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The Ethiopian federation and private international law: the contours of the federal and the state governments’ jurisdictions
Journal of Private International Law  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-05-04, DOI: 10.1080/17441048.2019.1645976
Mekuria Tsegaye Setegn

The Ethiopian Constitution divides the power to enact private laws between the federal government and the states. This entails certain inexorable private international law disputes which are concomitant of state private laws. The federal arrangement confers upon the states an inherent jurisdiction to wield disputes connected with their private laws. Nevertheless, the Federal Courts Proclamation and a precedent set by the Federal Supreme Court's Cassation Division render the Federal High Court the wielder of an inherent jurisdiction over disputes connected with state laws. Superciliously, the federal government has aggrandised its jurisdiction by extending it to disputes connected with state private laws. This paper addresses the question whether the power of the states to enact private laws subsumes a jurisdiction to wield private international law disputes. To this end, it analyses the relevant provisions of the Constitution, statutes and a case law. It also draws on the experiences of other federations. The paper will argue that the Constitution confers upon the states an inherent jurisdiction to wield disputes connected with their private laws. It concludes that the states should have their own private international law rules and courts designated to adjudicate private international law disputes.