57 Adoption of Laws
Laws upon which the Council has deliberated and agreed shall be submitted to the
President for signature. The President shall affix his signature within 15 days. The law
shall come into force where the president fa ils to affix his signature within 15 days.
Article 58 Meeting and Term of Office of the Council
1. A simple majority of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
2. The Council shall convene on the Monday of the last week of Meskerem and shall
continue to the 30th day of Sene. It shall have a one month recess at a time to be
determined by the Council.
3. Members of the Council of Peoples’ Representa tives shall be elected for a term of five
years. New elections shall be held one month before the expiry of the term.
4. The House speaker of the Council may call a meeting when the Council is on recess.
The House speaker shall have an obligation to call a meeting where a majority of the
members of the Council so request.
5. No meeting of the Council shall be clos ed to public except upon a request by the
members of the Council or th e executive branch of the Federal Government supported by
a majority of the members of the Council.
Article 59 Decisions and Rules of Procedure
1. Unless otherwise expressly provided by th is Constitution, decisions of the Council
shall be adopted by a simple majority vote.
2. The Council may adopt its own rules of procedure.
Article 60 Dissolution of the Council
1. The Prime Minister, with the consent of the Council, may dissolve the Council before
the expiry of its term so as to conduct new elections.
2. The President shall invite political parties in the Council, after dissolving the Council
of Ministers, to form a new coalition government within one week, wh ere the coalition of
the political parties that assume d power is dissolved with a resulting loss of their status as
a majority. Where the political parties fail to form a new government or maintain the
coalition, the Council shall be dissolved and new elections shall be conducted.
3. Where the Council is dissolved in accordance with the provisions of sub Article 1 and
2 of this Article, new elections shall be c onducted within 6 months after the dissolution of
4. The new Council of Peoples’ Representativ es shall convene within 30 days after
completion of the elections.
5. The political party or coali tion of parties which was in pow er and continues to lead the
country after dissolution of the Council of Peoples’ Representatives may not, apart from
performing normal functions of government and conducting new elections, enact new
proclamations, regulations, decr ees or amend existing laws.
Article 61 Council of the Federation
1. The Council of the Federation shall be co mposed of representatives of nations,
nationalities and peoples of the me mber States of the Federation.
2. Each nation, nationality, people shall have at least one representative. Every additional
one million people of the nation /nationality shall be represented by one additional
3. The Members of the Council of the Federa tion may be elected by parliaments of the
respective states. The parliaments may elect the representati ve either by themselves or
through direct elections by the people.
Article 62 Powers and Responsibilitie s of the Council of the Federation
1. The power of interpretation of the Constitu tion shall be vested in the Council of the
2. The Council shall establish the Constitutional Court.
3. The Council shall decide upon questions aris ing with respect to the right of self
determination up to secession of nations, nationa lities and peoples, in accordance with the
provisions of the constitution.
4. It shall promote and develop the equality of peoples and the unity, established by their
free choice, provided for in this constitution.
5. It shall perform the functi ons assigned to it jointly with the Council of Peoples’
6. It shall seek solutions to disa greements arising between states.
7. It shall decide on the sharing of revenues that are comm on to the Federal and State
governments and determine the grounds for allocating federal funds to the respec
8. It shall order the Federal Government to intervene where any state, by violating the
provision of this Constitution, enda ngers the constitutional order.
9. It shall establish permanent and pr ovisional committees of the Council.
10. It shall elect its house speaker and deput y house speaker and adopt its own rules of
Article 63 Rights of the Members of the Council of the Federation
1. No member of the Council of the Federati on may be arrested or prosecuted without
permission of the Council except when caught in flagrante delicato for a serious offence.
2. No action or charge may be brought against any member of the Council of the
Federation on account of any vote cast or statement made in the Council.
Article 64 Decisions and Rules of Procedure
1. A 2/3rds majority of the members of th e Council shall constitute a quorum. Decisions
of the Council shall be adopt ed by a simple majority of the members attending the
2. Voting by the members shall be made only in person.
Article 65 Budget
The Council of the Federation shall subm it its budget to the Council of Peoples’
Representatives for approval.
Article 66 Powers of the Speaker of the House
1. The House speaker shall preside ov er the meetings of the Council.
2. The House speaker shall, by representing the Council, direct the administrative
functions of the Council.
3. The House speaker shall implement the di sciplinary measures taken by the Council
against its members.
Article 67 Meeting and Term of Office
1. The Council of the Federation shall conve ne a minimum of two sessions a year.
2. The term of office of the Council of the Federation shall be five years.
Article 68 Prohibition of Dual Membership
No one shall, simultaneously, be a member of both the Council of Peoples’
Representatives and the Council of the Federation.
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Article 69 The President
The President shall be the Head of State of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Article 70 Appointment of the President
1. The power to nominate the President shall reside in the Council of Peoples’
2. A candidate shall become the President wh ere his appointment is supported by a 2/3rds
majority vote of the joint meeting of the Council of Peoples’ Representatives and the
Council of the Federation.
3. Where a member is appointed as a President, he shall lose his seat in the Council.
4. The term of office of the president shall be six years. No one may be appointed a
president for more than two terms of office.
5. The President, whose appointment is approve d in accordance with Sub-Article 2 of this
Article, shall, before taking over the office expr ess before the joint meeting, his loyalty to
the Constitution and the Ethiopian people, on a date determin ed by the joint session, in
the following words
I ——————– On my appointment as the President of the Federal Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia swear to faithfully fu lfill the heavy responsibilities incumbent on
Article 71 Powers and Responsibilities of the President of the Republic
1. Appoint Ambassadors who represent Ethiopia in foreign countries and other envoys
upon nomination by the Prime Minister.
2. Receive the credentials of foreign ambassadors and other special envoys.
3. Award high military ranks in accordance with the law upon presentation by the Prime
4. Convene the annual joint session of the Council of Peoples’ Representatives and the
Council of the Federation.
5. Award medals and prizes in accordance with the law.
6. Grant amnesty.
7. Promulgate laws and international agr eements ratified by the Council of Peoples’
Representatives in the Negarit Gazetta.
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Article 72 The Powers of the Executive
1. The highest executive authority in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia shall
reside in the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
2. The Prime Minister and the Council of Mini sters shall be accountable to the Council of
Peoples’ Representatives. The members of th e Council of Ministers shall bear collective
responsibility for the joint decisions they make in their official capacity.
3. Unless otherwise determined by this constitution, the te rm of office of the Prime
Minster shall be the term of office of the Council of Peoples’ Representatives.
Article 73 Appointment of the Prime Minister
1. The Prime Minister shall be elected from among the members of the Council by the
political party or a coalition of political parties which has obtained a majority of seats in
the Council of Peoples’ Representatives.
2. The political party or a coalition of political parties which obtained a majority of seats
in the Council of Peoples’ Representatives shall assume the power of government.
Article 74 The Powers and Duties of the Pr ime Minister of the Federal Republic
1. The Prime Minister shall be the head of government, chairman of the Council of
Ministers and the Commander-in-C hief of the Armed Forces.
2. The Prime Minister shall nominate the members of the Council of Ministers from
among the two chambers of parliament or ot her persons found to be appropriate to the
post and present them for approval to the Council of Representatives.
3. Supervise and ensure the implementation of laws, policies, directives and decisions
issued by the Council of Peoples’ Representatives.
4. Direct, coordinate and repres ent the Council of Ministers.
5. Supervise the implementation of policies, re gulations, directives and decisions of the
Council of Ministers.
6. Ensure, in a supervisory capacity, the implementation of the country’s foreign policy.
7. Nominate Commissioners, the President and Vice President of the Federal Supreme
Court, the Auditor General and present them to the Council of Peoples’ Representatives
8. Supervise the activities of the government a nd take the necessary corrective measures.
9. Appoint all high government officials other than those enumerated under Sub- Articles
(2) and (7) of this Article.
10. Present to the President for the award of medals and prizes in accordance with laws
issued by the Council of Peoples’ Representatives.
11. Submit periodic reports to the Council of Pe oples’ Representatives on the state of the
country, the activities of the govern ment and its future plans.
12. Perform other duties assigned to him by this Constitution and other laws.
13. Safeguard and abide by this Constitution.
Article 75 The Deputy Prime Minister
1. The Deputy Prime Minister shall: (a) perform the duties assigned to him by the Prime
Minister; (b) represent the Prime Minister in his absence.
2. The Deputy Prime Minister is accountable to the Prime Minister.
Article 76 The Council of Ministers
1. The Council of Ministers shall be compos ed of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime
Minister, ministers and other members determined by law.
2. The Council of Ministers is accoun table to the Prime Minister.
3. The Council of Ministers is, in so far as it relates to the decisions it adopts, accountable
to the Council of Peoples’ Representatives.
Article 77 Powers and Duties of the Council of Ministers
1. Ensure the implementation of laws enacted and decisions made by the Council of
Peoples’ Representatives, and issue directives.
2. Organize, direct and coordi nate Ministries and other administrative organs directly
accountable to it.
3. Prepare the annual budget of the Federal Government, submit it to the Council of
Peoples’ Representatives and ensure its implementation upon approval.
4. Ensure the implementation of fiscal and monetary policies, administer the National
Bank, issue currencies, borrow money both lo cally and internationally and control
foreign exchange and circulation of money.
5. Protect artistic and intelle ctual property rights.
6. Prepare and implement economic and social policies, and strategies.
7. Adopt uniform time and measurement standards.
8. Issue and implement the country’s foreign relations policy.
9. Ensure respect for law and order.
10. Decide on the form of organisations of ministries and subordinate organs accountable
to the Council of Ministers.
11. Declare state of emergency, submit the decl aration of a state of emergency to the
Council of Peoples’ Representatives for its approval within the tim e determined by this
12. Submit draft laws on all matters, including matters relating to war, to the Council of
13. Perform other duties assigned to it by the Council of Peoples’ Representatives and the
14. Issue regulations in accordance with th e powers given to it by the Council of Peoples’
Article 78 Judicial Independence
1. An independent judiciary is hereby established.
2. The highest judicial power of the Federal Government resides in the Federal Supreme
Court. The Council of Peoples’ Represen tatives may, where it deems it necessary
establish, by a two-thirds majority vote Federal High courts or First Instance courts
throughout the whole country or in parts of it. Unless otherwise determined in accordance
with the foregoing, the judicial powers of the Federal High an d First Instance courts is
hereby given to the state courts.
3. The States shall have State Supreme Courts , State High Courts and State First Instance
courts. Particulars shall be determined by law.
4. Special or temporary courts that do not us e the duly established procedures of the legal
process or displace the jurisdiction belonging to the ordinary courts or judicial tribunals
shall not be established.
5. The Council of Peoples Representatives a nd State Parliaments may, in accordance with
Article 34 Sub-Article (5) of this Constitu tion, establish or recognize religious and
customary courts of law.
Article 79 Judicial Power
1. Judicial power shall be vested only in th e courts both on the Federal and State levels.
2. Courts of all levels shall be free of in terference from any state organ or government
authority or from any other source.
3. Judges shall exercise their j udicial function in complete independence; they shall be
guided by no other authority than that of the law.
4. No judge may be dismissed from his judgesh ip without his consent before the legally
determined retirement age, except under the conditions enumerated hereunder:-
a) Where the Judicial Administration Commissi on finds him at fault in accordance with
disciplinary laws or finds him grossly inco mpetent or inefficient; or the Commission.
b) decides that he cannot carry out his duties properly on account of his illness; and
c) where the decision of the Commission is ap proved by a simple majority of the Council
of Peoples’ Representatives.
5. The retirement age of judges may not be extended.
6. The Federal Supreme Court shall submit the budget for the administration of the
Federal Judiciary to the Council of Peoples’ Representatives and administer the budget
upon its approval.
7. The budget of the state judiciary shall be determined by the respective State
Parliaments. The Federal Council of Peopl es’ Representatives shall allocate a
compensatory budget to the State Supreme and High courts which combine the functions
of the Federal High and first instance courts.
Article 80 Jurisdiction
1. The Federal Supreme Court shall have the highest and final jurisdiction over federal
2. The State Supreme Court shall have the highest and final jurisdiction over state
matters. It shall, in addition assume the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
3. The provisions of Sub-Articles (1) and (2) of this Article notwithstanding, final
decisions made by the Federal Supreme Court or state courts may be reviewed in
cassation by the Federal Supreme Court where it finds such decision to be affected by a
fundamental error of law. Particulars shall be determined by law. 4. The State High Court
shall, in addition to its jurisdiction in the st ate, assume the additional jurisdiction of the
Federal First Instance court.
5. Decisions rendered by the State High Court in its federal jurisdiction shall be reviewed
on appeal by the State Supreme Court.
6. Decisions rendered by the State Supreme Court in its federal jurisdiction may be
reviewed on appeal by the Federal Supreme Court.
Article 81 Appointment of Judges
1. The President and Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court shall be appointed by
the Council of Peoples’ Representatives upon their nomination by the Prime Minister.
2. The appointment of other judges of the Fe deral Supreme Court shall be made by the
Council of Peoples’ Representatives upon no mination of candidates by the Judicial
Administration Commission and subsequent presentation by the Prime Minister.
3. The President and Vice-President of the St ate Supreme Courts shall be appointed by
their respective State Parliaments upon thei r nomination by their respective heads of
4. Judges of the State supreme and High Cour ts shall be appointed by their respective
state parliaments upon nomination by thei r respective Judicial Administrative
5. The judges of the First Instance Courts of the states shall be appointed by their
respective parliaments upon nomination by th eir respective Judicial Administration
Commissions. The Judicial Administration Commission shall, before presenting the
nominees to the State parliament, solicit the opinion of the Federal Judicial
Administration Commission on the nominees and submit the same, together with its own
recommendations, to the State Parliament.
6. Matters relating to the transfer and discipline of judges at all levels shall be determined
by the Judicial Administrative Commissions concerned.
Article 82 Organization of the Constitutional Court
1. The Constitutional Court is hereby established.
2. The Constitutional Court shall consist of eleven members. They are:
(a) The President of the Federa l Supreme Court, -chairman.
(b) The Vice-President of the Federal Supreme Court, vice chairman
(c) Three legal professionals of acknowledged integrity to be appointed by the President
of the Republic upon their nomination by th e Council of Peoples’ Representatives.
(d) Six representatives of the Council of the Federation to be elected from among its
3. The Constitutional Court may establish an organizational structure which ensures its
Article 83 Interpretation of the Constitution
1. Disputes regarding constitutional matters shall be decided by the Council of the
2. The Council of the Federation shall decide upon constitutional matters within 30 days
after submission to it by th e Constitutional Court.
Article 84 Powers and Duties of the Constitutional Court
1. The Constitutional Court shall have judicial powers. Its decisions, may, however, be
executed only where they are approv ed by the Council of the Federation
2. Where a question of unconstitutionality of any law enacted by the federal or state
legislative body on grounds of contravention to this constitution arises and is submitted to
the Constitutional Court by a concerned court or a party to a dispute, it shall hear the case
and submit it to the Council of the Federation for a final decision.
3. The Constitutional Court shall submit its ru les of procedure to the Council of the
Federation and implement the same upon approval
4. The Constitutional Court may, where a question of interpretation arises in other
(a) remand the case to the concerned court where it is convinced that there is no need for
constitutional interpre tation. A party may appeal to the Council of the Federation against
the decision of the court.
(b) submit its own interpretation of the C onstitution to the Council of the Federation
where it is convinced that interpretation is required.
PRINCIPLES OF NATIONAL POLICY
Article 85 Objective
1. Implementation of the Constitution, other la ws and policies by any state organ shall be
based on the principles laid down in this Chapter.
2. For purposes of this chapter, the term “state” shall mean the Federal State or the
member States as the case may be.
Article 86 Principles of Foreign Relations
1. Respect for the sovereignty and equality of st ates and non interference in their internal
2. Promotion of foreign relations based on equality and mutual benefit; ensuring that
international agreements entered into, protect the interests of Ethiopia.
3. Respect international laws and agreements that respect Ethiopian sovereignty and are
not contrary to the inte rests of its peoples.
4. Promote a progressively developing economic community with its neighbours and
other African countries and streng then the brotherhood of peoples.
5. Strive for the peaceful resolution of conflicts among countries.
Article 87 Principles of National Defence
1. The National Defence Force shall be fairly representative of the nations, nationalities
and peoples in its composition.
2. The Minister of Defence shall be a civilian.
3. The defence force shall, in addition to safeguarding the sovereignty of the country,
perform such other duties as may be assigned to it in a state of emergency, in accordance
with this constitution
4. The defence force shall at a ll times abide by the Constitution.
5. The defence force shall perform its duties in a manner free from partisanship to any
Article 88 Political Objectives
1. The State shall facilitate th e conditions for self administra tion at all levels based on
2. The State shall have the duty to respect the identity of the nations, nationalities and
peoples and on the basis of this promote equality, unity and fraternity among them.
Article 89 Economic Objectives
1. The State shall have the responsibility to devise the means to make all Ethiopians
beneficiaries of the accumulated knowl edge and wealth of the country.
2. The state shall have the duty to give equal opportunity to all Ethiopians for the
improvement of their economic conditions and to promote a just distribution of wealth.
3. The State shall render special assistance to the less developed nations, nationalities and
4. The State shall have the res ponsibility to control land and na tural resources in the name
of the people and utilize them for their common good and development.
5. The State shall ensure popular participation at all levels in the preparation of
development policies and programs of the c ountry. The State shall support development
activities by the people.
6. The State shall have the responsibility to promote the equal participation of women
with men in all economic and so cial development activities.
7. The State shall strive to protect the health, safety and standard of living of the working
Article 90 Social Objectives
1. Every Ethiopian shall be enti tled, within the limits of the country’s resources, to food,
clean water, shelter, health, edu cation and security of pension.
2. Education shall be conducted in a manner, which is in all respects, free from religion,
political and cultural influences.
Article 91 Cultural Objectives
1. The State shall have the responsibility to promote the equal development of customs
and cultures in so far as they are not inc onsistent with the fundamental rights, human
dignity, democracy and the Constitution
2. The State and all Ethiopians citizens sha ll have the duty to preserve the natural
resources and historical heritage.
3. The State shall have the duty, within the li mits of its resources, to promote the Arts,
Science and technology.
Article 92 Objectives for Environmental Protection
1. The State shall have the responsibility to strive to ensure a clean and healthy
environment for all Ethiopians.
2. Any economic development activity shall not in any way be disruptive to the
3. The people concerned shall be made to gi ve their opinions in the preparation and
implementation of policies and programs concerning environmental protection.
4. The State and citizens shall have th e duty to protect the environment.
Article 93 Amendment of the Constitution
1. All the rights and freedoms provided in Chap ter Three of this Constitution, this Article
and Article 94 shall be amended only:-
(a) where all State Parliaments approve the proposed amendment by majority vote; and
(b) where the Council of Peoples’ Representatives approves the proposed amendment by
a 2/3rds majority vote, and
(c) where the Council of the Federation appr oves the proposed amendment by a majority
2. All the provisions of the Constitution other than those provisions under Sub- Article
(1) of this Article shall be amended only;
(a) where the Council of Peoples’ Representati ves and the Council of the Federation, in a
joint meeting approve the proposed am endment by a 2/3rds majority, and
(b) where the Parliaments of 2/3rds of the member states of the Federation approve the
proposed amendment by a majority vote.
Article 94 Initiation of Constitutional Amendment
A proposal for the amendment of this constitu tion shall be presented for discussion and
decision to the public and others concerned wh ere it is supported by a two-thirds majority
of the members of the Council of Peoples’ Re presentatives or the members of the Council
of the Federation or by one third of the Parl iaments of the States of the Federation.
Article 95 State of Emergency
1. (a) The Council of Ministers of the Federal Government may declare a state of
emergency in the event of external aggressi on or where conditions arise which endanger
the constitutional order and cannot be brought under control by means of normal law
enforcement measures, or in the cases of natu ral disaster or epidemic endangering public
(b) The State Governments may, within their te rritory, declare a state of emergency in the
case of natural disasters or epidemic enda ngering public health. Particulars shall be
determined by the constitutions of the resp ective states adopted on the basis of this
2. A state of emergency declared in accordance with Sub- Article 1(a) of this Article,
(a) shall, where the declaration is made while the Counc il of Peoples’ Representatives is
in session, be submitted to it within forty eight hours. The declaration shall be revoked
where it fails to get the support of two-thirds majority of the members of the Council of
(b) without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing paragraph (a), where the Council
of Peoples’ Representatives is not in sessi on, it shall in any case be submitted to the
Council within fifteen days after its declaration.
3. A state of emergency declared by the Council of Ministers and approved by the
Council of Peoples’ Representatives may la st only for six months. The Council of
Peoples’ Representatives may, however, by a two-thirds majority renew the state of
emergency every four months.
4. (a) The Council of Ministers shall, during the state of emergency, have the power to
protect, by means of regulations it issues, p eace and the existence of the life of the nation,
public security, and law and order.
(b) The power of the Council of Ministers may, on a level deemed necessary to remove
the cause for which the state of emergency is declared, extend to the suspension of the
fundamental political and democratic ri ghts guaranteed by this Constitution.
(c) The regulations issued or the measures taken by the Council of Ministers during the
state of emergency shall not in any way rest rict the rights provided under Articles 1, 18,
25 and Sub-Articles (1) a nd (2) of Article 39.
5. The Council of Peoples’ Representatives sh all, upon the declaration of the state of
emergency, establish a seven member State of Emergency Implementation Inspection
Board from among its members and from legal professionals.
6. The State of Emergency Implementation In spection Board shall have the following
powers and duties:
(a) To announce the names of persons detained by virtue of the state of emergency within
one month after detention and publicize the reasons for their detention;
(b) Supervise and control the measures taken during the state of emergency so as to
ensure that they are not in any way inhuman;
(c) Where it is convinced that any measure of the state of emergency is inhuman, give
recommendations for its improvement to the Prim e Minister or the Council of Ministers;
(d) Bring to justice all those who perpetuate inhuman acts dur ing the state of emergency;
(e) Submit its recommendations to the Council of Peoples’ Representatives where request
for the renewal of the state of emergency is submitted to the Council.
Article 96 Financial expenditure
1. The Federal and State Governments shall cover the expenses needed to run the
functions assigned to them by law. However, where either the Federal Government or
any of the States undertake functions by delega tion for the other, the one delegating shall,
in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, cover such expenses.
2. The Federal Government may, unless deemed detrimental to the even development of
the states, give aid to or loans for emer gency relief, rehabilitation and to promote
development activities. The Federal Govern ment shall have the power to audit and
control the disbursements it makes to the States.
Article 97 Revenue Sharing
The Federal and State Governments shall adopt a system of revenue sharing on the basis
of the federal arrangement established.
Article 98 Taxation Powers of the Federal Government
1. The Federal Government shall have the power to levy and collect taxes, customs duties
and other dues on import and export goods.
2. Levy and collect tax on income from employment, from the employees of the Federal
Government and international organisations.
3. Levy and collect income sales tax, ta x income from employment from public
enterprises owned by the Federal Government.
4. Levy and collect taxes from winners of th e National Lottery and other prizes of a
5. Levy and collect taxes from incomes on tr ansportation by air, rail and by sea.
6. Determine the rent of, levy and collect ta x from houses and other property owned by
the Federal Government.
7. Determine and collect fees from licenses i ssued and services provided by organs of the
8. Levy and collect monopoly tax.
9. Levy and collect federal stamp duties.
Article 99 Taxation Power of the States
1. The States shall levy and collect tax on in come from employment from employees of
the state government and other organization.
2. Determine and collect land use fees.
3. Levy and collect agricultural tax from individual farmers who are not members of an
association of farmers.
4. Levy and collect income and sales tax from individual traders within the state.
5. Levy and collect tax on transport on waterways within the state.
6. Levy and collect tax on houses and other property owned by private persons situated in
the state and determine rent of houses and other property owned by the State
7. Levy and collect tax on income from employment, income and sales tax from public
enterprises owned by the state government.
8. Without prejudice to the provisions on concurrent income, levy and collect income tax,
royalties and land le ase fees from mining undertakings:
9. Determine and collect fees from licen ses issued and services provided by its
10. Determine and collect royalties from forest products.
Article 100 Concurrent Taxation Powers
1. Jointly levy and collect tax on income from employment, income and sales tax from
public enterprises established jointly by the Federal and State Governments.
2. Jointly levy and collect income and sa les tax from business organizations and
dividends of shareholders.
3. Jointly levy and collect income tax and royalties on big mining, petroleum and gas
Article 101 Unspecified Taxation Powers
The powers to levy and collect taxes and du ties not specifically determined by this
constitution shall be determined by a two-thirds majority of a joint meeting of both the
Council of Peoples’ Representatives and the Council of the Federation.
Article 102 Principles of Taxation
1. The Federal and State Governments when le vying taxes and duties shall ensure that the
taxes and duties are related to the source of revenue and determined after appropriate
studies have been conducted.
2. The Federal and State Governments shall ensure that the levying of taxes is not
detrimental to their mutual relations and th at they are proportionate to the services
3. Neither the Federal nor the State Governme nts shall have the power to levy taxes on
each others property unless such taxation is levied on an organization established for
Article 103 The Auditor General
1. The Auditor General shall be appointed by the Council of Peoples’ Representatives
upon nomination by the Prime Minister.
2. The Auditor General shall, by auditing the accounts of Ministries and other organs,
report to the Council of Peoples’ Representatives on whether the annual budget allocated
to them by the Council was duly disbursed for the purposes for which it was allocated.
3. The Auditor General shall directly submit its budget to the Council of Peoples’
Representatives for its approval.
4. The particulars of the Audito r General’s responsibilities shall be determined by law.
Article 104 The Electoral Board
1. The National Electoral Board which shall conduct free and fair elections with
impartiality and free from any interference in both the federal and state electoral districts
shall be established.
2. The members of the Board shall be appointed by the Council of Peoples’
Representatives upon nomination by the Prime Mi nister. Particulars shall be determined
Article 105 The Populati on Census Commission
1. A Population Census Co mmission which shall undertake periodic census and
demographic studies of the population of th e whole country shall be established.