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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The precarious future of the Ethiopian constitution
Author:Hessebon, Gedion T.
Periodical:Journal of African Law (ISSN 0021-8553)
Geographic term:Ethiopia
constitutional reform
Abstract:The current Ethiopian Constitution suffers from a severe lack of legitimacy. It lacks legitimacy as a result of a constitution-making process that was not inclusive, as well as the subsequent serious lack of integrity and vitality of the constitutional system. Integrity refers to the degree to which constitutional practice is congruent with the constitutional text and the ideals it embodies. The vitality of a constitutional system could be understood as its demonstrated capacity to develop and grow (a good proxy would be the cannons and jurisprudence that are developed in the process of implementing, enforcing and expounding the constitution). Therefore, if the ruling party, which is also the 'author' of the constitution, were to lose its hegemonic position, which is predicated on its control of the security and military apparatus, there is a strong likelihood that there would be calls from significant political forces for a new constitution to be adopted. Such calls should not be heeded. Instead of adopting a new constitution, the current constitution's lack of legitimacy should be remedied by comprehensive constitutional reforms that would still maintain the basic architecture and cornerstones of the current constitution. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]