Judicial federalism inEthiopia: Jurisdictional tension between federal verses state judicialcompetence on the matters that are constitutionally delegated to state courts(with special emphasis on Anti-corruption proclamation.) Followingthe introduction of federal arrangement in Ethiopian in 1994, the courtstructure and its jurisdiction is totally changed from the previous forms ofarrangement it had. The FDRE constitution appears to apply the dual judicialprinciple in the establishment of judicial system in the country. Obviously,the court jurisdiction follows the power of legislative organs that hasentitled to make a legitimate law on the given competence areas. Issue ofdistribution of powers between the Federal Government and the states in generaland the adjudicative jurisdiction between the Federal courts and state courtsin particular has become a controversial point. This controversy has resultedin due to the fact that the Constitution has established a dual court structure.On the one hand, the dualism of the court structure presupposes that thefederal courts adjudicate federal matters based on federal laws, whereas statecourts adjudicate state matters based on state laws.
However, this principle isaccompanied by an exception that the state courts can adjudicate the federalmatters by delegation power until the HPR is decide to establish the federalfirst instant court and High court in the regional states by 2/3 majority, whenit believe that it is necessary to do that. Based on this delegation power, thestate courts have a judicial jurisdiction on the federal matters which haspurely reserved to the federal government, with some exceptional. On the otherhand, the federal government, in particular the legislature enacted differentfederal laws which are mainly affects the judicial jurisdiction of the state. Anti-terrorism is the law which deprives the State Courts jurisdiction as a wholenot to entertain such kind of cases. Terrorism cases are directly entertainedby the Federal High and Supreme Courts by setting aside the constitutionallydelegated power of state court on adjudicating the federal matters in accordingto the federal law. Basedupon these facts, before looking about jurisdictional problem arise between thetwo tiers of courts, firstly I would like to analyze the issues of thestructure of Ethiopian judicial federalism and try to identifies which approachof judicial structure it is following- either it represents a commitment toplural or interconnected systems of adjudication.
Under this thesis I singledout that the role that would be played by state courts and other state justiceorgans in building and promoting the principle of federation byapplying and enforcing the federal law- which is the result of shared ruleprinciple in federalism. After putting the general idea on the judicialfederalism of Ethiopia what it look like; I will focus on the issues ofjurisdiction controversies of federal verses state court jurisdiction, if any,by giving attention on the laws which has restricted the state courtsjurisdiction power and try to assessing the practical aspects of cases how thefederal and state courts are currently practicing and applying such laws withconformity of the constitution provisions in related to power divisionprinciple in addressing the question of jurisdiction when the party resistingthe courts’ jurisdiction.Connectingwith jurisdictional tension, I quest whether it can possible for the federalgovernment to take back the constitutionally delegated power to state courts just by enacting thelaw which restricts the jurisdiction of state courts without following the proceduralrequirements that have been laid down in the constitution or without amendingthe constitution will be analyzed. By doing this what are the consequences ithave on the right of getting speedy trial on side of party, because in realtythere is caseload on federal court than state courts. How do issues of FederalCourt jurisdiction verses State Court jurisdiction is going to be resolved andwhich organs of government that has power to resolve such kind of problem is alsoanother issue that is going to deal by this thesis.